Edited by John Ishiyama, William J. Miller and Eszter Simon
Chapter 3: Teaching politics to practitioners
Political science is generally taught as a non-vocational subject. While those who study it may aspire to pursue careers as politicians, diplomats, civil servants or pollsters, they do not generally have direct experience of these roles. Neither do political science courses generally provide the type of tailored preparation for practice that would be common in areas such as medicine or architecture. Students may be actively involved in politics as citizens and use the knowledge and skills that they develop through the study of politics in these activities. However, with the exception of those undertaking an internship, the nearest that many students will come to the professional world of politics is participation in a simulation. While simulations generally aim to recreate the experience of working in a political environment, for the most part students study the practice of politics from a distance, through reading, listening, debate and discussion. The distinguishing feature of teaching politics to practitioners is the identity of the students. They are practitioners. They work in politics, government and related areas in their professional lives.
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