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Elizabeth C. Matto

Associate Research Professor and Director, Center for Youth Political Participation, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University
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About Elizabeth

Matto's research focuses on civic engagement education and the scholarship of teaching and learning. Overarching themes in Matto's writings include youth political participation and civic education at all levels of schooling (primary to higher education). In addition to serving her students in the classroom, Matto serves as the director of the Center for Youth Political Participation at the Eagleton Institute and offers her expertise as a scholar-practitioner to fellow faculty and administrators on her campus as well as at the state and national level. She is also the lead editor of the edited volume, Teaching Civic Engagement Across the Disciplines, published by the American Political Science Association and edits the text's companion website. 

In the News

"Teaching Civic Engagement," Elizabeth C. Matto (with Alison Rios Millett McCartney), The Baltimore Sun, September 18, 2017.
"Millennials and 2016 Elections — An Opportunity Not to Be Wasted," Elizabeth C. Matto, NJ Spotlight, October 19, 2015.


"Civic Spotlight: Teaching Political Engagement Inside and Outside the Classroom" The Civic Educator (2017).

Discusses the importance of college campuses for instilling the political knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for informed and engaged democratic citizenry.

Citizen Now: Engaging in Politics and Democracy (Manchester University Press, 2017).

Offers a comprehensive description of the composition and behavior of young adults, an explanation and critique of the study of youth engagement, and a unique approach and methodology for appreciating how and why "citizen now" engages in politics and democracy. Considers youth political participation from the perspective of young adults themselves.

"Civic Engagement Centers and Institutes: Promising Routes for Teaching Lessons in Citizenship to Students of All Disciplines" (with Mary McHugh), in Teaching Civic Engagement Across the Disciplines, edited by Elizabeth C. Matto, Alison Rios Millet McCartney, Elizabeth A. Bennion, and Dick Simpson (American Political Science Association, 2017).

Identifies a number of centers and institutes situated on campuses recognized for their commitment to civic engagement, explores the structural features they share, and links readers to a number of useful resources such as syllabi and assessments. Serves as a useful guide for faculty of all disciplines who want to go about civic engagement education.

"The Role of Media Use in the Classroom and at Home in Improving News Consumption and Political Knowledge" (with Timothy Vercellotti). Journal of Political Science Education 12, no. 2 (2016): 151-168.

Measures the effects of incorporating news magazines and discussion into social studies curricula on students' levels of news consumption and political knowledge. Finds that reading and discussing news at home and in school positively affected news consumption and political knowledge for students who were not in honors or advanced placement courses.

Teaching Civic Engagement Across the Disciplines (edited with Alison Rios Millett McCartney, Elizabeth A. Bennion, and and Dick Simpson) (American Political Science Association, 2017).

Evaluates the goals, challenges, and rewards of integrating civic education into the curriculum, highlighting best practices across disciplines and campuses.