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ERIC Number: EJ948797
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 50
ISSN: ISSN-1551-2169
Ditching the Script: Moving beyond "Automatic Thinking" in Introductory Political Science Courses
Glover, Robert W.; Tagliarina, Daniel
Journal of Political Science Education, v7 n4 p394-415 2011
Political science is a challenging field, particularly when it comes to undergraduate teaching. If we are to engage in something more than uncritical ideological instruction, it demands from the student a willingness to approach alien political ideas with intellectual generosity. Yet, students within introductory classes often harbor inherited notions of what the ideal political system ought to be. This attachment to the proper meaning of core political ideas may stultify their consideration of alternative formulations of these concepts. In a related vein, recent research within educational and cognitive psychology examines "automatic thinking" as a prevailing dimension of human cognition. In many instances, researchers find that seemingly thoughtful activity actually draws upon long-settled previous learning so routine and scripted that "true" thinking becomes unnecessary. In order to gain new knowledge, as well as a critical and reflexive understanding of oneself and others, recent research in this vein has advocated the value of exposure to ideas and experience that destabilize these understandings. In order to apply these insights in relation to our field this study is an attempt to offer political science educators: (1) a more precise sense of how such "automatic thinking" operates at a cognitive psychological level, (2) descriptive empirical documentation of what preexisting frames are widespread within the American undergraduate community, and (3) a sketch of ways in which educators might confront "automatic thinking" in the classroom. (Contains 7 figures, 3 tables, and 4 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A