Political education is the systematic approach to education that promotes critical thinking and promotes respect for different political systems. It includes both classroom instruction and non-curricular activities. The emphasis is on imparting fundamental political and historical knowledge, especially with special attention to local, national, and international developments. Such information serves to inform citizens, improve political decision making, enhance understanding of social issues, increase understanding of cultural differences, and build a better nation.
Civic and political education to help people to value human rights, pursue economic prosperity, participate actively in political decision-making, protect and defend the welfare and interests of their fellow citizens, understand and meet the needs of the diverse populations, and develop and practice democratic principles and practices. It also provides citizens with the skills necessary for civic engagement and the ability to critically think and choose. These include basic reading, writing, listening, counting, and reasoning. There are a number of facets of political education that constitute the study of citizenship. These include citizenship studies, citizenship development, citizenship studies programs, mass media, politics and public policy, government, and history of revolutions.
Educational programs on civic education
One such school is the School of International Studies at the School of Public Administration and Social Service of New York University. In its course curriculum are the skills necessary for promoting and practicing democracy. They include political science, economics, history, sociology, philosophy, psychology, communications and other similar areas.
The first task of political education is to equip students with the basic knowledge about constitutional system and basic political system of a country. The program also covers the institutions of political parties, political culture, public policies, leadership, political power, women’s rights, freedom, and diplomacy. In addition, the program also provides knowledge on constitutional amendments, fundamental laws, international law, civil society, media, nonprofit organizations, business, technology, nonprofits, and political representation.
It is important for students to learn how to identify and analyze the various forms of political cultures and ideologies prevalent in different societies and countries. They learn to develop a critical thinking skill to identify and oppose political corruption, and corruption at both the national and state level. They also learn how to develop political ideas and organizing principles that can be used by local communities as well as by political parties in their effort to promote the common good.
The second component of the program is to equip students with political decision making skills. They learn how to canvass, vote, complain, lobby, publish petitions, draft statements, draft bills and resolutions, join or volunteer in political parties, and run for political offices. They also get to participate in activities that bring about change in political parties or the government. Such activities may include street parties, sit-ins, demonstrations, and strikes or walkouts.
The last two components of the program focus on teaching students the importance of fair elections. They also learn the importance of free and fair elections that do not engage in violence or abuse of power. They also get to know how to conduct research on different political issues such as the environment, health care, migration, poverty, international relations, human rights, labor, and political parties.
Political education helps people understand and appreciate the role of politics in their everyday lives. It also motivates citizens to become active citizens by taking part in the political process and making their voice heard. In fact, most political leaders believe that if more citizens would become active, political corruption would eventually become a thing of the past. It is believed that if only politicians would listen to the regular people and take their demands seriously, politics will never become corrupt again. Politicians can then work to make political education a universal and effective educational program.