Introduction to Political Theory

Brian Esparza Walker

Introduction to Political Theory

Political Science department

Brian Esparza Walker

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from 30 users

Ratings

Bad
Overall 4.4
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 1.9
Easy
Heavy
Workload 1.7
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 4.7
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 4.7
Helpful
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Tags

  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Needs Textbook
  • Is Podcasted
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Snazzy Dresser
  • Often Funny
  • Tough Tests
  • Participation Matters
  • Would Take Again
  • Issues PTEs

Grades

Winter 2017
26.7%
22.3%
17.8%
13.4%
8.9%
4.5%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Winter 2015
22.7%
18.9%
15.2%
11.4%
7.6%
3.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Fall 2013
21.8%
18.2%
14.5%
10.9%
7.3%
3.6%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Fall 2012
24.6%
20.5%
16.4%
12.3%
8.2%
4.1%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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2 of 3

Reviews

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Dec. 25, 2012 Grade Received: N/A

I really loved Professor Walker-Esparza. He is an incredibly engaging lecturer, and as a Political Science major thinking of a minor in Philosophy, I definitely benefited from this class. It's definitely a class which requires a time commitment; readings are dense and papers must be worked and re-worked for that A. I had Hollie as my TA and she was awesome. I honestly haven't heard anything bad about the other TA's and I think as long as you put in the work, this class is doable. Either way, this course is such a great learning experience I would recommend it to anyone.

Final Grade: A+

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Dec. 20, 2012 Grade Received: N/A

Honestly, a lot of people seem to have mixed opinions about taking Professor Walker's class just because there is a lot of work involved. If you want a highly rewarding and educational experience, PS10 is definitely the class for you. With Walker's insightful and highly organized lectures, you will be "mind blown" every class! The reading material is often dense, but if you can master this class, I feel as though you can be a professional when it comes to reading books that are higher in difficulty.

He does give out pop quizzes, but this quarter, he told us in advance when these quizzes would take place. There are two papers in lieu of a midterm which I think is excellent, and it is definitely doable to get an A in both essays - just put in the work as opposed to doing it the night before...it makes a difference! And don't try to enroll in a particular TA's discussion - they are ALL great, regardless of whether or not people say one is "harder" than others!

As for the final, as long as you paid attention in class, and read each of the readings (and yes, you read absolutely EVERYTHING in the reader as well as the majority of the two required books he assigns), then you should be golden for the final. I ended up with an A+ in the class. With the right amount of hard work and perseverance, you will be just fine.

Lastly, I would take this class for a pre-major requirement or even as a GE. Professor Walker has taught me a lot, and the discussions, mandatory or not, are really great to attend!

SO TAKE THIS CLASS!

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Dec. 17, 2012 Grade Received: N/A

Brian Walker is an amazing professor. This class was an absolute delight for my first quarter here at UCLA. I'm a Business Economics/Political Science major, so for those of you thinking about taking this class as a GE, DON'T. It's simply not worth all the work. With that said, if you're taking Political Science, this class is a must, especially with Walker. His lectures are engaging, and he answers all his questions in the course reader during them (wish I had done this, would've made studying for the exam so much easier).

The course is made up of:
- 10% participation (make sure you go to all your discussions. They're helpful anyways)
- 15% pop quizzes (best 3 out of 4 - even though they're pop quizzes he let's you know in advance).
- 10% 2-3 page paper on Aristotle. (I got a 90 on the paper, work with your TA on this one).
- 30% 6-8 page paper on Mill (watch out, don't get cocky on this paper. I was expecting a 96, but ended up with an 86. The TAs grade this paper so much harder, so don't put it off).
- 35% Final Exam (I got 100%... somehow. Thank God, cuz I was nervous about it - go through the course reader and answer EVERY SINGLE QUESTION - seriously. You'll thank yourself)

Overall, I ended up with an A in the class. It was tremendously hard work, but there was seriously nothing more rewarding. Go to lectures, answer the course reader questions, do the readings on time, and go to office hours every so often, and you'll be fine. He's more than happy to answer your questions during then.

PS - Get Cody Trojan as your TA! He's incredibly intelligent and extremely effective in making you a better writer. He's one of the harder TAs, but he's honestly the best. If you see him as one of the options in one of your classes, switch into his discussion. I'm not kidding. Even if you have to get on his waitlist. Easily the best TA I had... granted, I'm a first quarter. But you get my drift. He's that good.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Dec. 12, 2012 Grade Received: N/A

One of the most interesting professors I've ever encountered. He truly values knowledge over just getting the grade. He's awesome. I love him.

