Edited by John Ishiyama, William J. Miller and Eszter Simon
Chapter 19: Teaching undergraduate research methods
Teaching research methods is like no other subject area in politics and international relations – those who teach it are often the unlucky ones who ‘can’ do it, not necessarily those with a research expertise in the area. These are courses often labeled as difficult, boring, unnecessary and irrelevant, and yet compulsory – in short, courses with all of the ingredients to make them strong contenders for the most unpopular course award. And yet, all of the successful strategies that work in the teaching of other subject areas should also work for methods teaching. What is more, as a key employability skill and as one of the principle foundations of our discipline, research methods should be an essential area of investment from departments, in particular at undergraduate level. Getting undergraduate methods teaching right has exponential benefits to our student population, as it supports students to then develop and apply methods skills to their other degree modules and, in some cases, develop them further for stronger postgraduate study, at the same time as developing a better understanding of the real world of politics.
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