PS: Political Science & Politics

The Teacher

Teaching Diversity: Using a Multifaceted Approach to Engage Students

Arthur H. Auerbacha1

a1 University of Southern California

Abstract

The traditional format for teaching courses to undergraduate students has long been that of lecture when professors speak and students listen. However, as times have evolved so too have the pedagogical methods in the classroom. In teaching a course on diversity and discrimination in the society, this instructor opted to combine several teaching methods as a means of not only conveying the substantive material to the class but, more importantly, engaging the students at an interactive learning level. By combining traditional lecture with watching/discussing documentaries and incorporating structured student debate, a dynamic learning environment was created. As a result of incorporating the students into every aspect of the class, the students learned from both the instructor and students alike. Thus, the use of this multifaceted approach created a positive and engaging learning environment for the whole class.

Arthur H. Auerbach is an assistant professor (teaching) in the department of political science at the University of Southern California. He can be reached at aauerbac@usc.edu.

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