He tells you about the pop quizzes ahead of time. They aren't too difficult if you've read the material. Depending on what TA you get, essays can be very difficult or fair. I got a B+ on both and I'm a fairly strong writer. This class isn't an easy A but it's manageable. The final this year was quite straightforward and easy in my opinion.

TAKE THIS CLASS!

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Aug. 14, 2012 Grade Received: N/A

I took PS10 with Walker in winter 2012. He was the best professor I had all year. I’ve only been here for one year so that might change, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is a very, very good professor. He apparently even won an award for teaching this class about 10 years ago. Walker emphasizes that he wants you to learn something from this class, rather than just getting by and getting your degree. While it was slightly pretentious that he talked about being one of the only professors who would actually make you learn, he lived up to this claim and did a great job doing so.

As per his “you will learn” philosophy, Walker gives quizzes to ensure you will do the reading. I’m pretty sure that those pop quizzes were directly responsible for the number of people who dropped the class; the waitlist was full week 1, but after a couple weeks the class was under-enrolled. So if you want to take the class but it’s full, don’t worry because you will get a spot eventually. While you do definitely have to do the reading, it was manageable and not as bad as he warned. He claims you will need to spend 3-4 hours per lecture on reading, and I never spent more than 1-1.5, usually less. Similarly, the reading quizzes were not that bad. There were supposed to be 5 but that got cut to 4 when he ran out of time at the end of the quarter. The last two pop quizzes also turned into “pop quizzes” when he strongly hinted there would be a quiz during the next lecture.

As far as the material, he focuses on key thinkers rather than going through a different philosopher each lecture. The first 5 weeks are on conservatism (focusing on Aristotle) and the second 5 weeks are on liberalism (focusing on Mill). We also read Confucius, Plato, Foucault, and some others. Walker stresses that he will not reveal his political orientation as he wants the class to be as nonpartisan as possible. He did accidentally reveal to us, but I’ll leave you to figure it out yourself (it’s fairly obvious). He also had a nice personality in lecture and is very proud of being Canadian. He likes to break lectures up into different segments, so it’s always a mixture of straight lecturing, powerpoints, clips, and question/discussion. He also had us go outside, talk in groups, and come back in for cold-calling. We also sometimes started off the day with cold-calling on person questions (where you come from and 3 words to describe it, the song you currently like most). While I loathe cold-calling, he wanted to make the large lecture more personal and didn’t end up doing it more than twice.

People do go to his office hours as well. I went once to introduce myself and found it packed with maybe 12-15 students. Apparently, this is a weekly thing where a group shows up every week and picks his brain further. I’ve never seen that before with office hours, and it was nice to see them actually being put to use. Discussion sections were also worthwhile, and my TA Will was great at explaining the reading. As far as grading, in addition to the reading quizzes, there are two essays, which were pretty straightforward. One was 3 pages, and the other was 8-10 pages. He was even nice enough to grant the entire class an extension when he moved back the date of the second paper. There is also a final of short answers and a long essay. Although we were in two rooms for the final, Walker was nice enough to switch between the rooms equally. As long as you’ve done the reading and gone to lecture, the final should be a breeze. I ended up with an A+, and I plan to take his upper div M115C as I am a poli sci major.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted March 25, 2011 Grade Received: N/A

This professor was always excited about talking about political science. However, his lectures are always going off on tangents and are unorganized. The only times I could keep track was when he analyzed the books he asked us to read. But, he does offer outlines to the class. And this professor tends to talk really quickly, so I really suggest typing your notes.

This professor offers pop-quizzes at the beginning of class. But he usually warns about them beforehand. I think there was only 1 time in which he didn’t. The readings for the class is pretty dense. Discussions didn’t really help for me, because my TA didn’t really talk that much, he just questioned. The essays in the class can be difficult, if the TA is being difficult. The citing format is Chicago style, so this was the first class that I did that for. The last 10 page essay, was pretty difficult to write.

