Document Type


Publication Title

The Journal of Social Studies Research

Publication Date



elementary preservice teachers, civic teaching, preservice teacher education, community engagement, politics


In order to strengthen civic education in elementary schools, research is needed to understand preservice teachers’ ideas about civic teaching. The current study examined the degree to which elementary preservice teachers’ civic competencies (i.e., civic awareness, dispositions, and interpersonal skills) and the grades they plan to teach are associated with expected future civic teaching. Survey data were collected from 235 undergraduate students majoring in early childhood or elementary education. Results from hierarchical multiple regression showed that greater civic awareness and lower levels of trust in the American promise were associated with expected future teaching about politics, while greater civic awareness, stronger commitment to social issues, and better interpersonal skills were associated with expected future teaching about community engagement. Additionally, those who plan to teach the upper elementary grades (third–fifth) were more likely to report that they will teach about politics and community engagement in their future classrooms when compared to those who plan to teach younger grades (PreK–second). Practical implications for preservice teacher preparation are discussed.

Funding Source

This article was published Open Access thanks to a transformative agreement between Milner Library and Sage Journals.


First published in The Journal of Social Studies Research (2024):

This is an Open Access article published with a CC BY-NC 4.0 Deed | Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license.



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