Teaching to Change LA > Youth Voices > Vol. 5, Issue 1 > Electoral Politics
Electoral Politics > Features > Student Group Work
From July 6 to August 6, IDEA convened with 25 urban youth to examine youth civic learning in four communities across Los Angeles. The youth explored three questions: 1) What civic lessons do young people learn in and outside of Los Angeles-area schools? 2) What does it mean for LA youth to participate powerfully in civic life? 3) How can LA youth learn to participate in such ways? The student-researchers traveled to schools, visited community centers, and met with community leaders and elected officials. They surveyed youth, analyzed demographic data, and reviewed social studies curriculum. The community case studies that emerged from this research speak to the crisis of civic education across Los Angeles schools today. Too few youth experience education that enables them to access alternative sources of information, analyze the causes of injustice, and develop plans for social change. But these studies also point out that LA youth want to make a difference in their schools and communities. They want to learn the skills necessary to speak out and take action. From Watts to East LA to Crenshaw to the Westside, LA youth are looking for opportunities to enact democracy.

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Teaching to Change LA is an online journal of IDEA, UCLA's Institute for Democracy, Education, & Access