Political Science & Politics


The West Wing as a Pedagogical Tool 001

Staci L. Beavers a1
a1 California State University, San Marcos


For those who study and teach politics or history for a living, The West Wing unsheathes a double-edged sword. A great strength of the series is its ability to put a human face on engaging political discussions, demonstrating that politics can be accessible and enjoyable. However, this fictional White House also presents potential dangers. The purpose of The West Wing is to entertain rather than to educate, and the program deliberately plays the emotions of viewers through such techniques as background music and sophisticated camera work.


001 An earlier version of this paper was presented at the American Presidency on Film Conference, Los Angeles, November 2000.