About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4710-4719
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-695-3491-5
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain

POLITICS IN THE CLASSROOM: A LONG-TERM INVESTMENT

J.P. Vega Villanueva

Universidad de Buenos Aires (ARGENTINA)
Despite of the country, most young adults are not interested in politics. They do not think–or care–about governmental issues until their first elections. Even then, they are hard to please by political parties, which make an assiduous effort to get their attention. They subsequently stop reasoning politics until the next voting, whether presidential or local and regardless of what their new government does in the meantime. Nonetheless, this problem does not actually root in politics, but in a less evident every-day matter: education.

Everything we consider as a career is first shown to us at school. Thus we learn about majors such as medicine, law, literature and even applied physics–because we studied related subjects for at least one year during elementary or secondary school. However, when it comes to politics, the topic is vaguely examined by school programs. In Mexico, for example, there are no classes that have a direct relationship with political reasoning, even though constitutional rights and obligations, as well governmental structure, are studied. Because of this lack of political coverage in school, most people do not consider politics as an important area of life–much less as a possible degree. And this has a long-term effect: once students become adults, they do not consider politics as an important matter of everyday life, letting the government do as it pleases.

For this chronic issue to be solved, a new educational approach must be applied in schools. This new approach must contain four main topics to be studied by students with an accretion in its depth trough the years, from elementary school to high school. These four topics are must make students reason and form a personal opinion about politics. They are as follows:

• Government and its modus operandi; every detail is analyzed, from elections to government organizations, for understanding this is the only way to create a sound argument. Students investigate and write about this information.
• Analyzing information and understanding past what is stated; data about campaigns followed by the government and their results are studied and analyzed, and information inferred for what other meanings statistics show, despite those already stated. Students study data and present explanations.
• Problem-solving and situation-improvement activities; actual problems and situations are presented and students sketch, design and implement solutions or improvements for them. Students’ ideas are sent to the Government for it to review and, if feasible, employ them.
• Creating a personal opinion on political matter; being the most important topic (and still based on the other two), this would let students be prepared for politics once they face real life government. Students investigate on specific topics and situations and present their opinion and what they would do under those circumstances.

If these topics were presented twice a week in an hour-long class, students would find politics as an important matter for today’s world, as well as they would become better at critical thinking. Thus, a more politically active population would not only help politics itself, but every other government-related issue. In the same way, if these ideas were to be followed in a rigorous, increasing difficulty, besides the fact that young adults from generations to come would be more preoccupied about their country, education would be proven again as the basis for every important matter in life.
@InProceedings{VEGAVILLANUEVA2012POL,
author = {Vega Villanueva, J.P.},
title = {POLITICS IN THE CLASSROOM: A LONG-TERM INVESTMENT},
series = {4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN12 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-695-3491-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {4710-4719}}
TY - CONF
AU - J.P. Vega Villanueva
TI - POLITICS IN THE CLASSROOM: A LONG-TERM INVESTMENT
SN - 978-84-695-3491-5/2340-1117
PY - 2012
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2012
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN12 Proceedings
SP - 4710
EP - 4719
ER -
J.P. Vega Villanueva (2012) POLITICS IN THE CLASSROOM: A LONG-TERM INVESTMENT, EDULEARN12 Proceedings, pp. 4710-4719.
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