Professors Using Shutdown as Teaching Tool

While some people call the government shutdown and debt ceiling a pain, others are using it to their advantage.
PENN STATE, UNIVERSITY PARK - While some people call the government shutdown a pain, others are using it to their advantage.

Political Science Professors at Penn State say for them, the shutdown is a great teaching tool to educate students about issues they may not otherwise discuss or understand.

"We've been talking about it for the last couple of weeks," Political Science Professor, Michael Berkman, said.

As the shutdown continues and the possible debt ceiling crisis is in its eleventh hour, politics has been a major topic, especially for Berkman.

"We've been setting aside a little bit of time, usually at the end of class, sometimes at the beginning of class, talking about the latest developments," he said.

Berkman says the topic is a big talker among his students.

"They're interested because they're feeling some of the effects of it, they're interested because it's dominating the news," he said. "They're interested because it's dramatic."

Dramatic, but very real and something even his students have a hard time understanding.

"That ignorance, I think, makes it easier for them to be manipulated, or not be able to make sense of misinformation that may be out there," Berkman said. "I think it's important they understand what it is that's going on."

He says as the days go by, he'll continue talking with his students about what's going on.

"They'll always be something else," he said. "I hope it's resolved because I think the effects of not passing something to the point of the debt limit would be highly detrimental to the economy."

Students say they're glad to have the opportunity to talk about what's going on in the world, so they are able to better educate themselves and their peers.
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