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ERIC Number: EJ815683
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jan
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-1551-2169
"You Hafta Push": Using Sapphire's Novel to Teach Introduction to American Government
Pappas, Christine
Journal of Political Science Education, v3 n1 p39-50 Jan 2007
Using fiction in the classroom can dramatize public policy issues and political science concepts, therefore, making them more real and relevant to students. Sapphire's 1996 novel "Push" puts a face on welfare, rape, incest, child abuse, educational inequalities, homophobia, and AIDS. I also use this novel to discuss the public policy process, federalism, diversity, and bureaucracy. "Push's" main character, Precious Jones is the original child left behind. Drawing on "surveys" and reaction papers from 176 of my students collected in 2002 and 2004, I conclude that introductory political science students learn more about American government from reading "Push" than from the traditional lecture format. Women particularly report that "Push" has helped them learn difficult concepts and that they "learned a lot from the book." Students who read the book come to empathize with Precious even though they recognize she is very different than they are. Recognition and empathy for those different than us is a key element in citizenship. (Contains 1 figure, 2 tables and 10 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A