Reinventing the Wheel

November 03, 2011

Inside Higher Ed

An American Political Science Association panel last week called for greater diversity within the discipline and its faculty. Wheelock College, in Boston, Mass., is taking a page from APSA's report and has already begun crafting a political science curriculum for a new political science major, putting "the voices, experiences, and struggles of marginalized groups at the center of scholarly inquiry."

Wheelock is known for its education and social work programs, and has been called "without peer in diversity."

Gail Dines, the American studies department chair at Wheelock, said the college seems to be ahead of the curve in respect to APSA's report, as the problems they mention are the ones the college has set out to address. "For us, the major will take the issues they say are ignored - race, inequality, gender, marginalization - and make them front and center," said Dines, who will serve as the chair of the college's political science and global studies major.

Dines said Wheelock has been tossing around the idea of a political science-focused major for about two years, but six months ago the college convened a curriculum team to craft the program. The APSA report, released last Friday, says political science is "often ill-equipped to address in a sustained way why many of the most marginal members of political communities around the world are often unable to have their needs effectively addressed by governments."

Luis Fraga, a leader of the special task force that completed the report and a professor of political science at the University of Washington, said it is a "fascinating coincidence" that Wheelock's curriculum has many of the report's recommendations and suggestions already embedded within it. As stated in the report, interdisciplinary approaches to political science exist but are not common or mainstream in higher education.

Luis Fraga, a leader of the special task force that completed the report and a professor of political science at the University of Washington, said it is a "fascinating coincidence" that Wheelock's curriculum has many of the report's recommendations and suggestions already embedded within it. As stated in the report, interdisciplinary approaches to political science exist but are not common or mainstream in higher education.

Read the full article

inspire a world of good

200 Riverway, Boston, Massachusetts 02215 | 617-879-2000
© 2013 Wheelock College is a registered trademark.