The scholarship of teaching and learning is primarily concerned with improving student learning. Of course, we want our students to learn our disciplines, we want them to become critical thinkers, and we want them learn to write. But this study looks at how learning impacts a student’s optimism or pessimism. We believe that it is an important topic in today’s world and provides an important new topic in the scholarship of teaching and learning. This study is co-authored by two team-teachers and three honors students. Using an Introduction to Politics course as case material, the study provides a pre and post-test measuring student optimism versus pessimism on a wide variety of political issues facing Generation Z students. Then we provide a content analysis of honors essays which were collected during the semester and interviews with our three honor student co-authors. We draw initial conclusions about optimism versus pessimism in teaching and argue that a larger research agenda around this topic would benefit the scholarship of teaching and learning literature.
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McBeth, Mark K.; Blakeman, Jonathan W.L.; Kearsley, Logan; Tyler, Alyson; and Villanueva, Emma
"Teaching Generation Z Students About Politics: Optimism or Pessimism?,"
International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.20429/ijsotl.2023.17105