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NCJ Number: 227914 Find in a Library
Title: Challenges of Teaching Criminological Theory: Can Academia Deliver What the Media Promises?
Journal: Criminal Justice Studies: A Critical Journal of Crime, Law and Society  Volume:22  Issue:2  Dated:June 2009  Pages:223-236
Author(s): James F. Anderson; Nancie J. Mangels; Adam H. Langsam
Date Published: June 2009
Page Count: 14
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper discusses the challenges that criminologists face when teaching students, excited about solving crime, to appreciate theorizing about crime.
Abstract: While Hollywood has contributed to the growth of criminal justice programs, students enter college with unrealistic expectations about the reality of criminal justice-related occupations. While the media has helped stimulate interest in careers such as crime scene investigations, criminal profiling, crime mapping, and DNA experts, Hollywood has come short of unmasking the causes of crime. These erroneous images and presentations create problems for students and also exacerbate the challenges that professors face when having to teach justice-related courses in general, but criminology in particular. Professors are challenged with educating students, who are highly motivated to engage in various aspects of law enforcement, to think conceptually and theoretically. In discussing these challenges, this paper will address the media's failure to explain the social context of crime, focus on getting students excited about theory by using relevant examples when teaching criminological traditions, discuss how Hollywood could devote attention to criminology and the criminologist specifically, and provide several strategies that professors can use to deconstruct distorted media presentations of crime, criminal justice participants, and crime causation. The article concludes by arguing that while the criminologist may face many challenges in overcoming the distorted media images and presentations professors can utilize multiple strategies to effectively teach students the reality of crime and justice. References
Main Term(s): Criminal justice education
Index Term(s): Education; Educators; Higher education; Media coverage; Teaching/training techniques
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