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Teaching and Learning in Politics Specialist Group


Dr. Clodagh Harris,
Department of Government, University College Cork

Dr. Brid Quinn,
Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Limerick


This specialist group will bring together scholars (from post-graduates to established academics) that explore innovations in teaching, learning, assessment and curriculum development, and examine different pedagogical approaches within the discipline. It will act as a forum for networking, debate, publication and grant application and as a locus of communication between scholars of teaching and learning in politics in Ireland and similar groupings in this field internationally.

The specialist group aims to provide a network for colleagues who are interested in exploring pedagogic developments within the discipline to share cutting edge approaches and effective techniques in teaching and learning.


The Teaching and Learning in Politics specialist group will be an active source of scholarship and collaboration in this ever-developing field. The focus of such collaboration will include dedicated panels at the annual PSAI conference. It is envisaged that this will lead into combined proposals for larger conferences (such as the PSA, the ECPR, APSA, and IPSA), annual workshops, and shared research/publishing initiatives. The group will also be a forum for professional networking between those working in the area and it is envisaged that there will be research collaborations leading to publications and research funding bids.


The Teaching and Learning in Politics specialist group welcomes members. To become a member of the Group you must be a member of the PSAI, which you can join here.
You do not have to belong to an Irish university to be a PSAI member or to join the group.


Teaching politics in our Universities: Inspiring, inciting and enlightening

On September 18th 2015, the PSAI teaching and learning specialist group held a one-day conference on “Teaching politics in our universities : inspiring, inciting and enlightening”. It brought together students, academics, the media, politicians, educationalists and managers to discuss the significance of education in, for and about politics in our institutions of higher education.

The conference started with a keynote speech by Professor John Craig on “Linking academic study and practice“.

It also hosted a panel discussion on “Why teaching and learning politics is important for society” that included Senator Fiach MacConghail (Director Abbey Theatre), Lorraine McIlrath (Community Knowledge Initiative, NUIG), Noel Whelan (Barrister and media commentator) and Michelle O’Donnell Keating (Women for election and DCU).

Innovative approaches to teaching and learning in politics were also showcased:

The conference was jointly funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and the PSAI.

PSAI Teaching and Learning Blog

The teaching and learning specialist group have created a blog to share information on teaching and learning good practice, to showcase innovative approaches and to highlight research in this area. All posts, comments, articles, photos, videos etc are welcome.
Please visit to participate.

The International Political Education Database

IPED is a bibliographic database of journal articles relating to teaching and learning in politics, international relations, public administration and related fields. It aims to raise the profile of teaching and learning publications and encourage further research and scholarly debate.

It includes more than 800 citations and sections covering: Active Learning; Critical thinking; E-learning; Experiential Learning; Films and Novels; Gender; Large Group Teaching; Problem-based Learning; Race and Ethnicity; Research Methods; Service learning, Placement Learning and Internships; Simulations; Small Group Teaching; Surveys of Teaching and Learning Practice. There is also a section covering research published by authors at institutions in the UK and Ireland which includes more than 100 articles.

IPED is hosted on the website of the Political Studies Association Teaching and Learning Group website and can be accessed at: