APSA Awards a Peer-to-Peer Pedagogical Partnership Grant

Dr. John Messmer, St. Louis Community College

Introductory college-level courses are often some of the most challenging classes for teachers to design, especially when those courses are mandatory for students to take. Students with varied backgrounds and life experiences come to these courses with different degrees of interest in or knowledge of Political Science, and there is no “one-size-fits-all” way to design a course that will engage and inform such a diverse group. To effectively create an introductory level course that is well-suited for their classroom, teachers need to be able to draw upon a wide range of pedagogical strategies and course materials. The American Political Science Association’s Centennial Center for Political Science and Public Affairs is pleased to announce that it is supporting the creation of such a resource through a $35,000 Peer-to-Peer Pedagogical Partnership (P4) Grant that it is awarding to “The Missouri Plan for Shared Instructional Resources for Introductory Courses.”

Dr. James Endersby, University of Missouri, Columbia

The “Missouri Plan” project, which is led by Drs. James Endersby (University of Missouri, Columbia), John P. Messmer (St. Louis Community College), and Nicole R. Foster Shoaf (Missouri Southern University) will bring together political science educators from across the University of Missouri System and the state’s many other public colleges, including community colleges, to develop and share instructional resources and activities. The principal investigators will recruit representatives from other colleges and universities throughout the state for joint meetings on teaching, primarily for introductory political science courses taken within a student’s first two years. A particular emphasis will be on the introductory American Government course offered at all institutions due to state legislative mandate for all students to have a course on the American and Missouri Constitutions. Moreover, special efforts will be made to attract schools with a substantial number of students who come from first generation, disadvantaged, and under-represented minorities. An in-person meeting of delegates from these schools will be held in Columbia, Missouri, for a full day in late May or early June 2022. Selected presenters will discuss common efforts to motivate students and to improve instructional delivery. Attendees with discuss what resources and teaching strategies are likely to improve teaching performance. Following the meeting, in the summer and fall, these resources and description of strategies will be distributed (to attendees and their colleagues), maintained, and updated.

Dr. Nicole Foster Shoaf, Missouri State Southern University

Peer-to-Peer Pedagogical Partnership grants support collaboration among political science faculty at two-year and four-year institutions. Through this collaboration, faculty share best practices for mentoring first-generation, underrepresented minority, and economically disadvantaged students to develop cutting-edge teaching materials. The long-term goal of P4 is to strengthen ties between political science faculty and improve political science instruction and mentoring across higher-education institutions. P4 grants are made possible thanks to the generosity of the Ivywood Foundation.

Grant at a Glance

Title: “The Missouri Plan for Shared Instructional Resources for Introductory Courses”

Amount: $35,000

Proposed Timeline: March 2022 – August 2022

Project Leads:

  • James Endersby, University of Missouri, Columbia
  • John Messmer, St. Louis Community College
  • Nicole Foster Shoaf, Missouri State Southern University