Teaching the Arab World and the West…As an Arab in the West

Teaching the Arab World and the West…As an Arab in the West

by Samer Abboud, Arcadia University

How do the subjective experiences of faculty and students shape the classroom and the study of global politics? Can our subjective experiences support the pedagogical goal of developing critical thinking skills? In this article, I draw on my experiences teaching an undergraduate course called The Arab World and the West with respect to my own identity as a Canadian-born Arab and my academic commitment to fostering critical thinking skills among my students. I am particularly interested in reflecting on how the subjective experiences of faculty and students can provide space for personal reflection and collective inquiry, which in turn can serve to foster critical thinking skills. This model of engaged pedagogy encourages students to think of themselves and their peers as part of the story of global politics. Such engagement can help students think differently about global politics and human interactions and to see the value in subjective experiences as an object/subject of study in the classroom.

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This Educate-JPSE collaboration brings together articles published in the Journal of Political Science Education that discuss classroom approaches related to teaching about race, racism, social justice and civic action. Our reading list offers a range of materials – from syllabi, reading lists to active learning assignments – that discuss classroom practices through the lens of identity, gender and power relations. It includes a model for professors who are interested in partnering with local community activists to design civically engaged courses, with specific examples covering research and organizing around affordable housing issues. 

The Journal of Political Science Education is an intellectually rigorous, path-breaking, agenda-setting journal that publishes the highest quality scholarship on teaching and pedagogical issues in political science. The journal aims to represent the full range of questions, issues and approaches regarding political science education, including teaching-related issues, methods and techniques, learning/teaching activities and devices, educational assessment in political science, graduate education, and curriculum development.

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