Last updated: Summer 2016.
The following are primarily resources for teaching. If you are a student and looking for resources, see my page: “Students”.
The following are resources I have collected and compiled for myself. I place them here both as a service to myself (a depository of useful information) and in case they might be useful to others. The first section mentions General Higher Education resources. These are mostly links to a variety of online resources. It also includes my remarks on how critical thinking is relevant to the teaching of leadership. The second section are resources that are specific to The Teaching of Political Science, International Relations, and African Politics. This includes resources I have created. One is a “User’s Guide to Political Science”. This guide provides resources for both instructors and students in the task of carrying out and reporting on research (and to a lesser extent, political theory). A second is my article on “The African Politics Research Paper”. A third section covers Grading Resources. A final section includes links to my Recent Courses.
From Wesleyan University: Teaching Matters.
From UC Berkeley:
- UC Berkeley Graduate Student Instructor Teaching and Resource Center
- UC Berkeley Center for Teaching & Learning
Resources at Carleton College.
UC San Diego’s “The College Classroom”. This website is used for training educators and includes a syllabus and other resources.
My remarks on critical thinking and leadership, upon receiving the 2011 Caleb T. Winchester Scholar – Teacher Award from the Xi Chapter of Psi Upsilon at Wesleyan University.
To be a strong leader requires that one be able to make good independent judgments. Good judgment, in turn, rests on the ability to think critically. I am told that many of you are likely to become leaders in our world. So I truly hope all of you apply the skills we impart, to take the information that we have been feeding you in the classroom and let it burn.
Research and writing are central to our activities as political scientists. This website is intended to aid students engaged in a variety of related activities: writing a senior honors thesis, taking courses in research methods, and writing a paper for a government or social science course.
General Political Science
APSA, Syllabi in Political Science
My article for the APCG Symposium: “The African Politics Research Paper”
The African Politics Research Paper does have its own challenges, however. Here I want to discuss two which are core to the experience of writing a research paper on Africa.
Challenge #1: The “Africa is a country” problem.
The first set of challenges are related to students’ lack of familiarity with the African continent. I have seen this problem arise in the research questions students ask, such as: “How does foreign aid impact Africa?” and “Why is there conflict in Africa?”
Features contributions on the use of novels, debate, media, VoIP ,wikis and more.
Contributions by Jennifer Brass, Kim Yi Dionne, Cara Jones, Adrienne LeBas, James D. Long, Stephen Marr, and Kristin Michelitch.
African Security Central: Academic Syllabi Page
Substantive Materials for Courses
Public Agenda provides useful facts and information on current issues
Columbia International Affairs Online has course packs.
I think it is important to let our students know what criteria we use to judge their work. All too often I have found this to be lacking in higher education. Criteria I use for assignments are embedded in the peer editing guide and grading sheets below.
I also find it useful to use some sort of database software to keep track of my students. I prefer that to Moodle (or Blackboard or other options) because it can allow me to include a photo of the student and other useful information in a more flexible format. In the past I have used Bento (no longer stable) and Tap Forms (some problems for me). Filemaker would be another great alternative (for the Mac).
Currently, I use Apple’s Numbers. It isn’t perfect but it allows me to create the general kind of database I like to use (and can be easily exported to common spreadsheet formats for the purpose of longevity or sharing). You can link different spreadsheets in useful ways and include a wide range of material in them. Printing reports for students is a little cumbersome, but possible.