Teaching International Affairs with Cases: Cross-National Perspectives

Teaching International Affairs with Cases: Cross-National Perspectives

Teaching International Affairs with Cases: Cross-National Perspectives

Teaching International Affairs with Cases: Cross-National Perspectives


"Case teaching is spreading rapidly around the world through the efforts of such dedicated proponents as these writers. With good reason: it is a powerful, flexible teaching method, grounded in ancient traditions of instructive storytelling common to varied cultures. Yet few other writers have given such careful consideration to the cross-national adaptation of case teaching's modern American features. This is a welcome & valuable book, for both its thoughtful articles & its engaging cases, produced by some of the most skillful & creative case teachers anywhere." John Boehrer Harvard University


This book introduces intellectual and pedagogical problems in the case method of teaching international affairs. a growing international and interdisciplinary community of university and secondary schoolteachers and trainers of policy officials are introducing interactive learning methods for the classroom. This book offers lessons for them and provides new materials suitable for the classroom.

Growing interest in interactive learning can be seen in the international arena. in Japan, the Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development has organized case-method workshops, where case materials are being created to train development experts and university professors in the field of Third World development. in Korea, there is intense interest in utilizing more interactive teaching methods as part of secondary school reform designed to enhance international studies curricula. in Eastern Europe, officials, in collaboration with the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, have developed case material for use in training elites in democratic decision making.

This community of learning through cases is not confined to the discipline of political science. It is interdisciplinary. Economists are involved in the Kennedy School and Harvard Business School initiatives, as are historians and lawyers in Asia. Geographers, law professors, economists, and historians, as well as political scientists, have participated in the Pew Charitable Trust's Initiative in Diplomacy Training program at the Kennedy School. Since the cases themselves are uniquely interdisciplinary, the audience is clearly broader than one academic discipline.

In the United States, several networks serve the community of active learning scholars. At the university level, the Active Learning in International Affairs Section, a part of the International Studies Association (ISA) established in 1995, provides opportunities for discussion and debate at conferences. and there is already a strong community in the secondary education social studies area. Two projects sponsored by the U.S. Institute of Peace have moved that community forward. For both audiences, a special edition of International Studies Notes, one of the publications of the isa, has provided those interested in a rationale and an assessment of case teaching with a hands-on guide to teaching with cases. and the . . .

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