Fisher Talks Politics and Teaching

Posted by Rachael Wilbur
Sarah Fisher, Assistant Professor of Politics, Law, and International Relations, has recently released two articles with the Journal of Political Science Education. One article is about helpful teaching methods and the other is about a political scientist’s obligations on talking politics at home.

In her four years of teaching, these articles join an already impressive list of published writings. Scaffolding Assignments and Activities for Undergraduate Research Methods, co-written with Florian Justwan of Idaho University, is about utilizing scaffolding to provide instructors with self-contained activities for an undergraduate political science methods course geared at building quantitative data analysis skills. Scaffolding in this case is where “a teacher … offers explicit support and guidance to help a learner to perform a difficult task beyond his/her own capacity.” These activities include using movies and box office sales to talk about most similar and most different systems design and using an episode of the TV show 30 Rock to talk about coding and operationalization of variables. “The goal of the article was to provide other instructors with different tools that helped in our classrooms and may help in theirs as well,” Fisher said of the article.

Political Scientists in Polite Company: Talking Politics with Family Members, covers a political scientist professor’s obligation when speaking to their family about politics. The article is co-written with Kayce Mobley, fellow political scientist at Bethany College, and is written as a Platonic Dialogue between the two professors. “While our obligations to our students in the classroom are clear, do our responsibilities as those who have expertise in studying politics extend to our dinner table?” Fisher explained about the article. “It can be a touchy subject.”

Sarah Fisher is often asked to discuss local politics on WEHC 90.7FM, and was a frequent guest during the recent 9th District Congressional Election. Sarah came to Emory & Henry College after going to graduate school at the University of Georgia. “While I was a teacher’s assistant at the University of Georgia for a class of over 300 students, I knew that that was not what I wanted to do. I wanted to teach at a smaller school where I could actually know my students,” Fisher said of being a teacher here. “I enjoy the possibilities that a small classroom and small campus can offer.”

  • Sarah Fisher, PhD
    Sarah Fisher, PhD
While our obligations to our students in the classroom are clear, do our responsibilities as those who have expertise in studying politics extend to our dinner table?
-Sarah Fisher

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