Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Your spring 2010 textbook lists

I don’t have syllabi yet—the plan is to make a few changes to the spring 2009 syllabi but nothing radical—but here’s the list:

For PSCI 2306, Texas government (aka American State Government): Government and Politics in the Lone Star State, 6th ed. We had to pick the same book for all our sections due to Early College High School… and then they put all the kids from ECHS in the same section, defeating the purpose of picking a common book. I was using CQ’s Lone Star Politics before, which I liked and tried to sell my colleagues on using, but the lack of a test bank was the deal-breaker.

For PSCI 3320, Congress and the Presidency: The American Congress, 6th ed.; The American Congress Reader; and The Politics of the Presidency. I’ve been using the CQ Congress books for years but felt like trying something different for Congress, hence the switch to Smith, Roberts, and Vander Wielen’s books. New edition of Pika and Maltese, but otherwise no change on the presidency end, where I only spend a few weeks anyway—really I teach the class more focused on “Congress and Interbranch Relations.”

For PSCI 4320, Political System of the U.S. (which I basically treat as a political behavior class, since we don’t have anything on the books at the undergrad level that covers that stuff): Polling and the Public, 7th ed.; Public Opinion: Democratic Ideals, Democratic Practice; Citizen Politics, 5th ed., and Party Politics in America, 13th ed. I’ve decided to try to cut back on the voting behavior and interest groups material I was including before and focus more on parties and public opinion. This class was the least successful one last time around, in part because I was too ambitious in what I planned to cover. I’m also going to replace the research paper requirement with a couple of shorter papers, which hopefully will work better.

And that’s it; thankfully I’ll be doing my 3-class semester in the spring so I might actually be a bit saner and more prolific here and elsewhere (e.g. OTB) then.


Any views expressed in these comments are solely those of their authors; they do not reflect the views of the authors of Signifying Nothing, unless attributed to one of us.
[Permalink] 1. Rick Almeida wrote @ Thu, 29 Oct 2009, 11:19 am CDT:

I used the Hershey book the first time I taught parties, but I didn’t care for it very much. This time around, Iused Hetherington & Keefe, and I think both I and the students benefited.


I’m trying to keep my changes for next spring manageable. Plus it’s too late to change my book order, which was due October 13th. Yes, we are that insane.

My bigger challenge is to figure out how to make the students do the reading in the first place.

[Permalink] 3. Shannon wrote @ Fri, 30 Oct 2009, 9:19 am CDT:

Not that insane – new federal mandate: Higher Education Opportunity Act. I think most universities are interpreting this that required books must be available with course listings before registration starts. That alone makes me chuckle. Poor bookstore managers – in charge of trying to get academics to order books in a timely fashion or else they’ll be out of compliance with federal law. Now I’m LMAO.

[Permalink] 4. Rick Almeida wrote @ Fri, 30 Oct 2009, 4:15 pm CDT:

Our book orders were due on 15 Oct – seems to be consistently very early here as well. I was one of 30% of faculty who had them in on time. :)

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