Team-Taught Social Sciences Course Balances PRGS Curriculum

pictures of class teachers

Clockwise from top left: Chloe Bird, Lisa Meredith,
Gery Ryan and Chris Nelson

Feb. 1, 2012 — As our students and alumni have observed over the years, the PRGS curriculum is constantly being reviewed and refined to be more relevant, better prepare our students for the job opportunities they will face upon graduation, and help us all reach our goal of "being the answer."

Toward these ends, this academic year we added a new course that is now required of all first year students: Social and Behavioral Sciences I: Social and Behavioral Sciences Perspectives.

In so doing, we have recalibrated the mix among our economics, quantitative methods, social and behavioral sciences, and policy analysis courses, and in the process helped create a balanced, four-legged stool.

Broadly speaking, the purpose of the new course — which is led by PRGS faculty member Chloe Bird and includes modules taught by faculty members Gery Ryan, Lisa Meredith, and Chris Nelson — is to provide our students with an overview of key theoretic frameworks and research approaches from four social and behavioral sciences: anthropology, psychology, political science, and sociology.

Through the use of case studies and other means, the course also focuses on how these and other disciplines can contribute to policy analysis and policy research.