Table of Contents

Handbook on Teaching and Learning in Political Science and International Relations

Handbook on Teaching and Learning in Political Science and International Relations

Edited by John Ishiyama, William J. Miller and Eszter Simon

With a focus on providing concrete teaching strategies for scholars, the Handbook on Teaching and Learning in Political Science and International Relations blends both theory and practice in an accessible and clear manner. In an effort to help faculty excel as classroom teachers, the expert contributors offer representation from various types of institutions located throughout the world. Split into three distinct parts, this book discusses curriculum and course design, teaching subject areas and in class teaching techniques.

Chapter 10: Multidisciplinary approaches to teaching political science

Brenda Kauffman

Subjects: education, teaching and learning, politics and public policy, international relations


In essence, taking a multidisciplinary approach to studying theories and issues in political science involves the inclusion of diverse academic disciplines. While it may seem intuitive that issues of political concern naturally involve a variety of factors, such as economic realities, cultural elements, historical events or sociological dynamics, critically evaluating the issues from these disciplines requires thoughtful analysis and attention to fundamental principles found in the respective disciplines. This chapter will develop a plan for teaching students using theories and methods from multiple disciplines and will include examples of how disciplines can be brought together in the classroom to tackle a single theme. For this we will focus on the elements of a learning community that work well to introduce students to the process of looking at the world through multiple theoretical lenses. Such an approach aims to be comprehensive, coherent and consistent. Students should develop the ability to conceptualize and analyze challenging problems by studying and engaging in a variety of academic work through multiple disciplines.

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