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Applying a Critical Lens to Teachers' Use of Social Media for Civic Education

, Teachers College, Columbia University, United States ; , College of Education, Michigan State University, United States

CITE Journal Volume 21, Number 2, ISSN 1528-5804 Publisher: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, Waynesville, NC USA


Traditional civic education in the U.S. often does not meet the needs of students. Whether through outdated or uninspiring methods or by functionally disenfranchising students who are not part of the predominant power structure, mainstream civic education maintains hegemonic structures and, in turn, systems of oppression. Scholars have argued that reconceptualizing citizenship is an important component to addressing these shortcomings. Further, an increased use of social media as a tool for new forms of civic participation has been observed, but little research has been done to examine how teachers are using these platforms in their teaching of civics. This study explored high school social studies teachers’ conceptualizations of citizenship and their use of the social media platform, Twitter, with their students for civic education. Findings showed that teachers’ conceptions of citizenship were influenced by their local context: teachers observed geographic or racial barriers for their students’ civic participation, which informed how they understood and taught about civic participation. Teachers’ use of Twitter was intended to provide ways for students to disrupt the systems that established these barriers; however, teachers’ practice of using Twitter did not always align with their intentions.


Chapman, A. & Greenhow, C. (2021). Applying a Critical Lens to Teachers' Use of Social Media for Civic Education. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 21(2), 526-555. Waynesville, NC USA: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education. Retrieved September 19, 2021 from .