Link Between Education And Political Beliefs

There is a good chance that a person’s level of education will end up determining many things in his or her life. One of the things that education can affect is our political beliefs.
Link between education and political beliefs

It is often debated whether political schooling takes place in our educations. The topic is about whether an effect occurs when we look at whether schools and educational institutions have an influence on students’ political perceptions. After all, one of the goals of education is precisely to make sure that they become politically conscious citizens. But what is the exact connection between education and political beliefs? What kind of context is that?

In this article, we will focus on the effect that education has on political life. Education clearly involves much more than just the academic world. It is important to keep in mind. The political influences we are going to look at in this article are: Political involvement, political attitudes and political knowledge.

We will take a closer look at these effects through three different lenses. These are: A. External variables that affect education and political beliefs. B. Direct variables and C. Indirect variables.

External variables affecting education and political beliefs

When we talk about external, modulating or third variables on a statistical level, we are talking about the external things that can create a connection between two variables. If, for example, there is a correlation between the number of hospitals and prisons in a city. It is a statistical fact that there are more hospitals than prisons. But the correlation comes from the third variable, which affects both: the population.

When it comes to education and political observance, there are external things that affect both variables that can partly explain the connection. There are many, but here are the most significant: Cognitive abilities, personality and socio-economic background.

Students in the class

Cognitive abilities

The connection with the cognitive abilities is quite clear. If you have a high level of verbal skills, ability to think abstractly and a good memory, then it will help you both in formal education and with your political options. On the other hand, cognitive abilities that go against the education system will tend to mean that you will also have poor political understanding at the same time.


As for the personality, it is important for the understanding that certain attitudes can influence education and political beliefs. For example, being fit for learning, curiosity and exploration is consistent with a higher academic ability and a greater political understanding.

Socio-economic background

Another key role is the socio-economic background. This is because both political life and the formal world of education have social restrictions. A lot of people do not read further because they are pressured to enter the job market and make money. Similarly, one sees that people with a lower socio-economic status do not usually spend that much time on politics. Sometimes it’s because they’ve been pushed out directly. Other times it is because they spend most of their time surviving an unstable labor market.

Direct variables in education that have an effect on political beliefs

There is a wide spread when it comes to formal education. These different ways of organizing people’s education obviously lead to differences in what we call “political understanding.” It is also proven that these two variables have a direct link. But what are the specific things that affect this link? The most significant is content in the curriculum and educational values.

Content of the syllabus

The content of the syllabus can have a direct impact on the political understanding the students gain. For obvious reasons, specific education in political views creates future citizens with a better ability to understand politics. On top of this, the content will also influence the student’s political stance. For example, political education that talks about the benefits of liberalism will surely lead many to be able to identify with these ideas.

Educational values

Teaching students about values ​​based on dialogue, debate and critical thinking is important. It is the best way to help them develop their own political observance. There is a strong correlation between schools with these principles and their values ​​and politically interested students. But if people receive a closed hierarchical education, they become accustomed to dogmas and authority. Eventually, these principles may even go against politics with a critical stance.

Indirect variables between education and political beliefs

There is a good chance that a person’s level of education will end up determining many things in his or her life. There is usually a big difference between starting your working life after primary school or after university. The differences in these levels of education also play a role in people’s political beliefs. But the most important variable between education and political beliefs is the social position, self-perception and opportunities.

Social position

In the eyes of society, your level of education is usually something you put “above” or “below” others. It happens because our society has a lot of stereotypes that make us look at them differently depending on whether they have an education or not. The basic connection here is that the higher you are educated, the more political influence (if the other variables are similar) you will have.

Woman on the career ladder


Everything you can learn through your academic life will also become part of your self-perception. Your self-perception will push you towards the same categories as other people with the same level of education. It is also seen that groups of people with higher education are more socially accepted when it comes to politics.


Finally, a high level of education also means that you have more opportunities. So based on how many options you have, you will have more or fewer chances of doing things that have to do with politics.

There are a lot of different perspectives when it comes to the connection between education and political perception. But they give us a fundamental knowledge of how we make sure we have politically active, highly competent people in our society. First of all, we must make sure that there are no social or economic obstacles to politics. In this way, it is more likely that the political system will become more representative and that it will make it easier to do something that can benefit everyone for the common good.

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