Active Learning in an Introductory Comparative Politics Classroom

By Debra Holzhauer.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

To what extent do active learning strategies assist students in learning complex concepts? The current paper explores this inquiry utilizing data concerning three role-playing simulations in an introductory comparative politics course to reinforce such concepts as cohabitation, coalition government, and federalism. The hypothesis that students gain greater knowledge of such abstract concepts is subsequently tested utilizing pre- and post-simulation surveys, debriefing responses, and in-class exams. The results indicate that simulations play an important role in enhancing student subjective knowledge, but not necessarily their objective knowledge.

Keywords: Active Learning, Role-Playing, Simulations, Short Games, Comparative Politics, Subjective Knowledge, Objective Knowledge, France, Germany, Russia

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 7, pp.27-36. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 603.585KB).

Dr. Debra Holzhauer

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Philosophy, and Religion, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, USA

Assistant Professor of Political Science at Southeast Missouri State University. She was the recipient of a 2007-2008 Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grant from Southeast Missouri State University for the completion of this study.

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