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Using historical simulations to teach political theory

Using historical simulations to teach political theory
Using historical simulations to teach political theory
As teachers of political theory, our goal is not merely to help students understand the abstract reasoning behind key ideas and texts of our discipline. We also wish to convey the historical contexts that informed these ideas and texts, including the political aims of their authors. But the traditional lecture-and-discussion approach tends to obscure the historical and political dimensions of political theory. Reacting to the Past historical simulations provide a powerful tool for remedying these shortcomings. The simulations foster three kinds of lessons that are difficult to impart with more traditional approaches. First, they help students see the intimate and reciprocal connections between politics, history, and political philosophy. Second, the simulations bring to light the inherently political dimensions of interpreting key political ideas. Finally, drawing upon the ideas of Hannah Arendt, we argue that the simulations educate students about the nature of freedom and political action.
history, political theory, simulations
1551-2169
50-68
Gorton, William
34fb244d-3639-4bba-80c8-534ed933c946
Havercroft, Jonathan
929f9452-daf9-4859-9f59-88348846949a
Gorton, William
34fb244d-3639-4bba-80c8-534ed933c946
Havercroft, Jonathan
929f9452-daf9-4859-9f59-88348846949a

Gorton, William and Havercroft, Jonathan (2012) Using historical simulations to teach political theory. Journal of Political Science Education, 8 (1), 50-68. (doi:10.1080/15512169.2012.641399).

Record type: Article

Abstract

As teachers of political theory, our goal is not merely to help students understand the abstract reasoning behind key ideas and texts of our discipline. We also wish to convey the historical contexts that informed these ideas and texts, including the political aims of their authors. But the traditional lecture-and-discussion approach tends to obscure the historical and political dimensions of political theory. Reacting to the Past historical simulations provide a powerful tool for remedying these shortcomings. The simulations foster three kinds of lessons that are difficult to impart with more traditional approaches. First, they help students see the intimate and reciprocal connections between politics, history, and political philosophy. Second, the simulations bring to light the inherently political dimensions of interpreting key political ideas. Finally, drawing upon the ideas of Hannah Arendt, we argue that the simulations educate students about the nature of freedom and political action.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 31 January 2012
Published date: 2012
Keywords: history, political theory, simulations
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 348463
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/348463
ISSN: 1551-2169
PURE UUID: ec0a35d8-c872-4d17-bfbf-c756253368bb
ORCID for Jonathan Havercroft: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0995-8912

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Date deposited: 13 Feb 2013 14:09
Last modified: 09 Jan 2022 03:44

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Author: William Gorton

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