Handbook on Teaching and Learning in Political Science and International Relations
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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.
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Chapter 3: Teaching politics to practitioners

John Craig


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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