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How to Prepare Teachers to Teach Civic Engagement? Insights from a German University.

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Abstract

Schools and teachers are essential agents of political socialization, even in longstanding developed democracies. A teacher's task is to transfer factual knowledge and nurture support for fundamental political values and interest upon which a democratic classroom relies. To create a democratic classroom, teachers need to be politically interested, knowledgeable, and supportive of fundamental political values. This chapter focuses on the importance of strengthening pre-service teachers' political knowledge, political interest, and support for fundamental political values while studying at universities. Our analysis shows that pre-service teachers differ in their political knowledge and political interest levels depending on their subjects. Furthermore, we show that some support authoritarian government modes and neglect general political values such as gender equality and free elections. For civic education, this result is highly problematic. Our results indicate the need for broader civic education at universities for future teachers.
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