Here are a few lessons I have learned about teaching during my career:
- Students do want to learn and be inspired by new ideas.
- Political science students, in particular, are deeply concerned about the world in which they do, and will, live.
- Most are also passionately interested in appreciating conditions in countries outside of Canada.
- Unfortunately, few students have been well served by their high school education.
- In particular, few have been taught how to write clearly, persuasively, and elegantly.
- Furthermore, a digital culture, which emphasizes instantaneous connection and communication, places less emphasis on sustained, critical, and in-depth reading and analysis.
1. WRITE 50 WORDS. THAT’S A PARAGRAPH.
2. WRITE 400 WORDS. THAT’S A PAGE.
3. WRITE 300 PAGES. THAT’S A MANUSCRIPT.
4. WRITE EVERY DAY. THAT’S A HABIT.
5. EDIT AND REWRITE. THAT’S HOW YOU GET BETTER.
6. SPREAD YOUR WRITING FOR PEOPLE TO COMMENT. THAT’S CALLED FEEDBACK.
7. DON’T WORRY ABOUT REJECTION OR PUBLICATION. THAT’S A WRITER.
8. WHEN NOT WRITING, READ. READ FROM WRITERS BETTER THAN YOU. READ AND PERCEIVE.
AND FOR THE WORDS MOST OFTEN MISSPELLED BY POLITICAL SCIENCE STUDENTS LOOK AT THIS! BENNETT’S SPELL CHECKER
I see it as my job, not just to teach a 13-week course, but also to inspire students in my subject matter for the rest of their lives – to give you a flavor of a subject, to excite your interests and to provoke you to continue to ask critical questions about the way we organize our lives and make collective decisions.
I teach a number of classes at the undergraduate level, mainly in the comparative section of our curriculum: the introductory course on comparative politics, as well as the introductory and advanced courses on American politics and public policy. From time to time, I also teach a more specialized course on “The Politics of the Internet” and “The Politics of Surveillance.” These courses focus on the issues on which I research, the surveillance of modern life, and the protection of personal privacy.
At the graduate level, I teach seminars on “Comparative Politics” and on “Comparative Public Policy and Governance.” I have supervised student research on a range of subjects concerning new technologies, surveillance and the protection of privacy: identity cards, deep packet inspection on the Internet, surveillance at the Winter Olympics, the enhanced drivers’ license, ID scanning in bars, aboriginal health databases, online advertising and surveillance, Human resources databases, and on my recent research project — the use of personal data in election campaigns.