ERIC Number: ED479698
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Aug
Myths about the Physical Sciences and Their Implications for Teaching Political Science.
Hill, Kim Quaile
This paper explicates a notable difficulty faced by political science instructors who teach introductory courses in the scientific method to undergraduates or who, in substantive courses, wish to introduce their students to the scientific study of politics. The paper states that this difficulty arises because the majority of college students, like the majority of the lay public, accepts a number of myths about the political sciences. These myths cloud their understanding of social science and that social phenomena can be studied scientifically. The paper defines and discusses the character of five such myths, explaining the negative contrast with the social sciences that accompanies each one. It offers evidence from the physical sciences to explain how these myths incorrectly characterize scientific practice and results in those disciplines. It discusses teaching strategies by which political scientists can overcome these myths. The paper concludes that teachers must employ as much creativity in their teaching to dispel these myths as they bring to substantive research. Contains a 40-item bibliography. (Author/BT)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (99th, Philadelphia, PA, August 28-31, 2003).