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Teaching Global Citizens: Following the News
Unformatted Document Text:  Jennifer Rutledge and Serena Laws “Educating Global Citizens” **DRAFT ** determine if students’ perception of their political knowledge has increased. We also will add more substantive questions regarding particular salient issues in current events. This will allow us to determine if students are leaving class with this knowledge, and whether or not they got what they expected from the course. IV. Conclusions In a class that one of the authors recently taught, the Introduction to Global Politics course, the instructor focused heavily on the connections between class concepts and current events. In particular, there was a focus on the Iraq War (security), the Israel/Palestine situation (security, sovereignty), the Darfur genocide (human rights, international organizations) and Iran (nuclear proliferation). Based on the results of a pre- and post-survey in which the students were asked to self-assess their knowledge of each of these issue areas, students’ knowledge on each of the issues improved greatly. The instructor decided, unilaterally, that these were important current events that students coming out of an introductory political science course should know. In addition, these current events illustrated nicely some of the important concepts from an Introduction to Global Politics course. However, the importance of these current events are not limited to a Global Politics course. If we think about US students being global citizens, knowledge of these current event issues is obviously important across subfields. These following are some of the issues we believe global citizens should have some competency in: the Iraq War, the situation in the Middle East, the role of international organizations, human rights, foreign aid, and the extent and history of US military involvement abroad. These issues make up our current international landscape today and it is irresponsible for us to educate global citizens without some knowledge of them. Our goal is not at all to suggest a standard, unchanging curriculum, but rather to 22

Authors: Rutledge, Jennifer. and Laws, Serena.
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Jennifer Rutledge and Serena Laws
“Educating Global Citizens” **DRAFT **
determine if students’ perception of their political knowledge has increased. We also will add
more substantive questions regarding particular salient issues in current events. This will allow
us to determine if students are leaving class with this knowledge, and whether or not they got
what they expected from the course.
IV. Conclusions
In a class that one of the authors recently taught, the Introduction to Global Politics
course, the instructor focused heavily on the connections between class concepts and current
events. In particular, there was a focus on the Iraq War (security), the Israel/Palestine situation
(security, sovereignty), the Darfur genocide (human rights, international organizations) and Iran
(nuclear proliferation). Based on the results of a pre- and post-survey in which the students were
asked to self-assess their knowledge of each of these issue areas, students’ knowledge on each of
the issues improved greatly. The instructor decided, unilaterally, that these were important
current events that students coming out of an introductory political science course should know.
In addition, these current events illustrated nicely some of the important concepts from an
Introduction to Global Politics course.
However, the importance of these current events are not limited to a Global Politics
course. If we think about US students being global citizens, knowledge of these current event
issues is obviously important across subfields. These following are some of the issues we believe
global citizens should have some competency in: the Iraq War, the situation in the Middle East,
the role of international organizations, human rights, foreign aid, and the extent and history of
US military involvement abroad. These issues make up our current international landscape today
and it is irresponsible for us to educate global citizens without some knowledge of them.
Our goal is not at all to suggest a standard, unchanging curriculum, but rather to
22


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