Making politics exciting in the classroom

By: Kevin Hurd Email
By: Kevin Hurd Email

Unlike the federal government for the last couple weeks, this government class at UW-Eau Claire is open for business.


EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Unlike the federal government for the last couple weeks, this government class at UW-Eau Claire is open for business.

"Today we were learning about the state legislature," said Antonia Cadwell.

Understanding the ins and outs of local and state government and touching on the fundamentals of American politics.

It is a timely lesson. Professor Rodd Freitag says there is reason to be cynical with all the fighting and bickering that has been happening in Washington.

In his class, you could say he tries to peel back the onion.

"We talk a lot about why it's that way and what we can do to fix it," Freitag said.

And focus on helping students understand the basics so they are able to read past the headline.

"It helps if they see someone who is enthusiastic and interested," he said.

"Being a political science student I guess I get more excited than most people," Cadwell said.

Cadwell has a passion for politics. She says most often bad news is what grabs our attention.

"Negativity spreads like wildfire, a lot more than positive influence and when positive things happen," she said.

Something she says impacts the way we see our political system.

"We have a pretty bad view of politics and the system we have now, and I mean yes everything isn't perfect but doesn’t mean it doesn't work," she added.

Freitag says he knows some of the students in this room will get into politics one day - front and center or behind the scenes. As for Cadwell, she is still making up her mind.

But like Freitag, she says knowing what is going on helps make politics exciting.

"I also need to learn it because it's going to affect everything I do, or my kids or my kids' kids, and everything I have in life," Cadwell said.

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