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ERIC Number: EJ810895
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 60
ISSN: ISSN-1551-2169
Jon Stewart Comes to Class: The Learning Effects of "America (The Book)" in Introduction to American Government Courses
Baumgartner, Jody C.; Morris, Jonathan S.
Journal of Political Science Education, v4 n2 p169-186 Apr 2008
This project posits that incorporating political humor into the classroom can have a positive effect on learning in higher education. Specifically, we present preliminary findings from a quasi-experiment in which a humorous, "mock" textbook titled America (The Book) (Stewart, Karlin, and Javerbaum 2004) was incorporated into Introduction to American Government curricula in conjunction with a standard textbook. Our hypothesis argues that humorous presentations of politics and government can enhance the learning process and increase test scores by way of Matthew Baum's (2003a) "gateway" or "incidental by-product" effects. Our empirical findings show no such learning effect. Our qualitative evidence, however, suggests that humor-based teaching is clearly more engaging and interesting for the students. (Contains 4 tables and 4 notes.)
Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A