Democracy across the Disciplines: Design Your Course for DemocracyReport as inadecuate

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Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching, v2 p15-18 2009

If a liberal arts education should prepare our students to participate in a meaningful way in democracy, what does that mean for how we design our courses across disciplines? In this paper, I first address the question: who should teach democratic skills? Using an upper-level course in Canadian politics, I then illustrate how to explicitly integrate democratic skills and attitudes into course design through learning objectives, classroom activities, assignments, and grading techniques. Finally, I argue that these practices can and should be adapted to other disciplines.

Descriptors: Democracy, Democratic Values, Curriculum Design, Interdisciplinary Approach, Behavioral Objectives, Class Activities, Assignments, Grading, Communication Skills, Listening Skills, Professional Autonomy, Professional Identity, Citizenship, Foreign Countries, Undergraduate Study

Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. 1280 Main Street West, Mills Library Room 504, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L6, Canada. Tel: 905-525-9140; Web site:

Author: Newton, Janice


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