A Few ideas for supplementing lessons in International studies: Comparative Government, International Relations, Global Studies

Ideas based on recent Twitter Session sponsored by WorldGeoChat and the Newseum.

I wanted to personally thank all of you who were kind enough to tweet “Likes” and responses to me during the Twitter session on WorldGeoChat on Tuesday. Given the technical problems I had, it was especially gratifying to know that a few people were responding.   There were a few ideas that didn’t get tweeted, or that would be more meaningful if they were fleshed out, so I thought I’d use a long form style of communication to convey some thoughts about teaching international subjects:

1/ If you have not looked at the Pulitzer Center, you’re missing some great ideas for lessons.  There are a great number of pre=-written lessons on many subjects. Or there is a program that helps you writes your own.   The subjects covered range from gold mining in Peru, to Indonesia’s textile boom. So you can always find something to liven up a unit. There are quite a number of documentaries on a vast array of subjects.   Fareed Mostoufi, who coordinates teaching outreach at the Pulitzer Center, will help you get a visit or Skype session with a reporter, and that can be exciting—especially when the reporter has just come back from or is in the field. There is something compelling about these sessions.  So check them out: http://pulitzercenter.org/reporting

2/ You are probably familiar with the Choices Series from the Watson Center at Brown University.   Their booklets (or PDFs) that contain useful simulation ideas are very useful. but also there are interesting videos and shorter exercises based on recent news. I particularly like using the “options” in the simulations packets.   I teach one-semester classes, so I don’t have time to use the whole booklets.   So what I do is to just pull the options and set up the class in various ways. Most often I divide the class into groups, give them a few minutes to discuss the option they have received, and then have them choose one speaker, who appears on a TV type panel.   (I choose one or two student moderators to ask questions…)   This is a popular activity and gives the students a sense of completion at the end of a unit.   They feel intelligent enough to comment on US foreign policy on China or Nigeria….

3/ I know the World Affairs Council came up during the Twitter session, but I wanted to reiterate how useful your local council can be.   If you live in the vicinity of a local WAC, they are happy to provide speakers and to give you a hand in many ways.   They also sponsor “Academic WorldQuest”, which is an interesting quiz game held on the local and national level.   So if you have not checked them out, do so.

4/ I’ve learned a good deal from FPRI over the years.  They are a moderate to conservative foreign policy think tank based in Philadelphia, who make a strong effort to reach out to teachers.  They have great conferences, all over the country,and usually they archive their talks, so they can be used for flipped classes or extra credit. They also sponsor trips to Japan, Korea…..  so if they are not on your radar, they should be.

5/ Travel: There are so many opportunities to travel: A yearly tour of Germany sponsored by the Goethe Foundation TOP program is one of the best. https://www.goethe.de/ins/us/en/spr/eng/top/top_teachers/top_study_tour.html

Some years, not this year unfortunately, the Turkish Cultural Foundation sponsors a trip to Turkey http://www.turkishculturalfoundation.org/ they have some helpful resources on their page.

The UK Parliament Education group has an annual event and each year they allow two Americans to attend. http://www.parliament.uk/education/teacher-training-cpd-opportunities/teachers-institute/And there are many more…. I have colleagues who have been to Korea, to Saudi Arabia,

I hope at least one of these ideas proves useful.

Thanks again,

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“From Rosie to Lucy”

This is a lesson I developed for use with the essay by this name found in Davidson and Lytle’s After the Fact.  It seemed to work well, perhaps just because it is so different from my more usual fare:

“From Rosie to Lucie”

We’ll answer these questions in small groups and then share the results: In your group take about 15 minutes to read or Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 1.02.57 PM.pngwatch video . Be ready to talk about the questions I’ve asked as well as the group question at the end.

1/ Women as part of the War Effort:

Rosie the Riveter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AE2z_N1fM5Ehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNQ9q4zsmSAScreen Shot 2016-04-23 at 1.02.33 PM.png

https://vimeo.com/18770076

How much of a departure was women in the workforce during the second world war How did the media depict the women who contributed to the workforce?   What would women who participated in the war effort feel about leaving their jobs at the end of the war?

2/ In The Feminine Mystique (1963)Betty In 1957, Friedan was asked to conduct a survey of her former Smith College classmates for their 15th anniversary reunion; the results, in which she found that many of them were unhappy with their lives as housewives, prompted her to begin research for The Feminine Mystique, conducting interviews with other suburban housewives, as well as researching psychology, media, and advertising. Freidan expressed the frustration of American women forced back into domestic roles after tasting freedom during World War II

Why do you think this book became so widely read?

What thoughts do you have on this 2013 critique of the book in the Atlantic Magazine?

In terms of the statistics did women stop being in the workforce, or did the jobs they held change? What happened?

3/ Looking at “I Love Lucy”, what message does it deliver about women in the Post-War US?

http://www.criticalcommons.org/Members/ashleysy/clips/tv-housewives-does-i-love-lucy-a-feminist-strain

Does this 1959 clip have a feminist strain?   Does it presage Betty Friedan? Or is it as Patricia Mellencamp suggests is it “Containment operated through laughter” that “might have worked to have held women in their place”

4/ Looking at “The Honeymooners

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWei1aFDUU8   (1956)

The Honeymooners was retro in a number of ways.   The other family sit-coms showed families in small towns or in the newly developing suburbs. But this sit-com was based in a crowded apartment in the city– more an image of the depression than the l950s. How would you analyze the first ten minutes of this show in terms of women’s roles. …

Question for everyone:   As potential historians how should we evaluate the media that is contemporary to period we study:   Do images and expectations of people in media show cultural “domination” or   “reflection” (358 – 60). 

