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A Crash Course in Learning Communities for the Political Scientist
Unformatted Document Text:  15 person into many different pieces. Learning communities allow faculty members to use the existing curriculum to reconnect the parts. The evidence on learning communities suggests that student intellectual and psycho- social development is improved by participation. Faculty members become rejuvenated as learners once again through rediscovering the boundaries and intersection of their discipline with others. Active learning, collaborative learning, strategies to improve critical thinking, connections between in-class and out-of-class activities all are harnessed toward the goal of creating real learning that forms an individual capable of making informed choices in a democratic society. As political scientists, we should be at the forefront of civic-minded curricular reform. Learning communities are one fruitful avenue to pursue toward that end. References Amoore, Louise, and Langley, Paul. 2001. Experiencing Globalization: Active Teaching andLearning in International Political Economy. International Studies Perspectives 2(Feb): 15-32. Astin, Alexander W. 1993. What Matters in College: Four Critical Years Revisited. SanFrancisco: Jossey-Bass. Barr, Robert B., and Tagg, John. 1995. From Teaching to Learning-- a New Paradigm forUndergraduate Education. Change 27(Nov/Dec): 12-25. Bennett, Douglas C. 1991. Political Science within the Liberal Arts: Towards Renewal of OurCommitment. PS: Political Science and Politics 24(June): 201-04. Boyer, E. L. 1987. College: The Undergraduate Experience in America. New York:HarperCollins. Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University. 1998. ReinventingUndergraduate Education: A Blueprint for America’s Research Universities. Washington, D.C.:Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Burch, Kurt. 2000. A Primer on Problem-Based Learning for International Relations Courses.International Studies Perspectives 1(April): 31-44.

Authors: Thies, Cameron.
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background image
15
person into many different pieces. Learning communities allow faculty members to use the
existing curriculum to reconnect the parts.
The evidence on learning communities suggests that student intellectual and psycho-
social development is improved by participation. Faculty members become rejuvenated as
learners once again through rediscovering the boundaries and intersection of their discipline with
others. Active learning, collaborative learning, strategies to improve critical thinking,
connections between in-class and out-of-class activities all are harnessed toward the goal of
creating real learning that forms an individual capable of making informed choices in a
democratic society. As political scientists, we should be at the forefront of civic-minded
curricular reform. Learning communities are one fruitful avenue to pursue toward that end.
References
Amoore, Louise, and Langley, Paul. 2001. Experiencing Globalization: Active Teaching and
Learning in International Political Economy. International Studies Perspectives 2(Feb): 15-32.
Astin, Alexander W. 1993. What Matters in College: Four Critical Years Revisited. San
Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Barr, Robert B., and Tagg, John. 1995. From Teaching to Learning-- a New Paradigm for
Undergraduate Education. Change 27(Nov/Dec): 12-25.
Bennett, Douglas C. 1991. Political Science within the Liberal Arts: Towards Renewal of Our
Commitment. PS: Political Science and Politics 24(June): 201-04.
Boyer, E. L. 1987. College: The Undergraduate Experience in America. New York:
HarperCollins.
Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University. 1998. Reinventing
Undergraduate Education: A Blueprint for America’s Research Universities
. Washington, D.C.:
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Burch, Kurt. 2000. A Primer on Problem-Based Learning for International Relations Courses.
International Studies Perspectives 1(April): 31-44.


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