OpenEd Week 2022 Highlight: Political Science

This year, International Women’s Day falls within Open Education Week–an ideal time to highlight an OER focused on women and politics created by Professor Lanethea Mathews-Schultz and her students. In Spring 2019, Professor Mathews-Schultz taught a special topics course called 2018: The Political Year of the Woman, focusing on the record number of women elected to Congress the previous year. Students in the course collective researched and co-authored an OER book, 2018 Political Year of the Woman Election: A Critical Examination.

In the introduction, Professor Mathews-Schultz and student co-author Alison Cummins write:

This collection of papers, authored by undergraduate students at Muhlenberg College in the Spring of 2019, considers how women’s electoral successes and challenges in 2018 are both cause and consequence of the increased saliency of gender and of women’s and gender-related issues in electoral politics. Collectively, the authors include students in the sophomore through senior year and represent a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds and expertise, with majors ranging from political science to English to psychology to media and communication. Our diversity made this project an especially rewarding one. We offer this research, not as experts, but rather in the spirit of open inquiry, scholarly dialogue, and moving the conversation forward. We view our work as very much “in progress,” and with that in mind, we welcome feedback and dialogue…

This class project, an example of open pedagogy in practice, illustrates the possibilities for supporting students’ development as authors and knowledge-creators, as well as their awareness of scholarship as a collaborative act. It is an early example of the way faculty at Muhlenberg are integrating OER co-creation in their courses, a practice that distinguishes much of the open educational work on campus, to be highlighted throughout this week.

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