Bennett, W. L. (2008). Civic learning in changing democracies: Challenges for citizenship and civic education. In Dahlgren, P. (ed.) Young citizens and new media: Learning for democratic participation. Ch. 4, p. 59-77.

Key Concepts & Guidance Questions

  • What is the greatest challenge in contemporary democracies across nations? (p. 59)
  • Who is responsible in creating this challenge? (hint: Millennial Generation; p.59)
  • Which civic participation is particularly under serious threat of losing significance? (p.59)
  • What is the difference between institutional civic participation and individual civic participation? (p.60)
  • What are the alternative ways in which the DotNets participate in civic activities? (p.60-61)
  • What is DC? What is AC? What is the divide between these two?
  • What were the challenges observed in the civic education curriculum in the case study (hint: Australia ACER Report; p. 64-65)?
  • What are the author’s suggested model (4 sequential steps) in bridging the divide between DC & AC? (p.66-74)
    • What is the fundamental concept in achieving the first step? (p.66-67)
    • What are the three media environment explained by the suthor that can help achieve step two? (p.68-70)
    • How can one translate the civic skills learned into meaningful civic participation? (p. 71-73)
  • What should civic education be like fundamentally?

Application Questions

  • Do Singaporean Youth fall into the AC/DC divide? Give concrete examples for and against.
  • What is the structure of civic education in Singapore? Is it fine, or should it be changed? In what way?
  • What are some of the alternative types of civic participation practiced by Singapore youth? Do you think these ‘count’ as civic participation? Why or why not?
  • Do Singapore youth look “inside” or “outside” government for solutions to political problems?