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Teaching Global Citizens: Following the News
Unformatted Document Text:  Jennifer Rutledge and Serena Laws “Educating Global Citizens” **DRAFT ** open to the idea and all said they at least included illustrative examples here and there to contextualize key concepts. On the issue of including examples from international politics, however, most instructors seemed reluctant to even consider the possibility, either because of their lack of expertise in the area, or because they do not think it appropriate to the course. To the extent that we think that educating the global citizen involves teaching students about American foreign policy and military involvement abroad, including such issues in introductory American politics courses would require a major shift in the traditional curriculum. The instructors were also asked whether or not examples from international politics were incorporated into their classes. All but the one who encouraged students to read current events said that those issues almost never came up. Three said the reason was that they lacked the expertise to teach about it, and that they would not know how to answer questions that came up. One said it was "better not to teach it at all than to teach it and not know how to answer students." All four said that they had never taught the foreign policy chapter in their selected text, either because they ran out of time or because they simply did not assign it, and three said they just "didn't teach much public policy in general." The main time examples from international politics came up were in talking about different kinds of voting systems. In contrast, in the class where the instructor put a great deal of emphasis on current events, the "war in Iraq came up every day." This instructor also brought in other examples from international politics. He gave a detailed example of the German proportional system when they were studying voting, and showed a video about the role of law in North Korea. He also showed videos about Mogadishu to illustrate the role of the media, and connected it to the controversy over showing coffins of soldiers killed in Iraq on television. Some might question the relevance of such issues to an introductory American politics 10

Authors: Rutledge, Jennifer. and Laws, Serena.
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Jennifer Rutledge and Serena Laws
“Educating Global Citizens” **DRAFT **
open to the idea and all said they at least included illustrative examples here and there to
contextualize key concepts. On the issue of including examples from international politics,
however, most instructors seemed reluctant to even consider the possibility, either because of
their lack of expertise in the area, or because they do not think it appropriate to the course. To the
extent that we think that educating the global citizen involves teaching students about American
foreign policy and military involvement abroad, including such issues in introductory American
politics courses would require a major shift in the traditional curriculum.
The instructors were also asked whether or not examples from international politics were
incorporated into their classes. All but the one who encouraged students to read current events
said that those issues almost never came up. Three said the reason was that they lacked the
expertise to teach about it, and that they would not know how to answer questions that came up.
One said it was "better not to teach it at all than to teach it and not know how to answer
students." All four said that they had never taught the foreign policy chapter in their selected
text, either because they ran out of time or because they simply did not assign it, and three said
they just "didn't teach much public policy in general." The main time examples from
international politics came up were in talking about different kinds of voting systems.
In contrast, in the class where the instructor put a great deal of emphasis on current
events, the "war in Iraq came up every day." This instructor also brought in other examples from
international politics. He gave a detailed example of the German proportional system when they
were studying voting, and showed a video about the role of law in North Korea. He also showed
videos about Mogadishu to illustrate the role of the media, and connected it to the controversy
over showing coffins of soldiers killed in Iraq on television.
Some might question the relevance of such issues to an introductory American politics
10


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