The New International Studies Classroom: Active Teaching, Active Learning

By Jeffrey S. Lantis; Lynn M. Kuzma et al. | Go to book overview

8 Securing Tomorrow:
A Simulation of the National
Security Policy Process
Thomas Preston“Securing Tomorrow” is a policymaking simulation designed to complement upper-division undergraduate courses on U.S. national security policy. Intended for use in standard, lecture-based courses, the policy exercise provides students with hands-on experience in dealing with the substance of difficult and complicated issues of foreign and defense policy making. Book or lecture learning is complemented and reinforced by engaging students in active learning exer cises designed to bring security-relevant concepts and problems to life in as realistic a manner as possible. Assigned roles as White House staffers within a new presidential administration, students are divided into task groups that focus on issues relevant to the Department of State (DoS) and the Department of Defense (DoD) as well as to the National Security Council (NSC).1From the beginning of the semester, students are aware that, as a group, they must perform the same tasks as real-life White House staffing groups—that is, they must
1. decide as a group which foreign and defense policy issues or problems (out of the myriad of potential candidates) require presidential attention
2. assign staffers to research and develop specific, detailed policy recommendations to address these problems
3. produce concise, ten-page policy memorandums outlining each of the identified policy issues and their proposed solutions

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