Education and Citizenship in Kenya

Insofar as education is seen as a driver of integral development, education is widely believed to contribute to citizenship formation by promoting civic engagement due to a diffusion of political knowledge and a contribution to personal sense of efficacy. In the Kenyan context, questions of civic education are vital, as elections over the past three decades have been plagued by violence and ethnic tensions. This study, led by Fr. Bob Dowd, CSC and Jaimie Bleck, examines how secondary schooling experiences shape three dimensions of citizenship in Kenya: political knowledge, political engagement, and trust towards other citizens. Due to a unique centralized student placement procedure that is largely exogenous to parent and school preferences, the project uses a method that compares schooling experiences across schools with different characteristics, absent concerns of selection bias. School surveys will solicit data on school differences around infrastructure, access to resources, teacher background, curriculum, and student demographics. Student surveys will probe for student perceptions of school climate, student efficacy, political knowledge, political engagement, tolerance, and social trust. 

The project has received research grant support from the Kellogg Institute for International Studies.