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Institute for Democracy & Higher Education

Book Chapter: The Politically Engaged Classroom

Although college and university professors utilize many different styles of teaching, pedagogies, and approaches to learning in the classroom, some are ideal for fostering student political inter- est, knowledge, and agency. This chapter focuses on discussion-based teaching as a pedagogical approach for faculty members to create political learning opportunities for their students across disciplines. The chapter draws from five qualitative case studies of colleges and universities with higher levels of student political participation, a research project from Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy and Higher Education. These case studies provide a deeper under- standing of how faculty members from across different disciplinary fields can integrate political learning into their classrooms through discussions on controversial social and political issues among students with diverse social identities, ideological perspectives, and lived experiences. 

Book chapter excerpted from Teaching Civic Engagement Across the Disciplines (2017).