August 2009

Some Basics of Online Teaching
By Gerson Moreno-Riano on August 02, 2009

More and more universities and colleges are augmenting their traditional course offerings with online course offerings. "If students can't come to us," so the logic goes "then, perhaps, we can go them." And thus, virtual campuses are birthed with many living a long and healthy life and others only surviving short term. Given this rise in online teaching, what are some of the basics that faculty should know about virtual teaching?

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Education is Not a Business
By Lee Trepanier on August 04, 2009

In an article in the February Inside Higher Ed called “The Business Model is the Wrong Model,” Peter Katopes argues that the market place model of customer satisfaction and efficiency has created a culture of entitlement, instant gratification, and institutional fiscal irresponsibility.

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Africa and American Democracy
By Phil Hamilton on August 05, 2009

I visited Kenya last month to give a talk at African International University in Nairobi about democracy—in particular, early American democracy. For those who may not know, Kenya has been struggling to establish a stable and workable democracy for some time, and last year the nation tragically experienced a wave of violence after a disputed election, which left over 1,800 people dead. And the nation is far from healed. In fact, Kenya remains deeply divided by tribalism and other political divisions. Its people are also struggling to curb rampant corruption throughout its national government.

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Introducing the Subfields of Political Science: International Politics - Part 7
By John von Heyking on August 06, 2009
Part 6 of this series is here.


Kant leaves open some questions concerning the "self-interest" societies have in joining the federation of republics. Does Kant anticipate the federation of republics making a pre-emptive strike against non-members who, by definition, are essentially warlike? After all, they wish to defend themselves. Does the movement toward perpetual peace in fact increase the likelihood of war? Does his federation have the seeds to exhibit the same imperialistic ambitions that plagued the Athenians, especially after Pericles died? Is "making the world safe for democracy" the perpetual Sicilian expedition for all democracies?

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Five Important Questions About Effective Teaching
By Gerson Moreno-Riano on August 07, 2009

In previous blog posts, I have commented on Ken Bain's What the Best College Teachers Do (Harvard, 2004). Bain's book, in my opinion, is a well-documented, evidence-driven, and hard look at excellent and effective college teaching. It gives one much to think about and challenges one to look deep into one’s own teaching.

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Remembering
By Bradley J. Birzer on August 10, 2009

On the last Thursday morning in July, I stood on the Lexington green with my beautiful and sagacious wife, my five very active and somewhat mischievous children, the talented Ben Cohen (acting as Paul Revere; and who also turned out to be a supporter of Hillsdale College), the vivacious Malana Salyer of Gary Gregg’s McConnell Center, and roughly twenty-seven teachers from Kentucky.

As “Paul Revere” described the battle on the commons that morning—the Lexingtonians greatly outnumbered by the advancing British—I felt immensely humbled.

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The Renewal of Culture and Education in Josef Pieper’s Thought – Part I
By Lee Trepanier on August 11, 2009

Josef Pieper believes that the cult, as the ritual of public sacrifice, is the primary source of our independence and freedom, with leisure, as the basis of culture, defined as our fundamental relationship to reality as a type of philosophical act, where we learn to see how worthy certain aspects of reality are and therefore require a celebration of them in divine worship. This philosophical act is to participate in reality as it unveils itself to us and is characterized by enthusiasm and freedom. The reason why philosophy is regarded as the most free of the liberal arts is because it is the farthest removed from utilitarian concerns.

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Introducing the Subfields of Political Science: International Politics - Part 8
By John von Heyking on August 12, 2009
Part 7 of this series is here.


Finally, in the 2nd Supplement of To Perpetual Peace, Kant issues his secret protocol, an exception to his rule that all articles to treaties must be public.

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Educating the Millenial Generation – Part I
By Gerson Moreno-Riano on August 13, 2009
Adapted from an article originally published in the Fall 2008 Canon,
ISI's member and alumni magazine


Education is the task of crafting the souls of students. It is never simply about conveying information so that students can enlarge their body of knowledge. While education should indeed contribute to a student’s basic knowledge of facts, education is ultimately about cultivating a particular kind of human being.

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On Teaching the Relevance of Political Theory
By Steven McGuire on August 14, 2009

Most of the students in my introductory political theory class are enrolled because they have to be. They cannot graduate as political science majors without taking at least one course in political thought. That presents a special challenge for me as their teacher because I need to convince them that they want to be in my class—or at least I’d like to convince them. Obviously not every student will be persuaded, but I think many of them can be, so I’m looking for ways to make the class more interesting for them. One of the key ways to achieve this, I have found, is to give them examples of the relevance of the materials for life today.

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