APSA Teaching and Learning Group

It is an appropriate time for the establishment of a specialist group focused on teaching and learning in political studies in Australia.

The Teaching and Learning Group serves to:

  • Support the practice of teaching and learning in the higher educational context in Australia;
  • Encourage the development and distribution of evidence about best practice teaching methods to and from practitioners, and;
  • Encourage the creation of resources that can be employed in teaching and learning about politics, public policy, and international relations in Australia.

The Group’s focus on teaching praxis would see it engaged in:

  • Fostering communication of evidence-based teaching approaches and methods;
  • Supporting educational research on relevant teaching and learning practices;
  • Running and promoting events on teaching and learning across Australia, and;
  • Developing and promoting open source and open-access educational resources.

The Group would encourage broad participation in its activities, avoiding attempts at regulating the teaching practices of peers in favour of promoting best practice, innovation in teaching, and sharing resources useful for the teaching of politics, policy, and international relations.

The Group has established a closed Facebook group for members and administration: https://www.facebook.com/groups/APSA.TL/  This group will serve as the initial point of distribution of information about teaching and learning, formation of working groups, and the distribution of teaching and learning related professional development information and news.

The Group would absorb the Australian Politics and Policy Open Textbook governance group as a working group of the wider committee, with this working group responsible for steering and editing this expanding volume over (at minima) three years.  The governance group envisages that this project of the discipline has the potential to develop and expand considerably into being the most prominent resource for teaching Australian politics and policy moving over the next decade.

At the first meeting of the Group, the members resolved to undertake in 2020:

1. Establish and maintain a Facebook Group as the locus of communication

2. Prepare a T&L Survey of Australian political scholars, with the objectives of:

  • Informing the group about the practices and needs of the Community;
  • Promoting the existence of the T&L group;
  • Producing a scholarly T&L publication for the Australian Journal of Political Science

3. Hosting to T&L events:

  • Apply for funding for a T&L workshop in semester 1, 2020 “the T&L Forum 2020”;
  • Liaise with the ASPA Conference coordinators at Macquarie University to initiate the annual panel on teaching and learning in political studies

4. Establish the Australian Politics and Policy Open Textbook subcommittee to take over governance of that project from November 2019.


The co-convenors for 2020 are (* treasurer):

1. Peter John Chen* – Senior Lecturer, Department of Government and International Relations, Sydney University; peter.chen@sydney.edu.au

2. Diana Perche – Senior Lecturer in Social Research and Policy, School of Social Sciences, UNSW Sydney; diana.perche@unsw.edu.au

Constitution and compliance

The Group will adopt the rules of the Research Groups as its constitution.  Given this proposed group is not strictly a “research group” in the conventual form (in that research practice is not its primary focus), the interim Group’s membership resolved to request that ASPA rename its “Research Groups” in its official communications to a title inclusive of the aims of this new group and its emphasis on including a wide range of practitioners in political studies in Australia.