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Teaching Global Citizens: Following the News
Unformatted Document Text:  **DRAFT - do not circulate without authors' permission** Educating Global Citizens: Following the News Jennifer Rutledge and Serena Laws, University of Minnesota Note to TLC Participants: This paper is a work in progress. As you will see, the study involves a pre- and post-survey, and we won’t administer the post-survey until the end of the semester. We would particularly appreciate any suggestions about what questions to include on the post-survey. Also, we would appreciate any suggestions about what else we could do with the data we have already collected. I. Introduction This paper addresses the ongoing concern with higher education’s role in promoting citizenship by suggesting one way in which introductory political science courses can contribute to this goal. In introductory political science courses at many institutions (including our own), students are often taught abstract political science theories and concepts, usually divorced from political reality. In our experience, it is possible for students to complete these intro courses (and even do well in them) with little more knowledge of the most important current events than they came in with. Considering the increasingly interconnected world we live in, and America’s important and changing political and economic role in it, we believe it is vital for students to have both an awareness of the global and knowledge of particular events taking place in the world today. For example, at this moment we would argue that students coming out of introductory political science courses should have at least a basic knowledge of the war in Iraq, the role of oil in the Middle East, the current genocide in Darfur, and the looming economic recession. Yet in our experience students even in intro global politics courses may not learn about these issues. Globalization is changing the world - bringing it closer together and global concerns to the forefront of political inquiry. If our students are to be citizens in this new world, they will have to be global citizens. It requires “new ideas, new perspectives, new modes of inquiry, and

Authors: Rutledge, Jennifer. and Laws, Serena.
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**DRAFT - do not circulate without authors' permission**
Educating Global Citizens: Following the News
Jennifer Rutledge and Serena Laws, University of Minnesota
Note to TLC Participants: This paper is a work in progress. As you will see, the study involves a
pre- and post-survey, and we won’t administer the post-survey until the end of the semester. We
would particularly appreciate any suggestions about what questions to include on the post-
survey. Also, we would appreciate any suggestions about what else we could do with the data we
have
already
collected.
I. Introduction
This paper addresses the ongoing concern with higher education’s role in promoting
citizenship by suggesting one way in which introductory political science courses can contribute
to this goal. In introductory political science courses at many institutions (including our own),
students are often taught abstract political science theories and concepts, usually divorced from
political reality. In our experience, it is possible for students to complete these intro courses (and
even do well in them) with little more knowledge of the most important current events than they
came in with. Considering the increasingly interconnected world we live in, and America’s
important and changing political and economic role in it, we believe it is vital for students to
have both an awareness of the global and knowledge of particular events taking place in the
world today. For example, at this moment we would argue that students coming out of
introductory political science courses should have at least a basic knowledge of the war in Iraq,
the role of oil in the Middle East, the current genocide in Darfur, and the looming economic
recession. Yet in our experience students even in intro global politics courses may not learn
about these issues.
Globalization is changing the world - bringing it closer together and global concerns to
the forefront of political inquiry. If our students are to be citizens in this new world, they will
have to be global citizens. It requires “new ideas, new perspectives, new modes of inquiry, and


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