Citizens Gone Wild: A Practical Guide to Teaching Students and Citizens to Think for Themselves

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While many talk and write of the value of thinking for yourself, few provide a practical guide to doing so. This is a demonstration of 13 specific methods that can be used to habituate people to think for themselves regarding public polciies. These are methods that are easy to learn and fun to apply. They are intuitive enough to provide students and citizens with the confidence to challenge "experts" on questions of public policy. The methods have been classroom tested for 25 years. The methods have also been used before a variety of civic groups across the coutry. They are powerful enough that they require a warning to undergradate students not to use before professors who are anxious about being challenged in class. I will provide materials to the class so they can join me in trying out these methods. I want participants who are willing to participate in an exercise that may challenge their beliefs.

**The methods are also useful for people in a variety of careers associated with the liberal arts and the humanities.

**The methods provide diverse populations with specific skills needed to challenge assumptions of different cultures, as has been noted in classrooms that have very diverse populations


Keywords: Challenging Beliefs, Teaching, Thinking Skills, Empowering Diverse Populations, Challenging Professors, Empowering Citizens
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation in English
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Dr. George Zilbergeld

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, American Political Science Association
Montclair, New Jersey, USA

I am a professor of Political Science at Montclair State University and I have been teaching poltical science and history for almost thirty years in California, Arkansas,and New Jersey. I have had also had experience in the Army and the private sector. I have taught a variety of courses, including basic political science courses,and the history of the United States with a specialization in the foundational documents such as the Declaration of Independence. I am the director of the Public Administration Internhship Program, which places students in a variety of public section positions while they are undergraduates.I lecture to High School teachers, across the country about the foundational documents of America. I also give talks on issues of public policy to a variety of civic groups.

Ref: L08P0278