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 35: Best practices in undergraduate lecturing: how to make large classes work

Kinga Kas and Elizabeth Sheppard

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


Lecturing is certainly one of the oldest forms of university teaching still in use today. As a historical ‘relic’ it has certainly been the object of numerous critiques of those colleagues interested in effective teaching and learning methods who claim that students learn more ineffectively in these settings (National Research Council 2000). However, faced with the current realities of universities, this type of teaching languishes as it responds to a number of dilemmas higher education is faced with. The democratization of higher education (both in Europe and in the USA) has led to increased numbers: for example in the USA, undergraduate enrollment increased by 37 percent between 2000 and 2010 (US Department of Education 2012). Thus, the need to teach equivalent information to more students especially in the first years of undergraduate education (core courses etc.) has increased exponentially. This context has been compounded by the financial crisis hitting universities around the world, limiting funds particularly in certain domains like the social sciences.

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