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The Implications and Educational Significance of Youth Civic Engagement in the “Design for Change Challenge” course in Taiwan
elementary and high schools
youth civic engagement
Design for Change Challenge course
Civic engagement is not only crucial role to modern civil society but also serves as the key for students to adapt to future life and develop relevant abilities. If students can develop the motivation of and interest in public participation starting from childhood, they will acquire civic competence that is conducive to shaping and building a proactive and rational society. Considering the current trend of civic engagement that transcends political implications, this study investigated whether the Design for Change Challenge course can manifest the spirit of civic engagement among youngsters on the basis of the author’s part-time work experience at the non-profit organization “Design for Change (DfC) Taiwan”. The objectives of this study are as follows: (a) analyse the core implications of youth civic engagement from various aspects at the conceptual level, and explore whether the Design for Change Challenge course promoted by DfC Taiwan can manifest these core implications; (b) empirically investigate the process and outcomes of both teachers and students’ participation in the course and determine whether the course manifests the spirit and core implications of civic engagement among youngsters; and (c) on the basis of the aforementioned analyses, reflect on the design concepts of the course, review its implementation effectiveness, and propose suggestions as a reference for future studies and educational organisations such as DfC Taiwan. The following conclusions were drawn on the basis of the study findings: First, in the curriculum-design concept, the target is expected to exhibit personal qualities in terms of justice, care, initiative, and design thinking abilities. Although the teaching strategies also require teachers to employ multiple strategies for guidance, the establishment of goals for personal or social growth remains lacking. Second, in actual teaching, the curriculum goals established by the teachers and the teaching strategies employed not only accord with the concept of civic engagement but also benefit students by enabling them to achieve objectives in cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains as well as promoting independent participation in the curriculum. Third, students exhibited diverse and concrete behavior regarding their participation in the curriculum. They also enhanced their personal and social benefits through challenging courses, which conforms to the concept of civic engagement. Additionally, unlike the general concept of civic engagement, which only emphasizes spontaneous motivation, student participation motivation is influenced by the combined effects of inner drive and environmental factors. According to the study conclusions, three suggestions are proposed. First, teachers should set objectives for the Design for Change Challenge course, ascertain students’ internal and external motivations, adopt diverse teaching strategies, provide action strategies in multiple facets, and perform comprehensive evaluation to facilitate civic engagement among youngsters. Second, the DfC Taiwan organization promoting the course should specify the course objectives, introduce a variety of guiding strategies for teachers, consider the dilemma facing instructors in the course, and facilitate continual promotion of the course. Third, the scholars who will conduct future studies can recruit and inquire participants of various backgrounds, employ diverse research methods in a consistent and thorough manner and research different forms of youth civic engagement.
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