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PS - Political Science and Politics


Human rights, ethnic conflict, democratization, colonialism, and development - many upper-level political science courses contain content that is understood differently across cultural contexts. Equipping students to appreciate diverse perspectives on these issues is a challenge that requires creative pedagogical strategies, regardless of whether all students come from the same region of the United States or the class has more than half international students. Professors in both environments have the complex task of guiding students to navigate disparate viewpoints. This article demonstrates the pedagogical potential of an integrated approach to student-led class modules based on a two-semester experiment using a Global Politics of Human Rights course at a small liberal arts college with a large population of international students. One section of the same course was taught in each semester with identical course material but with two different sets of student participants. After situating the challenges and the strategy within the growing literature on active learning, the article provides basic details of the pedagogical approach and three examples of the modules. It concludes with methods for assessing the effectiveness of student-led class modules.

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