Winter 2006     ISSN 1096-1453     Volume 10, Issue 4     Editorial (2)
Teaching Political Science:  Accomplishments and Challenges  These are exciting times 
for those interested in the pedagogy of political science.  The Political Science 
Education section of the American Political Science Association has established a 
new academic journal and annual conference, both devoted to the scholarship of 
teaching and learning in political science.  Furthermore, there has been an 
appreciable increase in interest and awareness among political science instructors 
regarding teaching techniques, curricular development, and pedagogical innovation 
in general.  

Indeed, this special issue of Academic Exchange Quarterly is a testament to the 
depth and breadth of work being done in political science education.  The articles 
in this issue address both macro- and micro-issues of political science pedagogy.  
Murphy and Reidy explore the signature pedagogy of political science in comparative 
perspective, while White, Malik and Chrastil examine International Studies as an 
emerging interdisciplinary major.  Hamann, Pollock and Wilson empirically analyze 
the effectiveness of on-line learning in political science, while Gordon and 
Gillespie utilize a survey to demonstrate that extracurricular activities such as 
Mock Trial can benefit students’ learning outcomes.  Wilkerson and Fruland describe 
a promising Web-based virtual legislative simulation, and Wheeler discusses the 
potentials and pitfalls of using simulations and role-playing exercises.  Engstrom 
demonstrates how the standard American government class can benefit from 
international and comparative examples, and Brown and Paul discuss their success in 
improving their teaching in a course on interest groups by assigning and discussing 
a highly satiric novel. 

The rigorous and thoughtful articles in this issue demonstrate the health of the 
subfield of political science pedagogy.  Nonetheless, several brief suggestions 
directed to the field as a whole may be in order.  First, I would suggest that 
scholars of political science pedagogy would benefit from a greater awareness of 
general research in higher education.  Too often, scholars tend to read only those 
journals and newsletters from their particular discipline.  While this tendency is 
certainly efficient for most scholarly work, it is less profitable for the 
scholarship of teaching and learning.  Pedagogical research often transcends 
disciplines, and political scientists may be overlooking important debates and 
advancements regarding educational practice by reading only disciplinary journals.  
Thus, political scientists (and other scholars, of course) can benefit by reading 
general education journals, including Academic Exchange Quarterly, and incorporating 
those insights into teaching practices and scholarly work. 

Related to the above, I hope that political scientists will continue to submit 
pedagogical articles to general educational research journals, so that the fruits 
of this research are not always limited to the political science community.  
Political scientists can bring a unique perspective to educational research–one 
that is informed by awareness of political and institutional dynamics as well as 
sophisticated methodological analysis.  The articles in this issue demonstrate the 
unique contributions that political scientists can make to the educational 
Dr. David L. Weiden
Assistant Professor, Department of Politics and Government
Illinois State University

See CFP for the next Teaching Political Science issue Winter 2007