Matthew Charles Wilson
Assistant Professor of Political Science
West Virginia University

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Image: Havana, Cuba (2013)

My teaching philosophy emphasizes looking ''under the hood'' in scholarship and developing practical, critical inquiry in the classroom. As an educator, the skills that I consider the most important to convey to students include understanding foundational concepts in the discipline and using them as a platform to construct novel, testable questions.  The strategies by which I have encouraged foundational learning involve exposing students to dense material and demonstrating its real-world significance.  By encouraging students in my class to combine existing arguments and refine their own, I have been able to help students identify avenues for research and encourage them on their own research agendas.  At the same time, teaching has helped to reinforce my personal research interests and helped me to improve as a scholar.  My perspective has been shaped by the effective teaching styles of professors who were both patient and firm, and it is driven by my personal passion for making research more accessible and transparent.  I try to show the same concern for learning that my professors have shown me.  As a result of working with students on difficult material and showing them the practical applications, students learn to how ask—and then answer—meaningful questions. 

Syllabi

Dictatorship and Democratization
            (UG) Fall 2015

     Introduction to
  Comparative Politics
      (G) Fall 2015

Governments of Latin America
          (UG) Spring 2016

            Introduction to
        Comparative Politics
            (UG) Fall 2016

Advanced Quantitative Analysis
            (G) Fall 2016

Dictatorship and Democratization
           (UG) Spring 2017

  Dictatorship and Democracy
           (G) Spring 2017

Study Tools

"How to read and understand a scientific article" by Dr. Jennifer Raff

Template for taking notes on scientific articles

Dictatorship Quiz (POLS 370)
Teaching Interests

Comparative Politics:
Introduction to Comparative Politics
Democratization and Authoritarianism
Comparative Political Institutions
Latin American Politics

International Relations:
Introduction to International Relations
Civil Conflict

Political Methodology:
Research Design and Methods
Sequence Analysis

Test