"Comparing Policy Alternatives," in TEACHING POLICY STUDIES: WHAT AND HOW, edited by W. D. Coplin. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1978: 159-167.
Earlier version published as:
Dubnick, Mel. 1977, "Comparing Policy Alternatives." POLICY STUDIES JOURNAL 6 (2):368-75.
The focus of this article is the work of Elinor Ostrom and her colleagues at Indiana University who have developed a teaching strategy which can prove useful for those bothered by the usual overreliance on texts, lectures, and some of the more empty "innovations" in instruction techniques. It concentrates on the analysis and comparison of policy alternatives, but not to the necessary exclusion of concerns for policymaking or policy impacts. Much of what follows is derived from her approach as described and reported on in several sources as well as my own experience in attempting more limited applications in a variety of courses and contexts.