Learning Objectives for Intro to Comparative

Here are the learning objectives for my introduction to comparative politics course.  In other words, students who have taken that course should have developed the following competencies:

  • learning.jpgUnderstand and use the tools of both qualitative and quantitative analysis to ask and answer questions about substantive issues in comparative politics.
  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the comparative method and its variants.
  • Effectively discuss the development of comparative politics as a sub-discipline in the field of political science.
  • To be able to understand and effectively critique a state-of-the art scholarly article in the field of comparative politics.
  • Discuss competently the merits of empirical and statistical evidence that is used in the field of comparative politics.
  • Analyze various substantive issues in comparative politics from culturalist, institutionalist, and rational choice perspectives.
  • Express fundamental concepts in comparative politics both verbally and in written form.
  • Use extant on-line cross-national databases to access and find data appropriate to comparing countries across the world with respect to basic political attitudes and ideologies.
  • Describe and understand the tri-partite structure of society–state, civil society, and market–and understand the interactions amongst them.
  • Assess the nature of democracy–its causes, consequences and how democratic regimes vary across the world.
  • Develop a broad understanding of the nature of contemporary states across the world, from the most developed states to the least developed.
  • Acquire the ability and the tools to effectively compare the states of the world on a broad range of issues, from economic development, to state strength, to governance, and social diversity.
  • Write an effective critical paper on a topic related to comparative politics.
  • Effectively use the electronic educational tool, Blackboard, to upload and download materials, make use of discussion-type tools facilitating online discussion and interaction with class members outside of class sessions.
  • Locate appropriate library resources, both printed and electronic, to aid in the writing of critical papers.
  • Learn to find, assess the legitimacy and veracity of, and use online resources related to comparative politics.
  • Demonstrate a strong understanding of these aforementioned concepts in examination format, working under the pressure of a time limit.
  • Develop the skills necessary to effectively critically evaluate and discuss the production of political knowledge.
  • Develop the ability to become discerning and thoughtful consumers of political knowledge, whether that knowledge is created by politicians and other political leaders, the media, other citizens, or the students themselves.
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