Going Dutch? Lessons from the Outcome-Based Political Science Curriculum in the Netherlands

Going Dutch? Lessons from the Outcome-Based Political Science Curriculum in the Netherlands

By Marijke Breuning, University of North Texas

Dutch political science curricula integrate the acquisition of knowledge of the discipline and transferable skills. This makes it an interesting case for US political science education, especially in light of Wahlke’s (1991) recommendations for a structured political science curriculum that incorporates skills training in addition to knowledge of the field. Although some of Wahlke’s recommendations were widely adopted, US political science curricula remain relatively loosely structured and often do not explicitly focus on transferable skills.

This article argues that the Dutch example may help US programs revisit how to best achieve learning outcomes that allow students to acquire both knowledge and transferable skills. This is not an argument for “going Dutch” wholesale; instead, the article suggests modest modifications to US political science curricula.

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