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Using Current Events to Develop Classroom Simulations
Unformatted Document Text:  Teaching political science is constantly challenging. Luckily, instructors have available to them a number of teaching methods to facilitate the learning process. I'm interested in exploring two such methods, current events and classroom simulations, in order to combine the use of these time-honored teaching tools in a new and engaging way. Incorporating current events in the learning process is a common technique used in political science courses. Relating the course material to things that are happening in the real world helps students see the importance of the concepts they are studying and helps them connect with political science in a more meaningful way. Making reading a newspaper a course requirement or discussing the day's news in class are common methods of providing students with the type of concrete experience that will encourage their engagement in the material . Classroom simulations, or role-playing activities, have been receiving increased attention in recent years. Evidence of this is found in the number of pedagogical articles published on the topic , and the inclusion of a track on simulations in the American Political Science Association's Teaching and Learning Conference. Unfortunately, the use of simulations is limited by the availability of simulations that are applicable to specific course material . This is one reason why it is valuable to bring together these two great learning tools, classroom simulations and current events, to enhance student learning. By using current events to develop classroom simulations, professors will always have potential simulations on hand that are applicable to a wide variety of courses. Even more importantly, professors can develop the skills to create their own simulations, which are infinitely more applicable to the course material than those designed without one's own students and one's own syllabus in mind. 2

Authors: Glazier, Rebecca.
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Teaching political science is constantly challenging. Luckily, instructors have available
to them a number of teaching methods to facilitate the learning process. I'm interested in
exploring two such methods, current events and classroom simulations, in order to combine the
use of these time-honored teaching tools in a new and engaging way.
Incorporating current events in the learning process is a common technique used in
political science courses. Relating the course material to things that are happening in the real
world helps students see the importance of the concepts they are studying and helps them
connect with political science in a more meaningful way. Making reading a newspaper a course
requirement or discussing the day's news in class are common methods of providing students
with the type of concrete experience that will encourage their engagement in the material .
Classroom simulations, or role-playing activities, have been receiving increased attention
in recent years. Evidence of this is found in the number of pedagogical articles published on the
topic , and the inclusion of a track on simulations in the American Political Science Association's
Teaching and Learning Conference.
Unfortunately, the use of simulations is limited by the availability of simulations that are
applicable to specific course material . This is one reason why it is valuable to bring together
these two great learning tools, classroom simulations and current events, to enhance student
learning. By using current events to develop classroom simulations, professors will always have
potential simulations on hand that are applicable to a wide variety of courses. Even more
importantly, professors can develop the skills to create their own simulations, which are
infinitely more applicable to the course material than those designed without one's own students
and one's own syllabus in mind.
2


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