عنوان مقاله [English]
نویسنده [English]چکیده [English]
Paradoxes of Teaching Political Science Research Methods
in Iran: Some Practical Suggestions
Dr. Kavoos Seyyid Emami
Instructors of research methods courses in political science and international relations face a number of Paradoxes in the particular cultural and educational environment of Iran. Based on their perception of priorities in transmitting methodological knowledge to students, instructors usually emphasize certain material in their courses at the expense of other subjects. The main paradoxes discussed here are: (a) concentrating on epistemological issues versus teaching the actual techniques of doing scientific research, (b) teaching the fundamentals of research in lecture format versus teaching students methodological issues in a hands-on manner in the course of doing research, (c) placing maximum emphasis on being methodical versus showing a greater concern with useful content in producing scientific articles, and (d) emphasizing some established and fixed principles of scientific method versus introducing the students to the plurality of methodological approaches currently employed by practitioners. Limited teaching hours allocated to research methods courses puts further strain on all-sided teaching of methodologies in political science. Hence, many students who are close to the end of their educational program remain puzzled over usefulness and applicability of the methods they have learnt. Having discussed different strategies pursued by various professors of methods courses to address the paradoxes raised in this article, I have made some practical suggestions as a way of improving the efficacy of teaching methods courses in political science. The data forming the bases of my discussion were collected from graduate students of political science and international relations in different universities in Tehran. Course syllabi were also consulted.