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Unformatted Document Text:  and the losers predestined and the students’ role fated. Moreover PBL tends to have defined parameters around the issue under investigation. The PBL issue is often a real life situation, but some of the elements of the problem are missing. The task of the students is to establish the missing part and hypothesise as to how this solves the whole problem. VTI takes this idea one step further. VTI embeds the imperatives of project management into the process of scenario-building, specifically because the nature of the presented problem, or global scenarios, requires careful consideration of the effects on broader populations beyond the direct mandate of the protagonists. Consequently, while PBL often focuses on issues in isolation, VTI necessitates a global view, and careful attention to the multiple contexts within the prescribed scenario. The reasons the inaugural VTI program at Bond University adopted the 6-Party Talks are due to these constituent elements of the problem: • Multiple nations: North Korea, South Korea, USA, China, Japan, and Russia. This ensures the activity is whole class-based rather than small group work. • Currency and longevity: the issue remains unresolved with periodic official meetings (fortuitously in the Northern Autumn, and coincides with out September semester). The Talks are a protracted issue not likely to disappear mid-semester, leaving the class unable to continue. • Resources: students have no trouble accessing historical and current reportage on the Talks from both governmental and non-governmental sources. Broad reportage is essential. The 6-Party talks also allow the specific teaching methodology associated with VTI to be deployed. At the beginning of each incarnation of the subject East-West Diplomacy, and the deployment of the 6-Part Talks VTI project, I choose to broadly assume that certain limitations regarding prior knowledge and biases will be present within the cohort. Whether accurate or not, such assumptions serve to facilitate the foundational teaching essential to effectively engage with the subject materials. They include: • A closed-mindedness (narrow thinking) • A lack of skills (no exposure to the diplomatic world) • A lack of global thinking (predominantly Western thinking) • A lack of real world experience (insular nature of secondary education) The list above does bring challenges to a personal and professional desire to foster learner-centered pedagogies that reshape the theoretical and practical preconceptions of the students in diplomacy and international relations studies. However, it is my contention that students are open to novel challenges. The trick, for the teacher, is to ensure that learning is deeply embedded in the learning program, no matter how novel it would seem at face value. There are multiple direct benefits to students as a result of participation in the VTI program both in the short and long term. In the short term, students benefit from the subject by the development of skills that enhance the student’s core competencies in diplomacy and international relations area studies, including:

Authors: Cullen, Anne.
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and the losers predestined and the students’ role fated. Moreover PBL tends to have
defined parameters around the issue under investigation. The PBL issue is often a
real life situation, but some of the elements of the problem are missing. The task of
the students is to establish the missing part and hypothesise as to how this solves the
whole problem. VTI takes this idea one step further.
VTI embeds the imperatives of project management into the process of
scenario-building, specifically because the nature of the presented problem, or global
scenarios, requires careful consideration of the effects on broader populations beyond
the direct mandate of the protagonists. Consequently, while PBL often focuses on
issues in isolation, VTI necessitates a global view, and careful attention to the
multiple contexts within the prescribed scenario.
The reasons the inaugural VTI program at Bond University adopted the 6-Party Talks
are due to these constituent elements of the problem:
Multiple nations: North Korea, South Korea, USA, China, Japan, and Russia.
This ensures the activity is whole class-based rather than small group work.
Currency and longevity: the issue remains unresolved with periodic official
meetings (fortuitously in the Northern Autumn, and coincides with out
September semester). The Talks are a protracted issue not likely to disappear
mid-semester, leaving the class unable to continue.
Resources: students have no trouble accessing historical and current reportage
on the Talks from both governmental and non-governmental sources. Broad
reportage is essential.
The 6-Party talks also allow the specific teaching methodology associated with VTI to
be deployed.
At the beginning of each incarnation of the subject East-West Diplomacy, and
the deployment of the 6-Part Talks VTI project, I choose to broadly assume that
certain limitations regarding prior knowledge and biases will be present within the
cohort. Whether accurate or not, such assumptions serve to facilitate the foundational
teaching essential to effectively engage with the subject materials. They include:
A closed-mindedness (narrow thinking)
A lack of skills (no exposure to the diplomatic world)
A lack of global thinking (predominantly Western thinking)
A lack of real world experience (insular nature of secondary education)
The list above does bring challenges to a personal and professional desire to foster
learner-centered pedagogies that reshape the theoretical and practical preconceptions
of the students in diplomacy and international relations studies. However, it is my
contention that students are open to novel challenges. The trick, for the teacher, is to
ensure that learning is deeply embedded in the learning program, no matter how novel
it would seem at face value.
There are multiple direct benefits to students as a result of participation in the
VTI program both in the short and long term. In the short term, students benefit from
the subject by the development of skills that enhance the student’s core competencies
in diplomacy and international relations area studies, including:


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