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Reducing the Gap between Skills Sought by Employers and Developed by Education


PS: Political Science and Politics Volume 43, Number 4, ISSN 1049-0965


The process of transforming students from novices into experts relies on active learning and the development of an appreciation for the links among topics. Since rote or stimulus-response learning is preferred by a majority of students who are beginning their programs of study but does not optimize learning and understanding, the first step in the process is changing students' preference to active learning. As students progress from 100- to 400-level courses, this outcome can be accomplished by reducing the amount of class time that instructors dedicate to lectures that introduce new material and increasing the amount of time dedicated to active learning strategies. Because of PowerPoint's linear structure, teachers can foster learning by supplementing traditional slides with tables, charts, graphs, and concept maps that explicate the links among topics. Concept maps also lend themselves to assessing students' mastery of concepts and the value added by class discussions. Both measures enable instructors to enhance their teaching effectiveness and, over time, use class sessions more efficiently.


Peters, R. & Beeson, M. (2010). Reducing the Gap between Skills Sought by Employers and Developed by Education. PS: Political Science and Politics, 43(4), 773-777. Retrieved December 9, 2022 from .

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