EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Utah adults struggling in their civics knowledge, a UVU study said

Jun 8, 2022, 8:00 PM | Updated: Jun 26, 2022, 4:06 pm

utah valley university sign pictured, the uvu wrestling team was shot at...

A sign on the campus of Utah Valley University. (Gabriel Mayberry/UVU Marketing)

(Gabriel Mayberry/UVU Marketing)

OREM, Utah — According to a study from Utah Valley University, Utah adults get a D on their knowledge of civics.

In the study, 942 adults were asked questions about civics, with most getting a little more than half right. Questions included things such as what are the three branches of the government?

Civics knowledge

Utah teachers believe teaching civics is important. However, they feel limited in their ability to do so.

UVU Civics Education Fellow Lisa Halverson says one finding in the study shows how committed educators are to good teaching.

“They are not trying to make this political,” she said. “One of them said if it’s not in the standards, I don’t touch it, over, and over and over again. I’m trying to align my teaching with the standard. I’m looking for unbiased resources.”

According to Halverson, some people view civics education as political. As a result, teachers who participated in the study said they feel scared they will face repercussions for teaching civics. 

Another limitation teachers reported, according to Halverson, was the lack of time and resources. 

According to Halverson, one of the specific questions that was problematic for adults was naming the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. Only eight percent of those who participated in the study remembered the right to protest. 

To read more on the study, click here.

Mark Jones contributed to this article.

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Utah adults struggling in their civics knowledge, a UVU study said