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Teaching Global Citizens: Following the News
Unformatted Document Text:  Jennifer Rutledge and Serena Laws “Educating Global Citizens” **DRAFT ** have time. Though this may be specific to the research focus of our institution, it is worth noting that this kind of introductory course may be viewed by professors more as a chore to be gotten through than a class they put a lot of time and thought into. Another theme that came up was that the students taking the course were often not interested in the course material, and most instructors expressed that keeping students engaged and interested was a major challenge. One views teaching 1001 mainly as a performance —“These are 18 year olds—you’re competing with YouTube and the media, so the bigger the better.” So he uses video clips – from the Daily Show, from the West Wing, swears, walks around, and dresses up to try to get students’ attention. In sum, these professors and instructors expressed conflicting views—they all conceded that students' knowledge of politics and current events coming into the class was poor, but only one made a systematic effort to incorporate them into the course. Four of the five did not incorporate examples from international politics, either because they felt they lacked the necessary expertise, or because they felt such issues were not appropriate to an introduction to American politics course. Most professors taught the course with little thought about the content, mostly using textbooks they had used as a teaching assistant, and incorporating no additional readings. Introduction to Global Politics: 1025 We conducted five interviews with instructors and professors who teach the Introduction to Global Politics course, POL 1025. Of the five, three were graduate instructors and two were full time professors. This roughly matches the way the class has been taught in the past. In the past three years, the course was taught three times by professors, and six times by graduate students. The graduate instructors had each taught the course one time, one of the professors has 12

Authors: Rutledge, Jennifer. and Laws, Serena.
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background image
Jennifer Rutledge and Serena Laws
“Educating Global Citizens” **DRAFT **
have time. Though this may be specific to the research focus of our institution, it is worth noting
that this kind of introductory course may be viewed by professors more as a chore to be gotten
through than a class they put a lot of time and thought into.
Another theme that came up was that the students taking the course were often not
interested in the course material, and most instructors expressed that keeping students engaged
and interested was a major challenge. One views teaching 1001 mainly as a performance
—“These are 18 year olds—you’re competing with YouTube and the media, so the bigger the
better.” So he uses video clips – from the Daily Show, from the West Wing, swears, walks
around, and dresses up to try to get students’ attention.
In sum, these professors and instructors expressed conflicting views—they all conceded
that students' knowledge of politics and current events coming into the class was poor, but only
one made a systematic effort to incorporate them into the course. Four of the five did not
incorporate examples from international politics, either because they felt they lacked the
necessary expertise, or because they felt such issues were not appropriate to an introduction to
American politics course. Most professors taught the course with little thought about the content,
mostly using textbooks they had used as a teaching assistant, and incorporating no additional
readings.
Introduction to Global Politics: 1025
We conducted five interviews with instructors and professors who teach the Introduction
to Global Politics course, POL 1025. Of the five, three were graduate instructors and two were
full time professors. This roughly matches the way the class has been taught in the past. In the
past three years, the course was taught three times by professors, and six times by graduate
students. The graduate instructors had each taught the course one time, one of the professors has
12


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