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I don’t often write reviews for my classes, but this is one class I thought I needed to leave a footprint behind to those wondering what to expect. Coming to the end of UCLA with over 200 units, I must say this class is one of the BEST classes there is for either a Political Science or a Psych major.
Content: 141A is a class where social psychology, developmental psychology, political theory and party system politics all merge into one analytic/applied class which deals with voter behavior, Democrat vs. Republican struggle and the influence of racism in politics, to name a few, all laid down on the basis of intrinsic or learned (or as Dr. Le calls them dispositional vs. situational) behaviors stemmed from childhood or lifelong exposure. The class goes on to discuss the underlying psychological reasons why you identify yourself with one party vs. another and how your political identity alters political trust and behavior. This class introduces the basic tools to analyze the contemporary issues through a clear lens.
Professor Le: It was an absolute pleasure having Dr. Le as my professor for 141. I rarely experienced the atmosphere that this class had throughout the quarter in my other classes. I identify myself as somebody who prefers one on one discussion over classroom discussion where I know a few if any people. Dr. Le professionally created a united class with her democratic methodology I only came to realize after I took this class. She would not be an authoritative figure like most teachers are. She opened up some administrative questions to the class were we would participate and voice our concerns. I think amongst other features of Dr. Le’s class, her democratic approach gave students’ participation value with regards to administrative issues which translated over to students valuing their participation in class discussion. If this does not make sense now, you will realize what I mean by how comfortable you will become to engage in class discussion. The questions brought forth by Dr. Le were very interesting and she would welcome tangent thinking, which is more an incentive to take over the flow of the class with your thoughts.
Who should take this class: I assume that you are politically/Psychologically inclined to want to know if this class is for you. This class teaches you how to think not to spit back anatomy questions. If you like watching shows like Real Time with Bill Maher, Daily Show with Jon Stewart and others alike, you will enjoy coming to every section of this class.
Overall, Dr. Le is a true scholar with a progressive teaching style. The content that she covers and the case-studies she opens for discussion are fascinating on a section basis.
Professor Le is an absolutely amazing professor. Her lectures and slides are easy to understand and INTERESTING. You have to go to lecture everyday because attendance is mandatory, and if you go to lecture and understand what she is talking about, then you won't have a hard time studying for the midterm and final. The midterm and final are easy if you study the slides! Everything you need to know (including the readings) are ON THE SLIDES.
You might be tempted to drop the class at first, but don't! The class is definitely worth it
PS 141A with Professor Le is a great class for everyone interested in political science, psychology, or communications. This professor is very approachable and enthusiastic about teaching. Her lectures are interesting, organized, and straightforward. She welcomes all questions regarding class concepts, tests, and assignments. I looked forward to attending class. The readings are a great supplement to the lecture and helped us understand concepts better. Professor Le set plenty of office hours for her students and responded to emails quickly. She made it easy to learn and helped us review before the midterm and final with study guides and discussion boards. This is a stress free class and I high recommend it. I would definitely take another class with Professor Le.
I took Prof. Le for both PS M141A and AAS 187B (Spring 2013 – Asian American Social and Political Incorporation).
Contrary to what the reviewer below said, the blending of psychology and politics was extremely relevant. The course begins with psychology and while a political science major myself I found that it was necessary and essential to understand psychology in order to proceed to the politics portion of the course. Once we started bringing in examples from political science it suddenly made more sense, as psychology can explain politics a lot more than you may think. In fact, it reinforces many of the political decisions we may make (or not make).
The essay was very straightforward and if you attended lectures, understood the readings (which we explained in lecture) then you should have been fine. I do not understand why the reviewer below says that essay grades were not released – mine was. In fact, logging on to turnitin.com and reviewing your submission not only showed the grade for the essay, but also comments and suggestions that were very insightful and helped to pinpoint what topics you might need to spend some time reviewing for the final. It seemed as if Prof. Le actually spent time reading each individual essay, which can’t be said for some other professors.
Before the midterm and final Prof. Le provided a study guide with topics to review and a sample essay questions. The format consisted of multiple choice questions based on the readings, short identifications (basic definitions of key terms), and an essay question. There were no tricks, no surprises, everything came straight from course material with a big focus on material covered in lecture.
This course incorporated material from political psychology and applied it to studying the trends in how Asian Americans participate (or don’t participate) in American politics. Like I mentioned earlier, once you’ve understood basic psychology it’s fascinating to see it applied to real issues.
Prof. Le is an expert on not only psychology, but ethnic politics as well. Unlike typical Asian American Studies courses at UCLA, which focus on pitting Asian Americans against others as having suffered most, she pushes students to come up with solutions rather than to complain.
Each week focused on a different Asian ethnic group, thus providing an all-encompassing perspective of Asian Americans (including South Asians, etc.).
The format of the course was the same as PS M141A but in place of a final we had to write an essay based on independent research. Prof. Le taught us how to submit records requests to national governmental agencies like the US Census Bureau and the Department of Homeland Security, a practical skill that many political science courses fail to teach.
Outside of the classroom Prof. Le made it an effort to meet with each and every one of her students, providing numerous office hours to talk to students on a one-on-one level.
Please do not let other reviews keep you from taking one of her classes. In her class you are not a student blindly memorizing fact and dates; you are a professional learning a unique set of skills and putting them to practice.
Professor tries to blend two subjects into one thus making the class ineffective and totally irrelevant. The course description is nothing but a lie, it should not be listed as a Poli Sci class. You are walking into a trap. Its all psychology. Politics are just used as an example for psychological phenomenons and even that seldom happens. Essay topic is extremely irrelevant to the course, very confusing, and totally obscure. 10% participation (I-clicker) 25% final 25% midterm 40% essay. Your final grade in the class is a surprise since she does not release your essay or final grades. Basically, if you are comfortable with your grade being up in the air and not learning anything significant that would help you on these assignments, then take her class. I lucked out with an A- but you may not be so lucky.