In total, I found this class to be very educational and fulfilling, as a South campus major, taking a North Campus GE. Professor Walker does not lie when he wants to make this class a fulfilling educational class unlike other classes. He even congratulates you with some candy after your final, which is actually not that difficult. If you do the reading guide you are pretty much set. It is a bunch of short answer questions that you can pretty much choose from, and an essay. The essay he goes over in a couple lectures before hand to prepare you what to write. I wouldn’t say this was an easy A, but a doable A. It’s one of those classes that you know you can get an A in if you put in the effort.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Feb. 21, 2011 Grade Received: N/A

Walker was an interesting professor. I personally hated the course material, but loved the man. As others have said, he is genuinely kind, and cares about his students' understanding of the material. His own office hours are very very helpful, so go to them if you have any questions about the concepts or need help writing out the papers.

Now that I look back, the course wasn't actually that bad. I ended up with a solid A with a average amount of studying. The hardest part of the class is the two papers, so make sure you fully understand the concepts behind each one and how to explain them in 2-3/ 8-10 pages. The discussion sections also help with this.

Overall, I recommend this course if you are considering to be a political science major, or are looking for a GE with a great professor. It personally made me decide poli sci was not for me, but did it with a fair amount of work that never overwhelmed me.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Feb. 1, 2011 Grade Received: N/A

This class by far has helped me acquire better analytical skills and writing skills. Prof. Walker was by far the best professor I have had the privilege to know. I took his seminar (take it, it solidifies the knowledge learned in class) and he is a very wonderful caring man. He really does care a lot for his students! The material is not for everyone, I found it to be quite interesting and I am still using what I learned in other classes. How could you not? He basically hammers all the info into your head that soon you start to recite Aristotle in your sleep.

Rundown
There were five quizzes in the class, there were "pop" quizzes, but he always told us when they were going to be. The lowest grade got dropped.
There were two papers, one that was three pages another ten pages. The first one was straightforward and easy to do. The second one involved more time and effort.
The final was based on the course reader question and there was an essay (he gives out three questions, one will be the essay question)

Hints
Go to lecture! Take notes! Visit him and your TAs in office hours! Common sense huh? Other than that, work hard on your course reader. Make sure your answers are correct! When he gives you the three essay choices, write it out! That was essentially the hardest part of the final.

Outcome:
I read everything over at least twice. I ended up with an solid A. Work hard and you will get the grade you deserve.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Jan. 2, 2011 Grade Received: N/A

I can really understand why everyone is so polar on these reviews for Walker, but personally, I had a very indifferent experience. Here's my rundown:

CLASS:
Comprised of 4 'pop' quizzes and he drops the lowest score (he usually warns you the class beforehand), 2 papers (one small 2-3 page paper worth 10% of your grade and one 8-10 page paper worth 25%), participation (section is mandatory and he says lecture is to but there's almost no way of tracking that) and a final.

LECTURES:
He has some very long, very tedious lectures. He tries to keep it interesting but he doesn't do a great job of following a concrete outline and he often fleshes out subjects to the point where it becomes to complex to understand. For my class the lectures were on bruincast and he uploaded the lecture notes and I found it MUCH easier to follow that way than actually attending the lectures.

PROFESSORS:
One of the more unique human beings I've ever come across. He's this extremely nerdy, kinda strange guy that has a horrible ego but at the same time cares a lot about his students learning (maybe to much). Throughout the entire class I was split between wanting to hit him and hug him, shake his hand and shake his neck, etc...

SUGGESTIONS:
I got a solid B (like 85%) and I didn't read a thing or go to lecture. If you want to get an A, work hard but I really don't know if it's worth doing. If you go to class and do your work then you will get at least a B, which is what I did. There is one suggestion that will be HUGE for this class though- find and read the reading guide!! He didn't really advertise it but if you want to do well on the quizzes and the final, he asks almost the same exact questions on the reading guide as he does the tests and quizzes.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Dec. 26, 2010 Grade Received: N/A

Took PS10 Fall 2010 and got an A-. Had Karl Striepe for my TA and he was great (meaning a good grader). Lots of reading but other than the 4 main readings (aristotle, mill, confucious, thoreau) you can get by without reading the other ones. 4/5 pop quizzes with 3 of them counting but are pretty much grade boosters since he sometimes tells you a day in advance when the pop quizzes are. The class can be interesting, but the readigns take forever and you have to rely on online summaries if you dont want to be reading for hours. Videocasts his lectures which is helpful since he talks fast during his lectures.

2 of 3

Tags

  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Needs Textbook
  • Is Podcasted
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Snazzy Dresser
  • Often Funny
  • Tough Tests
  • Participation Matters
  • Would Take Again
  • Issues PTEs
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