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Integrating Diversity Across the Curriculum: Lessons from Teaching Gender & Race in the American Presidency

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Abstract:

This paper discusses the challenges of integrating diversity across the political science curriculum. I draw on experiences from my attempt to teach gender and race in a course on the American presidency (a bastion of white maleness if there ever was one). The paper reviews how confronting point-of-view-less-ness is essential to diversifying the discipline. Indeed, confronting point-of-view-less-ness enhances innovative teaching pedagogies, gives voice to race and gender in unconventional ways, and also connects students to the ways that race, class, and gender cut across not only the subject of the study of political science—it also connects students to the ways in which political science as a discipline and as a collection of individual scholars is itself beset with race, gender, and class divisions. Another way to conceptualize point-of-view-less-ness is to think about diversity as a “way of knowing” rather than as an object of study, or as a strategy for recruiting underrepresented groups. Diversity as a way of knowing encourages the kind of self-critical reflection that is required for unmasking the points of view that inform our teaching and research. The goals of this paper are to clarify some of the challenges to teaching diversity across the curriculum and to think about how those challenges can be addressed by departments and by individual faculty using diversity as a way of knowing.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

polit (160), divers (110), cours (83), american (76), gender (73), women (67), student (61), scienc (58), presid (57), way (43), enrol (43), studi (38), institut (36), integr (35), disciplin (34), teach (33), particular (33), men (32), relat (31), polici (30), know (30),

Author's Keywords:

Diversity, Gender, Race, Presidency, Political Science Teaching
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Name: APSA Teaching and Learning Conference
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MLA Citation:

Mathews-Gardner, Lanethea. "Integrating Diversity Across the Curriculum: Lessons from Teaching Gender & Race in the American Presidency" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, San Jose Marriott, San Jose, California, Feb 22, 2008 <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p245594_index.html>

APA Citation:

Mathews-Gardner, L. , 2008-02-22 "Integrating Diversity Across the Curriculum: Lessons from Teaching Gender & Race in the American Presidency" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, San Jose Marriott, San Jose, California Online <PDF>. 2013-12-15 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p245594_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: This paper discusses the challenges of integrating diversity across the political science curriculum. I draw on experiences from my attempt to teach gender and race in a course on the American presidency (a bastion of white maleness if there ever was one). The paper reviews how confronting point-of-view-less-ness is essential to diversifying the discipline. Indeed, confronting point-of-view-less-ness enhances innovative teaching pedagogies, gives voice to race and gender in unconventional ways, and also connects students to the ways that race, class, and gender cut across not only the subject of the study of political science—it also connects students to the ways in which political science as a discipline and as a collection of individual scholars is itself beset with race, gender, and class divisions. Another way to conceptualize point-of-view-less-ness is to think about diversity as a “way of knowing” rather than as an object of study, or as a strategy for recruiting underrepresented groups. Diversity as a way of knowing encourages the kind of self-critical reflection that is required for unmasking the points of view that inform our teaching and research. The goals of this paper are to clarify some of the challenges to teaching diversity across the curriculum and to think about how those challenges can be addressed by departments and by individual faculty using diversity as a way of knowing.

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