Pedagogy Through the Research Process

Call for Proposals: Pedagogy Through the Research Process

Daniel J. Mallinson, Julia Marin Hellwege, and Eric D. Loepp, eds.

This CFP is now closed and the book proposal is out for review with Palgrave Mcmillan.

Background:

This proposed edited volume aims to address questions of why political science programs teach research methods and, centrally, how instructors come to teach these courses and develop their pedagogical approaches. While research-intensive institutions may be able to hire political scientists who specialize in methodology, they do not typically teach undergraduate methods and the vast majority of programs at other schools assign methods courses to instructors with substantive expertise in other subfields of political science, such as American politics, comparative politics, and international relations, among others. In this way, methods courses are often viewed as service courses. But at the same time, the research process is a core component of the political science curriculum. Nearly every political science program requires at least one course in methods in order to graduate. This raises questions around what we are expecting our students to learn from these courses. Should methods courses primarily aim to provide a background in statistics so students can read political science articles in other courses? Or are they treated as a primer to graduate education for future academics? Alternatively, do instructors focus more on civic skills like information literacy, data visualization, and consumption or on research production? Or perhaps some design methods courses in order to cultivate students’ general skill sets (e.g., data management) that transfer across disparate professions? In short, what is the point of teaching research methods and how do we do it?

What we are asking for:

We are seeking proposals for autobiographical essays of about 3500-4000 words that focuses on your development as a teacher of one of the following four topics that will structure the volume:

  1. Information Literacy
  2. Research Design
  3. Statistics
  4. Research Writing

We would like each chapter to be a reflection both on your personal development as an instructor as well as how you developed your pedagogical approach to your topic. Here are suggestions for a successful chapter:

  1. In order to create empathy with your audience, we suggest beginning the chapter with a reflection on your experiences of teaching at the beginning of your career. Perhaps revisit your teaching philosophy from that time or a concrete story regarding your teaching approach at that time. This serves as an anchor for describing the development of your pedagogy.
  2. Then provide a developmental narrative. How did you learn to teach information literacy/research design/statistics/writing? Where you hired explicitly to do this or did it fall into your portfolio later? How did you feel about having to teach research and how did those feelings compare to teaching other topical courses? What kinds of pedagogical approaches have you come to use and what have you learned to avoid? Your answers should not be focused on assessment data or evidence. Instead, we are looking for reflective narratives about your experiences.
  3. Aim to provide the reader with a tangible take away. Describe one specific practice or technique that epitomizes your approach to teaching. Please describe the technique/practices in detail, but using a narrative as opposed to instructions on how to replicate it.

We are not asking for a full chapter at this time, simply a 300-400 word abstract that describes your vision for what you would discuss in a chapter. Please explicitly connect your chapter to one of the four sections outlined above.

Proposals are due by May 8. Send to mallinson@psu.edu, Julia.Hellwege@usd.edu, and loeppe@uww.edu. We will review all proposals and expect to respond within two weeks. We are aiming for a July 1 deadline for full chapters.