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Carlos Figueroa, Assistant Professor in the politics department, has just published an article titled "Developing Practical/Analytical Skills Through Mindful Classroom Simulations for “Doing” Leadership".
Contributed by Kimberly Anderson on 02/10/2014
Carlos Figueroa, assistant professor in the Politics Department, has just published an article titled "Developing Practical/Analytical Skills Through Mindful Classroom Simulations for “Doing” Leadership" in the Journal of Public Affairs Education (Vol. 20, Number 1, Winter/February, 2014), pp. 113-129, which is the flagship journal of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).
Classroom simulations are an often-used teaching tool. But how can one maximize their benefits? Figueroa provides suggestions as well as recommendations for making simulations "mindful."
The article shows how certain practical/analytical skills are developed for “doing” leadership through what Figueroa calls mindful classroom simulations. By drawing from various leadership definitions and Ellen J. Langer’s Mindfulness (1989) construct and through the use of an online open-ended questionnaire, participant-observation, and documentary/textual analysis, the article demonstrates how well-designed and executed mindful classroom simulations afford individuals and groups the opportunity not only to gain discipline-specific knowledge and improve learning capabilities, but also to develop practical/ analytical skills for doing leadership. These mindful classroom simulations can be used in undergraduate and graduate public policy, political science, and public administration courses because simulations are effective pedagogical tools for teaching both course content and transportable practical/analytical skills that successful active leaders require today. Several lessons are drawn from the teacher’s perspective on the effective use of these learner-centered mindful classroom simulations.