with Cases and
Fred Friendly, a pioneer in broadcast journalism in the United States and a professor of journalism at Columbia University, is often remembered for his case teaching on public television in the Columbia University Media and Society seminars and his challenge to all of us who teach future decisionmakers. Friendly stated: “Our job is not to make up anybody's mind but to make the agony of decision-making so intense you can only escape by thinking.”1
This thoughtful dictum clearly presents one of the major challenges faced by instructors who are asked to teach large introductory courses in any discipline. How do we motivate participation, intellectual risk taking, involvement, and interaction? How do we encourage our students to think critically and creatively as we discuss international issues and events in a discipline in which controversy rules?
Experience suggests that students who are engaged and involved in their classrooms learn more and remain more interested in the subject matter. Lectures and traditional texts need not be abandoned. In fact, these sources of information are usually more relevant to the student when they are operationalized by cases and other active learning exercises. Engaging in these courses, students must use readings and lecture notes to clarify complex issues, evaluate and compare arguments, explore the consequences of decisionmaking, secure evidence to support their own positions, and craft solutions to complex problems.
Active learning exercises, such as case discussions, work best if students are forced to take risks by expressing their views and dis-