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Teaching Global Citizens: Following the News
Unformatted Document Text:  Jennifer Rutledge and Serena Laws “Educating Global Citizens” **DRAFT ** weapons. This leads him backwards to the Cold War and to concepts such as balance of power. The idea here is to use current events as the hot button topic that will catch student’s interest and then move into the history and concepts. While all of the interviewees agreed that students expressed a real concern and interest in current events, not all the interviewees thought that current events were explicitly important to teach. In fact, one professor emphatically argues that current events are for high school courses, not college courses. He gave the example that, lecturing the day after 9/11 he did not talk about those events at all. He believed that his students had come for the lecture he had promised them, and he was going to deliver that lecture. A local news crew hoping to film his class that day were told they could not come in, as he would not be discussing what they wanted to hear. This professor did hold a voluntary session after the class for students to discuss 9/11 if they wished, but he did not make it a part of his class, believing such events had no place in the Intro classroom. Several other interviewees expressed the thought that international relations as a discipline is very driven by contemporary policy concerns, and as such, these issues end up in the classroom. One instructor commented that he thought that this was a real shame, because a focus on contemporary policy concerns might overshadow other interesting and important aspects of global politics. For instance, he speculated that many Intro courses at this point in time were very focused on war, due to the Iraq war, and that this ran the risk of ignoring issues such as international organizations or humanitarian intervention. However, this close connection between policy concerns and the discipline likely brings a dose of understanding contemporary issues or current events implicitly into the classroom. Do Introductory Political Science Courses Help Educate Global Citizens? 15

Authors: Rutledge, Jennifer. and Laws, Serena.
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Jennifer Rutledge and Serena Laws
“Educating Global Citizens” **DRAFT **
weapons. This leads him backwards to the Cold War and to concepts such as balance of power.
The idea here is to use current events as the hot button topic that will catch student’s interest and
then move into the history and concepts.
While all of the interviewees agreed that students expressed a real concern and interest in
current events, not all the interviewees thought that current events were explicitly important to
teach. In fact, one professor emphatically argues that current events are for high school courses,
not college courses. He gave the example that, lecturing the day after 9/11 he did not talk about
those events at all. He believed that his students had come for the lecture he had promised them,
and he was going to deliver that lecture. A local news crew hoping to film his class that day
were told they could not come in, as he would not be discussing what they wanted to hear. This
professor did hold a voluntary session after the class for students to discuss 9/11 if they wished,
but he did not make it a part of his class, believing such events had no place in the Intro
classroom.
Several other interviewees expressed the thought that international relations as a
discipline is very driven by contemporary policy concerns, and as such, these issues end up in the
classroom. One instructor commented that he thought that this was a real shame, because a focus
on contemporary policy concerns might overshadow other interesting and important aspects of
global politics. For instance, he speculated that many Intro courses at this point in time were
very focused on war, due to the Iraq war, and that this ran the risk of ignoring issues such as
international organizations or humanitarian intervention. However, this close connection
between policy concerns and the discipline likely brings a dose of understanding contemporary
issues or current events implicitly into the classroom.
Do Introductory Political Science Courses Help Educate Global Citizens?
15


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