POE102 & POF102: Introduction to Political Science/Introduction aux sciences politiques
POE 328 & POF 328: Canadian Constitution, Federalism and Regionalism/Constitution canadienne, fédéralisme, régionalisme
DM/MPA521: Canadian Government and Politics
Écoles internationale d'été sur les terrorismes, Institut des Hautes Études Internationales, Université Laval
Summer School on Human Rights, Minorities and Diversity Management, European Academy
Colloque d'été : Enjeux des sécurité à la frontière canado-américaine, École des Politiques Appliqués, Université de Sherbrooke
POLS212U: Canadian Government
- summer 2004, projected enrolment 50
An examination of the institutions and constitutional foundations of government and politics in Canada. Offered via the Internet.
POLS211U: Canadian Politics
- spring 2004, projected enrolment 50
An analysis of the processes, groups, parties, voters, and culture of Canadian politics. Offered via the Internet.
POLS212: Canadian Politics
- winter 2004, projected enrolment 128
An analysis of the processes, groups, parties, voters, and culture of Canadian politics.
3 Teaching Assistants
POLS112U: Canadian Democracy
- winter 2004, summer 2003, winter 2002, summer 2002, projected enrolment 50
The nature of the democratic process in Canada is examined in the context of theories about the values, operating principles, and conditions necessary to maintain a liberal-democratic system. The course identifies discrepancies between theoretical models of democracy and political practice, discusses explanations for these discrepancies, and describes and assesses a variety of proposals for reform of the system. Offered via the Internet.
POLS310: The Canadian Constitution
- fall 2003, enrolment 29
An examination of the evolution of constitutional principles in Canada. Topics include developments in federal-provincial relations, the role of the courts in federal-provincial disputes, and the nexus between the community values of federalism and the individual rights in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
POLS111U: The Canadian Political Community
- spring 2002, fall 2002, spring 2003, fall 2003, enrolment 39
The course examines the effectiveness of the Canadian political community in representing the collective interests of its citizens, while managing the strains on its cohesiveness from conflict arising from inter-regional, linguistic, and cultural differences, and responding to the effects on its independence of forces of technological, economic, cultural, and political globalization. Offered via the Internet.
University of Ottawa
POL4545: Systèmes politiques comparés: Les sociétés multiethniques
- winter 2003, enrolment 10
(teaching evaluations and student comments appended to this dossier)
Concepts relatifs à la problématique de l'identité et de son expression politique : nations, nationalisme, ethnicité, culture, multiculturalisme. étude des phénomènes politiques et rapports de pouvoirs liés aux différences fondées sur la langue, la religion, le mode de vie, les origines et la mémoire collective. Comparaisons tenant compte des dimensions démographiques, économiques, institutionnelles, territoriales, historiques et culturelles.
Royal Military College of Canada
POF328A: La Constitution canadienne, fédéralisme et régionalisme (POE328A: The Canadian Constitution, Federalism and Regionalism)
- fall/winter 1998/1999, fall/winter 1999/2000, fall 2001, enrolment 3-8
The course commences with an overview of the demographic (particularly regional) makeup of Canada and then proceeds to offer a brief review of the historical roots of Confederation. The main component features of the contemporary Canadian constitution are explored, along with the current dynamics of Canadian federalism. The course closes with an analysis of the current strains and stresses (e.g. from Quebec and the West) confronting the federation and the future of the Canadian federation.
POF106: Société et institutions canadiennes (POE106: Canadian Civics and Society)
- fall/winter 2000/2001, 2 sections, enrolment 7-29
An introduction to the main trends of political thought, the elements of political analysis, and the concepts used in the study of political science as found in Canada.
POF205A: Société et institutions canadiennes (POE205A: Canadian civics and society)
- winter 2001, enrolment 55
An introduction to the main trends of political thought, the elements of political analysis, and the concepts used in the study of political science as found in Canada. This half-course was particularly interesting to teach because it is designed specifically as a required course for majors in natural science and engineering.
Development/Revision of Courses
POLS110U (Introduction to Government and Politics)
Enrolment in the day and evening on-campus sections of the Department's sole introductory course has doubled to a total of almost 700 over the past two years. To capitalize further on this growth, the Department has decided to develop this full-year introductory course to be offered on the Internet during both the fall/winter and the spring/summer terms. I have been asked to have this course ready for the fall session and am working with the two largest textbook publishers in the country on competing ideas as how best to fashion this course electronically. This is an effort unique in the country and is intended to set the Canadian standard for an Internet-based introductory course to political science.
These are among the department's most popular on-campus courses. Based on the success with POLS111/112 which I developed for the Internet some years ago, the Department has asked me to develop these two half-courses on Canadian Government an Canadian Politics as Internet courses as well to be offered over the spring/summer sessions as a complement to the on-campus fall/winter offering.
I overhauled these courses for the fall/winter 2003/2004 session. I added and expanded some topics while I contracted and dropped others. This judgment was based on a re-prioritorisation of topics to be covered relative to students' performance, demand, and feedback as well as relative to changes in the sort of courses offered in the department. Students' performance and understanding of the material led me to expand the first half of the course in order to lay better elementary and theoretical foundations of the second half of the course. While the methods of evaluation employed met the objectives, I shifted some of the due dates in order to in provide more parsimonious feedback to the students to improve the intervals at which they would be able to reflect on their progress in the course.
Some years ago I developed a core graduate course on Canadian defense and foreign policy for the Royal Military College's Master's Programme in Defence Management.
Activities Aimed at Improving Teaching & Learning
I am an avid reader of literature and research on pedagogy, especially as it relates to university-level teaching in the social sciences. I subscribe and contribute to a number of listservs and discussion groups on this topic. I am abreast of major research initiatives and investigations on student learning in the university and try to adapt my own pedagogy and mechanisms for teaching and evaluation based on the findings.
My web-programming and WebCT skills are all self-taught, although I did attend all the brief courses offered by the Learning Technology Unit at Queen's University introducing various IT tools and programmes. I have used WebCT ever since version 1 first came out, have regularly been a beta-tester for upgrades Queen's has been considering or testing, and meet monthly with other instructors and IT staff to discuss issues, innovations and needs. The WebCT administrators at Queen's will also confirm that no individual is more engaged in a dialogue with them about the system and possible improvements and that my feedback has been pivotal in helping them decide how best to allocate their scarce financial resources in terms of hardware and human resources.
Publications & Professional Contributions
"(Dodging) ... the Magic Bullet: blank verse and IT," Innovations: A Journal of Politics, vol. 4 (2003).