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Course: American Civil Liberties
University of Maine
As a political scientist, one of my principal objectives probably best comports with the first of the eight promising approaches listed. This is, instruction in political science aims first and foremost to have students formulate alternative frameworks for understanding government, history, law, and democracy. In my courses and those of my colleagues, students come to understand that their coursework allows them to apply the substance of their discipline to the practical realities and problems of politics, and thereby they contribute to our democracy as scholars, citizens, and practitioners.
A good example is my American Civil Liberties course, POS 384. Student learn about contemporary controversies in first and fourteenth amendment litigation, and also learn about the historical development of judicial doctrine in these areas. Students must apply legal principles learned to hypothetical legal controversies and arrive at a reasoned judgment. They come to appreciate the nature and limits of judicial reasoning, and the way in which judicial interpretation helps to structure American democracy.
Civic Learning Goals
Dr. Timothy M. Cole
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