This study centers on low youth voter (18-24) turnout nationally by examining a study of teacher candidates at a South Carolina public university. The study is useful to understanding the civic engagement of two important demographics: youth voters and future educators. As teacher candidates, the students tended to have weak civic education backgrounds and a lack of understanding of the inherently political nature of teaching. Paralleling national trends for youth, candidates showed low levels of voter turnout, a disconnect between accessing political information and making informed decisions, and a general cynicism towards electoral politics. The study was able to explore multiple important demographic differences in attitudes towards voting. The study also explored attitudes of practicing teachers towards civic engagement and the implications of these attitudes for K-12 and higher education.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).