Citation

The Importance of Teaching Research Methods to Undergrads

Abstract | Word Stems | Keywords | Association | Citation | Get this Document | Similar Titles




STOP!

You can now view the document associated with this citation by clicking on the "View Document as HTML" link below.

View Document as HTML:
Click here to view the document

Abstract:

One of the most critical problems undergraduates face is learning to think in a systematic and analytical way about political questions. Students must learn to move beyond rote memorization and the recitation of facts as they are expected to engage more in creative and insightful analysis and critique. Fortunately, Research Methods courses can help mitigate this problem by introducing students to the basic principles of the scientific method and teaching them to think more systematically about such things as validity and causal mechanisms. By teaching students to question basic assumptions and challenging them to think beyond their own personal experiences, methods courses give students valuable analytical tools necessary not only in studying political science or writing research papers and policy memos, but also in engaging with the world in a deeper, more critical way necessary for enhanced democratic citizenship.
Unfortunately, there is a great deal of fear and apprehension surrounding Research Methods, pre-disposing students to hate the course, wish they weren’t required to take it, and hope to only scrape by with the bare minimum in order to get the course over and done. This phenomenon renders the course quite unlike almost any other in political science, giving rise to unique pedagogical questions. How can this anxiety be mitigated? What benefits might help attract students to the subject? How might the psychological barriers be broken down so students maximize the benefits the course has to offer?
To answer these questions, this paper seeks to do two things. First, the paper seeks to examine the impact Research Methods courses have on students’ performance in other political science classes. Unfortunately, the picture here looks rather bleak. Thus, the second aim of the paper is to address the problem of why the Research Methods course doesn’t provide a more appreciable impact on student performance. Using the results of student surveys and interviews with Methods instructors at UC Santa Barbara, this paper helps illuminate where some of the problems lie and provides recommendations for increasing the course’s effectiveness. More broadly, the paper will argue that by demonstrating more clearly to students how the course is directly relevant to their daily needs and future ambitions, educators can reduce some of the anxiety surrounding the subject matter and motivate students to become active participants in the learning process. The paper will close with recommendations to help engage the students more effectively. If we, as educators, can truly engage the students, we can help them not only become better scholars, but also more savvy consumers of information.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

cours (121), student (112), method (70), research (61), polit (43), learn (30), skill (25), scienc (23), teach (21), help (21), think (20), one (18), logic (17), statist (17), analysi (17), class (17), import (16), problem (16), take (16), differ (16), would (14),
Convention
Need a solution for abstract management? All Academic can help! Contact us today to find out how our system can help your annual meeting.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

Association:
Name: APSA Teaching and Learning Conference
URL:
http://www.apsanet.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p245607_index.html
Direct Link:
HTML Code:

MLA Citation:

Gjestland, Jade-Celene. "The Importance of Teaching Research Methods to Undergrads" 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/p245607_index.html>

APA Citation:

Gjestland, J. , 2008-02-22 "The Importance of Teaching Research Methods to Undergrads" 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/p245607_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: One of the most critical problems undergraduates face is learning to think in a systematic and analytical way about political questions. Students must learn to move beyond rote memorization and the recitation of facts as they are expected to engage more in creative and insightful analysis and critique. Fortunately, Research Methods courses can help mitigate this problem by introducing students to the basic principles of the scientific method and teaching them to think more systematically about such things as validity and causal mechanisms. By teaching students to question basic assumptions and challenging them to think beyond their own personal experiences, methods courses give students valuable analytical tools necessary not only in studying political science or writing research papers and policy memos, but also in engaging with the world in a deeper, more critical way necessary for enhanced democratic citizenship.
Unfortunately, there is a great deal of fear and apprehension surrounding Research Methods, pre-disposing students to hate the course, wish they weren’t required to take it, and hope to only scrape by with the bare minimum in order to get the course over and done. This phenomenon renders the course quite unlike almost any other in political science, giving rise to unique pedagogical questions. How can this anxiety be mitigated? What benefits might help attract students to the subject? How might the psychological barriers be broken down so students maximize the benefits the course has to offer?
To answer these questions, this paper seeks to do two things. First, the paper seeks to examine the impact Research Methods courses have on students’ performance in other political science classes. Unfortunately, the picture here looks rather bleak. Thus, the second aim of the paper is to address the problem of why the Research Methods course doesn’t provide a more appreciable impact on student performance. Using the results of student surveys and interviews with Methods instructors at UC Santa Barbara, this paper helps illuminate where some of the problems lie and provides recommendations for increasing the course’s effectiveness. More broadly, the paper will argue that by demonstrating more clearly to students how the course is directly relevant to their daily needs and future ambitions, educators can reduce some of the anxiety surrounding the subject matter and motivate students to become active participants in the learning process. The paper will close with recommendations to help engage the students more effectively. If we, as educators, can truly engage the students, we can help them not only become better scholars, but also more savvy consumers of information.

Get this Document:

Find this citation or document at one or all of these locations below. The links below may have the citation or the entire document for free or you may purchase access to the document. Clicking on these links will change the site you're on and empty your shopping cart.

Abstract Only APSA Teaching and Learning Conference
Abstract Only Political Research Online
Abstract Only All Academic Inc.


Similar Titles:
Multiple Methods, More Success: How to Help Students of All Learning Styles Succeed in Quantitative Political Analysis Courses

Effectiveness of Small-Group Learning in Statistics and Research Methods College Classes: A Multilevel Meta-Analysis Approach

Critical Thinking Skills: Finding Compelling Ways to Teach Students to Think Analytically and Systematically in Political Science


 
All Academic, Inc. is your premier source for research and conference management. Visit our website, www.allacademic.com, to see how we can help you today.