Living Democracy, From Pearson Prentice Hall, Encourages Political Participation, Awareness, Involvement
Upper Saddle River, NJ - Research shows that in the last three presidential elections, the average turnout for Americans under 25 years of age was forty percent. Only thirteen percent of young Americans say they pay attention to what's going on in politics. And only six percent of young people volunteer for political organizations.
Living Democracy, a new introductory American Government text, was created to help transform student apathy into activity. Every feature of the book -- the writing, design, examples, photos -- is designed to encourage students to participate in learning, in the classroom, and in bringing about change.
Written by Daniel M. Shea, Professor of Political Science and Founder of the Center for Political Participation at Allegheny College, Living Democracy aims to inspire students and help them experience the impact of government in their daily lives. Shea's co-authors are Joanne Green, Associate Professor of Political Science and the Director of Women's Studies at Texas Christian University; and Christopher Smith, Professor of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University.
Consulting scholars, students, activists, and learning theory specialists, the authors created an innovative approach to American government that offers all of the material found in a comprehensive, traditionally organized text within an active framework. For example, Living Democracy contains a strong student presence, including student questions in the margins to foster dialogue and help them relate more personally to the material.
Each chapter begins with a "chapter map," a graphic depiction of the steps that will be taken in the pages to follow to help students think about and master the material so that they can develop a thorough understanding of the content and use this understanding in their own lives.
The book also contains practice quizzes and tests, and multiple chapter tests requiring students to integrate "big picture" ideas rather than simple chapter by chapter content. Activities include "What You Can Do!," prompting students to actual political participation and discussion away from the pages of the text; and "Your Turn!," calling upon students to take on a somewhat larger project to help them take the information they've learned and apply it to the "real world."
"Participation is key to understanding the political process, and today's students are tomorrow's leaders," said Shea. "In Living Democracy we don't just tell students that they can and should participate in politics, we show them how to do it, and why it's essential that each of them play a part in the process."
"Living Democracy will be the most innovative and comprehensive introductory American government textbook on the market," said Melanie J. Blumberg, Associate Professor, Dept. of History & Political Science, California University of Pennsylvania.
Living Democracy will be published on Dec. 15, 2006.
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