The Intersection of Perceptions of Classroom Openness With Civic Engagement Among Young Urban Adolescents in Science Classroom

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This study examined the extent to which student perceptions of classroom openness and personal characteristics were associated with civic engagement. Survey data including student perceptions of classroom openness, which indicates perceived levels of social and political discussions in the classroom, and personal characteristics such as gender, science engagement, and English Learner (EL) status were collected in 6th-grade science classrooms in an urban intermediate school. Civic engagement was measured using the personally responsible and participatory types of citizenship. Results from hierarchical linear regressions showed that student perceptions of classroom openness uniquely predicted the personally responsible citizen but not participatory citizen after controlling for personal characteristics. Science engagement and gender were significant predictors of both citizenship types. Implications for civic education for middle school science classrooms were discussed.