In other words do the media show the historian what people thought/think?  

Or do they strongly influence  what people thought/ think ?  

 

 

 

1.11 Extra Credit book talks~ April 2016

I’ve been remiss in updating this blog.   I have not been teaching AP US government this year, but a section has been reassigned to me next year, so I’ll begin updating what I have and will post everything that’s original here:

Meanwhile I thought I’d post one idea that I use for AP US history that could easily be adapted to US Government or to AP European:

Students listen to book talks for extra credit.    You’ll find a ton of book talks on C-SPAN’s book TV,  or you can look up othe sources.  Around here (Washington, DC)  we use Politics and Prose, which has its own site and its own You-Tube channel.  I just gave a few samples on the attachment, but on my in-house website, I have many, many  more to choose from.  I try to encourage students to listen to something that’s more or less current to wha they are studying.    Eager students sometimes listen in conjunction to class, and it works exceedingly well to have them comment on a book that is germane to class.

 

Extra Credit Book talks:

I use book talks to boost grades a bit, and to get students in the habit of finding books on line, but they can be used for flpped classes as well, or to supplement a book review…
Questions for book talks:  Use these questions as the basis of an informal, but well-written paper:

Washington, DC where we are based, is a great place for book talks and lectures, so consider that you have the opportunity to   take advantage of the city by attending a lecture or book talk. You can also watch a book talk or panel discussion on C-SPAN or elsewhere. I have a number of possible talks listed. At any time you’re looking for extra credit, if you are using an online talk, try to stay close to the period we’re studying. You get double-credit if you actually attend the book talk  or a panel discussion.
Extra Credit Book talks:

I use book talks to boost grades a bit, and to get students in the habit of finding books on line, but they can be used for flpped classes as well, or to supplement a book review…
Questions for book talks:  Use these questions as the basis of an informal, but well-written paper:

Washington, DC where we are based, is a great place for book talks and lectures, so consider that you have the opportunity to   take advantage of the city by attending a lecture or book talk. You can also watch a book talk or panel discussion on C-SPAN or elsewhere. I have a number of possible talks listed. At any time you’re looking for extra credit, if you are using an online talk, try to stay close to the period we’re studying. You get double-credit if you actually attend the book talk  or a panel discussion.

Write-up the following questions as an essay.
Where did you go?   Or What did you watch?
Date?
What kind of event was it? (Book talk, lecture, and panel…)
Who is the speaker? (*Or who were the speakers…)
What are the speaker’s credentials?
Write up a brief summary of what the speaker or author said:
What stood out for you in terms of what he or she said?
What was new or unusual or contrarian about his or her remarks?
Was there new evidence supporting his/her conclusions?
*If you go to a panel: answer these in a bit less detail for all participants, and comment on the moderator. What role does he or she play? Who was the speaker who stood out for you and why?
Other things to consider:
Who was in the audience? (Gender, age…)
What sorts of questions did the speaker get?
How well did he/she handle the questions?
Were there questions that were more comments (rants!) than questions?
What did you learn from the questions?
Did the talk make you eager to learn more? Can you buy the book?
Or will you look up his or her work?
Why/Why not?
Anything else?

And, you never know who you might run into…

___________________________________________________________________________________________________
If you choose a lecture:  explain who all the signficant speakers are,  what are their credentials, what is their point of view, and what are the main areas in which they disagree?
What did you come away having learned from this lecture?

If you choose a C-SPAN College Class, Give information about the school, the class, the professor and then take and submit notes.   (Ideally Cornell Notes)

Here are some recent ideas for book talks

Adam Hochschild – Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939

Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 12.05.29 PM.png

http://www.wnyc.org/story/american-involvement-spanish-civil-war/

Kissinger by Niall Ferguson

http://www.politics-prose.com/video/kissinger-niall-ferguson

INFAMY by Richard Reeves

Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 12.04.50 PM.png

http://www.politics-prose.com/video/infamy-richard-reeves

Ira Katznelson Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time,

http://www.politics-prose.com/video/fear-itself-ira-katznelson

Elaine Showalter’s new book on Julia War Howe

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xe3Eyb7Awc

FC9780822358541.JPG

Marcia Chatelain on the Great Migration and South Side Girls

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pY5-ke6-y3E

 

A debate for Columbus Day

Columbus Day Debate

This debate works well in European History, or even in US history– especially if you life in a state that gives Columbus Day off.

The format was developed for me by a debater and is designed to take about 50 minutes giving students about two minutes to prepare between each section, and taking a few minutes for judges to make their decision.   I try to get a debater to help me judge, and bring in anyone else who’s willing to come.  Having extra people seems to make it  more of an event.

How to talk like a wonk

Wonk 22Currently I teach a Politics and Public Policy course, for which I require a couple of policy briefs. I find that sometimes the vocabulary and jargon that students encounter throws them as they do their research, so I created a couple of powerpoints to explain some of it. Many of my students have not had economics, so a number of the terms and concepts are from that discipline. I also included a PPt on grammatical usages that I find has its uses.wonk talk11111

grammar