ERIC Number: ED186318
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Assessing a Political Skills Curriculum.
Jackson, Robert M.
This paper describes and evaluates a political skills course for college students. Course objectives include teaching students to do the following: organize and run a meeting; bargain effectively; communicate within and between groups; manage a crisis; organize a political coalition; be aware of personal stress and some of the ways to reduce it; understand the substance of a number of current political issues; and learn about the dynamics of political conflict and cooperation. An attitude survey given to students at the beginning of the course revealed that the students were optimistic and positive about themselves and strongly felt that they would benefit and learn from the course. The major teaching method used in the course was simulations and gaming. Students were involved in many role-playing situations including values clarification and collective-bargaining exercises. In parts of the course students were confronted with a crisis situation, such as a Soviet laser attack of an American missile test flight, and had to make decisions under conditions of stress. On both the standardized and open-ended evaluations, students gave the course a very positive evaluation. On the standardized evaluation, a three item scale designed to measure student perceived learning was ranked consistently at the top or above University-wide norms (25th to 75th percentile range). In the voluntary, open-ended written evaluation, 78% of those who wrote evaluations explicitly made positive comments about the course. (Author/RM)
Descriptors: Basic Skills, Citizen Participation, Citizenship Education, Collective Bargaining, Course Descriptions, Course Evaluation, Decision Making Skills, Games, Higher Education, Political Attitudes, Political Influences, Political Issues, Political Power, Political Science, Role Playing, Simulation, Skill Development, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper prepared for delivery at Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association (Los Angeles, CA, March 1980).