Politics in the Classroom: How the Exposure of Teachers’ Political Views Impacts Their Students
Keywords:teacher neutrality, political publicity, U.S. History, politics in the classroom
This paper examines the presence of teacher political publicity during instruction and its impact on students, looking specifically in the U.S. History classroom, where historical controversies can put teachers in positions where they express their political views during lessons. This is significant because American students are learning about the history of their nation through the personal perspective of their teacher. Much information has been collected on the subject of teacher neutrality within the classroom, but insufficient research exists on how this impacts students. My paper questioned how the exposure of a U.S. History teacher’s political views during instruction contributed to the development of their students’ views at the high school and college level. Using a mixed method approach, I collected quantitative and qualitative data through questionnaire surveys and found that teacher political publicity develops students’ own political views at the high school and college level -but more so at college level- by strengthening the existing views of students and changing their perception of the course material. This discovery supports the existing idea that college professors have more political freedom and opens the door for research on whether this political exposure is beneficial or detrimental to students.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Abigail Camp
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