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Does Deliberative Education Increase Civic Competence? Results from a Field Experiment

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 October 2019

Mikael Persson
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden, e-mail: mikael.persson@pol.gu.se; simon.lundin@gu.se
Klas Andersson
Affiliation:
Department of Education and Special Education, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden, e-mail: klas.andersson@gu.se
Pär Zetterberg
Affiliation:
Department of Government, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden, e-mail: par.zetterberg@statsvet.uu.se
Joakim Ekman
Affiliation:
School of Social Sciences, Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden, e-mail: joakim.ekman@sh.se
Simon Lundin
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden, e-mail: mikael.persson@pol.gu.se; simon.lundin@gu.se

Abstract

How should education be structured to most effectively increase civic outcomes such as political knowledge and democratic values? We present results from a field experiment in which we compare the effects of deliberative education and traditional teacher-centered education. The study is the largest field experiment on deliberative education to date and involved more than 1,200 students in 59 classrooms. We test the effects on four forms of civic competence: political knowledge, political interest, democratic values, and political discussion. In contrast to previous research, we find little evidence that deliberative education significantly increases civic competence.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© The Experimental Research Section of the American Political Science Association 2019

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Footnotes

We gratefully acknowledge the support of a grant from the Swedish Research Council. We thank Moa Frödin Gruneau, Alexander Ryan and Pär Åberg for research assistance. We would like to thank Pradeep Chhibber, Love Christensen, David Doherty, Don Green, Kaisa Maria Herne, James Fishkin, Valérie-Anne Mahéo-Le Luel, Lies Maurissen as well as conference and workshop participants at MPSA 2018, APSA 2018, the Barcelona-Gothenburg-Bergen Workshop on Experimental Political Science in Barcelona 2018, and Uppsala University 2017. The data, code, and any additional materials required to replicate all analyses in this article are available at the Journal of Experimental Political Science Dataverse within the Harvard Dataverse Network, at: doi: 10.7910/DVN/UMRAM7 (Persson et al., 2019).

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Supplementary material: PDF

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