Professors must find better ways to teach political science classes instead of giving boring lectures to help students from other majors fully understand the course material.
Political science is part of the core curriculum and is required for every undergraduate student to take for two semesters, regardless of major. Although these classes are basically three-hour snooze fests for most, political science is important in order to teach students about the functions of the political system as framed by the U.S. and Texas constitutions. It is important students receive basic political education so they can contribute to an educated and informed electorate in the future.
However, while political science majors may easily understand the puzzling world of politics, others find lectures on the subject excruciatingly painful to sit through, let alone understand. This does nothing to further the goal of achieving an educated and informed electorate.
Because of this, Texas State officials need to work toward rearranging the class to fit the needs of students who may find required political science courses difficult.
While I understand the reason students need two semesters of political science education, the current course structure is just not working. I am already halfway through my second semester of political science. I have retained little to none of the information we have covered in class.
Even though I am passing the class, the truth is memorizing test questions is not the same thing as actually learning the material. I can almost guarantee after exams most students immediately forget the majority of what they “learned.”
I am a person that feels being well rounded or having knowledge of all types is important. This class is necessary if students want to advance their learning, become valuable contributors to the political system and make a difference. But currently, the majority of students are likely gaining nothing but college credit from political science courses.
Students need to be engaged in order to learn, and for this to happen professors need to be passionate about what they are teaching. A baby-faced hipster grad student sighing throughout his lecture, looking like he would rather be crowd surfing at Coachella, is not going to get me excited about the world of politics.
Political science classes should come with labs attached. If my “Fundamentals of Human Communication” class was solely lecture-based, chances are I would walk away from that class with a slim-to-nothing amount of understanding. Labs create repetition, which forces students to engage and put the lectures into practice. With the combination of lab and lecture, understanding the course comes more naturally than only half-listening while a professor drones on. Labs add an interactive aspect that sticks with students much more effectively than bolded terms in an overpriced textbook.
Political science is already a tough subject to crack. Students need a different style of class than pure lecture if professors and university officials ever want political science basics to stick with students. Political science classes should come together with required labs to help engage students more effectively.