APSA’s Teaching & Learning Conference: Facilitating Meaningful Exchanges among Teacher-Scholars since 2005

2018 APSA Teaching & Learning Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

APSA’s Teaching and Learning Conference (TLC) is the only meeting of its kind dedicated entirely to pedagogy in political science and connecting faculty from all over the country and abroad in an environment conducive to discussing the latest research on teaching and learning. Additionally, it provides a space for networking, collaboration, and the advancement of enhanced methods for incorporating research and teaching. The Teaching and Learning Conference (TLC) began in 2005 in Bethesda, Maryland, following a small pilot in 2004. The inaugural TLC brought 40 political scientists from around the country to Washington, DC and the number of attendees has increased significantly since then.

Promoting the scholarship of teaching and learning, equipping faculty with new techniques and resources, and enhancing teaching in the discipline are the primary goals of this conference.

The TLC is different from the APSA Annual Meeting in that participants present their papers in workshop-style track sessions. Track sessions consist of several panels over the course of the conference and follow specific themes. Track participants stay within their track for the duration, providing more meaningful interactions among attendees. For the 2020 conference, tracks include presentations focused on Civic Engagement, Simulations and Games, General Education and Interdisciplinary Teaching, The Virtual and Technology Enhanced Classroom, The Inclusive Classroom, Teaching Research, Writing, and Information Literacy, Community Engagement and Experiential Learning, and Rethinking the Undergraduate Political Science Major.

2018 APSA Teaching & Learning Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

TLC themes have focused on various aspects of teaching in the discipline, from “Making Sense of Politics and Political Science” to “Teaching Inclusivity: Integrating Multiple Approaches to Curriculum.”

The 2020 APSA Teaching & Learning Conference will strive to continue supporting and sharing excellence in teaching and learning among scholars. The theme for the 2020 TLC is “Teaching to Empower Students.” In the conference call for proposals, the program co-chairs, Sara Parker (Chabot College) and Shane Nordyke (University of South Dakota), asked: “As students encounter an often-tumultuous reality that includes an evolving academy, uncertain job markets, and an increasingly contentious political sphere, how can we empower them to thrive in their educational and individual pursuits and ensure that they are prepared to solve tomorrow’s problems?  Specifically, what teaching and learning strategies can we employ to build the skills and confidence our students will need?” TLC participants will tackle these questions head on through a mixture of track panel sessions and workshops. The 2020 TLC features a new exciting professional development series as well, including workshops on “Articulating Your Teaching Philosophy” and “Using the Classroom as a Springboard for Broader Voter Student Engagement.”

2017 APSA Teaching & Learning Conference Opening Reception in Long Beach, California.

Over the years, TLC has had considerable impact on teaching political science by providing an avenue to facilitate discussions among political scientists. Many political scientists have implemented some of the innovative techniques and simulations they learned at the TLCs.

“My first Teaching and Learning Conference (TLC) was back in 2007, in Charlotte, NC, when a colleague and I decided that it would be a convenient venue for sharing our experience with a Middle East crisis simulation with a wider audience. I’ve attended every TLC since then because of its contributions to my scholarship and professional development.” Dr. Chad Raymond, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Salve Regina University.

APSA is thrilled to continue this tradition of encouraging effective academic and professional development of our members through TLC 2020. The 16th APSA Teaching & Learning Conference will take place February 7- February 9, 2020 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Early bird registration is open through December 14, 2019. Register now to attend APSA’s premier conference focused on the pursuit of excellence in the practice and scholarship of teaching and learning in political science. Visit the 2020 TLC website to learn more about the track panels and the workshops.