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Model Capstone Exercise to Incorporate Global Perspective into Amer Gvt GE Courses

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Abstract:

This paper examines a model capstone exercise designed to internationalize the Political Science curriculum by incorporating a Global Perspective into core American Government courses at both the Junior College and four-year University levels.



Viable with and tested in both classroom and on-line offerings, this exercise has been juried and its success assessed in classes as small as 15 and as large as 125. Student learning outcome measurements, pre- vs. post-participation, evidenced a very significant increase in the overall understanding of U.S. Political Systems over classes not experiencing this exercise. Furthermore, a marked increase was measured in the theoretical understanding of geopolitical and sociological forces, as well as an appreciation of the causes of immigration waves and domestic responses, and where those patterns connect to repeat historically.



As examined in depth by this paper, each student becomes involved by examining one of five distinct waves of U.S. immigration, viewing the movement through a specific lens - Constitutionalism and Federalism, Civil Liberties and Civil Rights, Interest Groups and Political Parties, Campaigns and Elections, Congress and Judiciary or Presidency and Bureaucracy. This examination encourages students to hone their independent research skills and inculcates information competency into the curriculum. In bringing together the independent research to create a themed presentation to the class as a whole, this exercise also helps students develop teamwork and negotiation skills. An added benefit is the students’ ability to develop a specific understanding of the international context for responses to immigration, such as competing ideologies, nativism, ethnocentricity, and isolationism – themes one might not expect to receive in a conventional American Government course.



The five distinct waves used in this model include the French in 1798, Irish in the 1830s, Chinese in the 1870s, Hungarians in the 1890s, and Central and South Americans in the 2000s. As this paper will show, however, taking advantage of local interest in any one specific wave of immigration provides a great hook to encourage scholarly interest and student enthusiasm.



Tools students use to conduct this examination include a thorough textbook study, on-line research, film and sound recordings, group work, individual study and class discussion. Methods of assessment and measurement of success evidenced in this paper were controlled through testing in multiple semesters, varying class size at two and four year colleges, varying geographic locations, and wide-ranging student population demographics. This paper includes a detailed literature review, and discusses the effort behind crafting the exercise, the challenges faced in implementing and evaluating it, and a fully detailed student learning outcome assessment.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

inform (114), student (77), immigr (47), class (37), use (34), american (33), outcom (31), includ (30), liter (27), elect (26), need (26), act (26), civil (25), polit (24), understand (24), assign (24), b (23), research (22), present (21), team (20), exercis (20),

Author's Keywords:

Immigration, American Government, General Ed
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MLA Citation:

Kiraly, Michael. "Model Capstone Exercise to Incorporate Global Perspective into Amer Gvt GE Courses" 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/p245692_index.html>

APA Citation:

Kiraly, M. Z. , 2008-02-22 "Model Capstone Exercise to Incorporate Global Perspective into Amer Gvt GE Courses" 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/p245692_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: This paper examines a model capstone exercise designed to internationalize the Political Science curriculum by incorporating a Global Perspective into core American Government courses at both the Junior College and four-year University levels.



Viable with and tested in both classroom and on-line offerings, this exercise has been juried and its success assessed in classes as small as 15 and as large as 125. Student learning outcome measurements, pre- vs. post-participation, evidenced a very significant increase in the overall understanding of U.S. Political Systems over classes not experiencing this exercise. Furthermore, a marked increase was measured in the theoretical understanding of geopolitical and sociological forces, as well as an appreciation of the causes of immigration waves and domestic responses, and where those patterns connect to repeat historically.



As examined in depth by this paper, each student becomes involved by examining one of five distinct waves of U.S. immigration, viewing the movement through a specific lens - Constitutionalism and Federalism, Civil Liberties and Civil Rights, Interest Groups and Political Parties, Campaigns and Elections, Congress and Judiciary or Presidency and Bureaucracy. This examination encourages students to hone their independent research skills and inculcates information competency into the curriculum. In bringing together the independent research to create a themed presentation to the class as a whole, this exercise also helps students develop teamwork and negotiation skills. An added benefit is the students’ ability to develop a specific understanding of the international context for responses to immigration, such as competing ideologies, nativism, ethnocentricity, and isolationism – themes one might not expect to receive in a conventional American Government course.



The five distinct waves used in this model include the French in 1798, Irish in the 1830s, Chinese in the 1870s, Hungarians in the 1890s, and Central and South Americans in the 2000s. As this paper will show, however, taking advantage of local interest in any one specific wave of immigration provides a great hook to encourage scholarly interest and student enthusiasm.



Tools students use to conduct this examination include a thorough textbook study, on-line research, film and sound recordings, group work, individual study and class discussion. Methods of assessment and measurement of success evidenced in this paper were controlled through testing in multiple semesters, varying class size at two and four year colleges, varying geographic locations, and wide-ranging student population demographics. This paper includes a detailed literature review, and discusses the effort behind crafting the exercise, the challenges faced in implementing and evaluating it, and a fully detailed student learning outcome assessment.

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