||My favorite class: The British Parliamentary System
By Adam Johnson, a senior economics major and government minor from Harrodsburg, Ky.
DANVILLE, KYClass name: The British Parliamentary System (Government 442)
Day/time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:20-3:50 p.m.
Professor: Dr. James Hoover, visiting assistant professor of history
Class size: 13
What are you doing in this class that makes it fun and interesting?
"Parliament simulation. It's one thing to sit and read about British Parliament and another to actually participate. It makes it easier to learn because you're not just readingyou're acting and becoming a part of Parliament," Johnson said.
"We held a general election, each party formed, and came up with fliers and issues.
"I think the class itself is a project because you're always preparing for the next classwriting questions and the rebuttals to the government. It's one large project. After each simulation, Dr. Hoover will produce a recap of the day's motions and dialogue and some of the quotes are pretty interesting.
"This course is very interactive and that's what makes it such a good class. You learn more by doing than by sitting and listening."
What have you learned this term?
"I'm actually a Democrat but I wanted to see what it was like to be a part of the other side so I joined the Conservatives. (The class is divided into two sides, the Conservative and the Labour parties, during the simulation). That's the neat thing about simulation, you can see what the other side is like regardless of your background.
"I've learned more about the intricate parts of the Parliament. This class really delves deeply into the Parliament and government and you learn a lot of the quirky things about the British government."
Would you recommend this class to your fellow students? Why?
"I would definitely recommend it to them. It's a good class. It breaks up the monotony of sitting and listening to lectures, and even if you're not a government major it's nice to see a contrast to the American political system."
Dr. Hoover says:
"I've been very pleased with the way the students have handled the simulation of Parliament. Since the simulation is generated by current events in Britain, the students have to follow the U.K. press and know the plans and policies of the various British Government ministries. My only contributions to the simulation are letters from constituents and political-action groups, which fuel the debate. I also try to keep a record of everything that happens. During the simulation, for about 30 minutes each day, the students run the class, organize themselves, and keep order according to the rules of parliamentary procedure. Everyone is learning a lot through this process, and the experience gained in the simulation has made the class lectures very interactive."
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