As much as policy topics like abortion and same-sex marriage elicit spirited reactions from your students, aren't you looking for ways to get students out of their partisan corners? Ellis and Nelson have found that debating concrete proposals to reforming the political system encourages their undergraduate students to leave ideology behind and instead, to sift through competing claims and evidence.
Connecting classroom conversation directly to political institutions, students not only grapple with reform ideas but also join the discussion without the crutch of spouting opinion. With pro and con pieces written specifically for this volume, students consider and evaluate arguments from top scholars, thoughtfully exploring the ways government could work better.
Michael Nelson is the Fulmer Professor of Political Science at Rhodes College and a Senior Fellow of the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. His recent books include: The American Presidency: Origins and Development, 1776-2011, 6th Ed., The Presidency and the Political System, 9th Ed., and The Evolving Presidency: Landmark Documents, 1787-2010, 4th Ed, and Debating Reform: Conflicting Perspectives on How to Fix the American Political System. More than fifty of his articles have been reprinted in anthologies of political science, history, music, and English composition, including articles on subjects as varied as baseball, C. S. Lewis, and Frank Sinatra.