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 18: Teaching graduate research methods

Mitchell Brown


In fundamental ways, research methods courses and training in graduate programs are the critical lynchpin of a student’s education. At the doctoral level, the yardstick used to measure an academic’s success is his or her ability to engage in enduring and current substantive debates and add to these through the production of new knowledge in the field. Doing so is impossible without quality methods education of some sort, and is therefore essential for the future of any discipline. Methods training is equally, albeit differently, important in master’s level graduate courses. Particularly in terminal degree programs like a Master of Public Administration (MPA), students seek to obtain transferable skills that they can then utilize in applied settings. In addition, there is at least anecdotal evidence about how strong methods education travels beyond the search for a tenure track job. Murakami (2012) writes, ‘the research skills I had accrued as a graduate student were much rarer and more difficult to acquire’ than other skills that non-academics have competing for jobs outside academia (p. 813). Various industries are putting greater emphasis on these transferable skills, with pressure coming from both employers and governments (Clark 2011).

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