What are we writing about? The scholarship of teaching and learning in political science

Craig, John (2012) What are we writing about? The scholarship of teaching and learning in political science. In: APSA Teaching and Learning Conference 2012 : Teaching Political Science : Relevance in a Changing World; 17-19 Feb 2012, Washington, U.S.. (Unpublished)


It is ten years since Kehl (2002) identified the increasing number of SOTL papers being produced by political scientists. As noted by Hamann et al (2009) and Whitman and Richlin (2007) this trend has developed further, with increasing levels of research and publishing activity in political science education being observed in a number of national contexts. This is reflected in the content of the International Political Education Database (IPED), hosted by the UK Political Studies Association Teaching and Learning Group, which includes over a thousand journal articles on teaching and learning in politics. The paper aims to provide an up-to-date survey of the scope of this literature, identify the key themes which have emerged as the focus of study. It argues that while this now constitutes an impressive body of academic literature, there remain areas that require further development. These include the need for: a greater consensus on what constitutes research quality within the field; a greater degree of scholarly debate within the literature; and greater reflection on the political nature of the teaching and learning of political science. Attention to these issues, it is argued, will support the further development of this field through the coming decade.

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