From Active Learning to Taking Action: Incorporating Political Context Into Project-Based, Interdisciplinary, International Service Learning Courses

Laura Hosman, Ginger Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Educational approaches that enable students to actively and directly participate in “real-world” projects are increasingly recognized as valuable pedagogical tools and, as such, being incorporated into university curriculums worldwide. Though not traditionally associated with political science courses, project-based international service learning presents a tremendous opportunity to bring classroom concepts and theories to life, provide an active approach to addressing international challenges, and assist students in the development of the hands-on, problem-solving, team-based, critical-thinking skills that are increasingly important to employers across all sectors. This article seeks to encourage political science faculty to incorporate international service learning—and/or project-based approaches—into their educational offerings. Through examination of the course Global Synthesis in Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies at California Polytechnic State University, we have identified multiple factors that can help promote successful execution of project-based international service learning as a pedagogical tool, and provide additional suggestions for faculty interested in adopting specific aspects of these educational approaches, and/or in doing so closer to home.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Political Science Education
StateAccepted/In press - Feb 20 2018



  • Active learning
  • cross-cultural competency
  • global citizenship
  • international service learning
  • project-based learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this