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Integrating Diversity Across the Curriculum: Lessons from Teaching Gender & Race in the American Presidency
Unformatted Document Text:  economic policy, international studies, American political thought, on one end; and gender, politics, & policy, American political development, social justice policy, and public health policy, on the other end—reaffirm some broader gender divisions in the profession while raising questions about others. According to APSA, women are more likely than men to indicate research specialty in the subfields of comparative politics and public policy; men are more likely to indicate research specialty in research methods. Beyond this, according to APSA, men and women are about equally as likely to specialize in international relations, political theory, and American politics. The differences between women’s and men’s course enrollments at Muhlenberg do not conform to this general pattern. Beyond the presence or absence of women relative to their presence in the major and the student population, the simple ratio of men to women within a particular course can have an impact on student learning, transmitting messages to students (whether intended or not) about the broader context of learning, the relationship between men and women to the subject matter, and the opportunities available to men and women in the field. Table 3 suggests that the challenges of promoting an integrated, diversified curriculum college-wide are replicated—and perhaps implicated—at the departmental level. The point here is not to suggest that faculty or department s our goals as individual faculty or as departments is to should strive for gender parity per se in our courses. My experiences collecting this data have revealed, however, three important observations about our efforts to integrate diversity into individual classes and the political science curriculum. First, most faculty, departments, and institution administrators have no idea which classes are under- or over-representing particular kinds of students. Simply collecting and reflecting on this kind of 17

Authors: Mathews-Gardner, Lanethea.
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economic policy, international studies, American political thought, on one end; and gender,
politics, & policy, American political development, social justice policy, and public health
policy, on the other end—reaffirm some broader gender divisions in the profession while raising
questions about others. According to APSA, women are more likely than men to indicate
research specialty in the subfields of comparative politics and public policy; men are more likely
to indicate research specialty in research methods. Beyond this, according to APSA, men and
women are about equally as likely to specialize in international relations, political theory, and
American politics. The differences between women’s and men’s course enrollments at
Muhlenberg do not conform to this general pattern.
Beyond the presence or absence of women relative to their presence in the major and the
student population, the simple ratio of men to women within a particular course can have an
impact on student learning, transmitting messages to students (whether intended or not) about the
broader context of learning, the relationship between men and women to the subject matter, and
the opportunities available to men and women in the field. Table 3 suggests that the challenges
of promoting an integrated, diversified curriculum college-wide are replicated—and perhaps
implicated—at the departmental level.
The point here is not to suggest that
faculty or department
s
our goals as individual faculty
or as departments is to should
strive for gender parity per se in our courses. My experiences
collecting this data have revealed, however, three important observations about our efforts to
integrate diversity into individual classes and the political science curriculum. First, most
faculty, departments, and institution administrators have no idea which classes are under- or
over-representing particular kinds of students. Simply collecting and reflecting on this kind of
17


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