by Valerie Cooley and Andrew Pennock
To conduct a policy analysis, students must master foundational concepts and apply them using critical and evaluative thinking. A film-based assignment allows students to practice the steps of policy analysis in a low-stakes setting that requires a limited investment of time. Ideally, the assignment is used as an initial practice exercise before engaging in applied projects later in the semester. The applied projects are enhanced because students already have used the steps of policy analysis and been given feedback in a sheltered setting. We suggest using animated films for this assignment because they force students to define problems, solutions, and criteria without reference to existing practices or dominant perspectives. Therefore, student time and instructor feedback is devoted to developing what Bardach termed “first-rate thinking.” Concentrating attention on logical thought processes builds a strong foundation for further training in policy analysis.
A Mickey Mouse Assignment? Teaching Policy Analysis Through Animated Films, PS: Political Science and Politics, by Valerie Cooley and Andrew Pennock / Volume 48 / Issue 04 / October 2015, pp 601-606