It’s What Happens on the Front Lines of Civic Education Policy that Matters: Reflections on a Natural Experiment on Youth Turnout in Ontario

Henry Milner, J.P. Lewis


In the last decade there has developed a new level of coordination among those working in the fields of citizenship education and political participation. The paper puts this link to an empirical test, using a natural experiment of youth turnout in the 2004 and 2006 federal election to investigate what, if any, effect can be found of Ontario’s introduction of a compulsory Grade 10 Civics course in 2000. We find that changing the curriculum in itself does not appear to have the desired results, concluding that, in practice, any lasting effect of civic education upon youth political participation rests on the effectiveness of front-line implementation.


Education, Participation, Youth, Civic, Turnout

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@Canadian Political Science Review (CPSR). ISSN 1911-4125