Using Music and Lyrics to Teach Political Theory

Citation data:

PS: Political Science & Politics, ISSN: 1049-0965, Vol: 48, Issue: 03, Page: 483-487

Publication Year:
2015
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Repository URL:
http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9787252&fileId=S1049096515000293, https://touroscholar.touro.edu/lcas_pubs/22
DOI:
10.1017/s1049096515000293
Author(s):
Rozinski, Tom
Publisher(s):
Cambridge University Press (CUP), Touro Scholar
Tags:
Social Sciences, College Students, Political Theory, Music, Teaching, Education, Political Science
article description
Since the fall semester of 2008, I have used music to teach political theory to undergraduate students. I use song lyrics to make analogies to concepts used by political theorists, and I use the music to create associations that improve students' memory of those concepts. Unlike other teachers who incorporate music into their classes by linking lyrics to concepts, I choose songs that reflect important ideas of specific theorists through multiple allusions to their ideas. The songs I choose serve four objectives: introducing concepts that may be difficult for students to appreciate, illustrating the application of those concepts, reinforcing students' memory through issue-spotting songs, and presenting biographical information about the theorist that they are reading. I illustrate how I achieve these objectives through songs drawn from artists including Billy Joel, Ace of Base, and Supertramp, and musicals including West Side Story and Camelot.

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