From class to club : an exploration of high school civic-minded student organizations from 1996-2011 in Corpus Christi, Texas




Noyola, Sonia Adriana

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Our educational system has long claimed that preparing students to be active citizens is one of its main goals. With high-stakes testing pressures, schools with high minority enrollment have been found to cut back social studies programs and/or implement a drill and practice fragmented teaching style. (Center on Education Policy, 2007; McNeil and Valenzuela, 2000). This research project seeks to understand how civic engagement opportunities were provided for, the impact of these opportunities on students and community members in Corpus Christi, Texas, during the last 15 years, and the ways in which these opportunities may serve to maximize civic engagement for today’s Latino/a student. Using oral histories and archival data as a means to uncover the history of civic-minded organizations in Corpus Christi, Texas, on high school youth and their community, this research project will investigate the founding of the organizations, the people involved in them, and the impact of these organizations as it is perceived by alumni and those with direct experience of the organizations. While a study of this type may not be highly generalizable, it will provide new insights into promising civic education and engagement for previously marginalized groups of students. The findings of this research should add to the educational and social science literature by providing a nuanced understanding of how civic engagement opportunities may be tailored to fit into the learning environment of the high school civics classroom and beyond.



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