Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Harris, C;Quinn, B
Irish Political Studies
Teaching, Assessment and Professional Development: Praxis in Ireland's Political Science Community
Optional Fields
Reflecting international and national policies, the strategies of individual educational institutions seek to ensure excellent learning experiences for students. This paper explores the strategies used by political science faculty on the island of Ireland to achieve excellence in their teaching and learning. Drawing on the work of Hartlaub and Lancaster [(2008). Teacher characteristics and pedagogy in political science, Journal of Political Science Education, 4(4), pp. 377-393], Henderson et al. [(2011). Teaching old dogs new tricks or simply using the old tricks at the right time, Journal of Business & Economics Research, 1(3), pp. 69-74] and Moore [(2011). How (and what) political theorists teach: results of a national survey, Journal of Political Science Education, 7(1), pp. 95-128], it uses a survey to gather data on the pedagogical techniques and assessment tools most frequently used by political scientists in their undergraduate and postgraduate classrooms. It also documents the influence of professional development, length of service, annual teaching loads and other contextual issues on their choice of techniques and tools. It finds that a mix of traditional and modern approaches to teaching and assessment is used. The lecture and the essay are the most popular teaching technique and assessment tool in the undergraduate classroom. However, more active learning approaches are used by many faculty. Some clear gender differences are observed in terms of professional development, teaching techniques and assessment tools. Finally, the results suggest a strong commitment to innovation, pedagogic adaptability and continuing professional development at a time of educational constraints and cutbacks.
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