By Lee Trepanier, February 13, 2011 in Pedagogy and Teaching, Professional Development
Yesterday was the second day of the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference. In our track, "Internationalizing the Curriculum," we had four papers in the morning that discussed certain pedagogical techniques to consider in the classroom to make students aware of the world outside the United States. Two of them focused on mass media, while the other two used service-learning. Although the papers were interesting, I was a little disappointed that they didn't relate more to the theoretical literature on pedagogy. Nonetheless, it was an interesting start to the day.
In the afternoon, we had three more paper presentations: one on international political theory, one on international relations, and one on institutional concerns. The first argued that political theory needs to be more reflective of global concerns; the second argued for a non-American perspective of international relations; and the last discussed some of the challenges and opportunties at the institutional level of internationalizing the curriculum. The papers were thought-provoking, however, I wonder whether the first two papers were discussing the state of the discipline a few years ago as opposed to now. For example, political theory has already been "internationalized" to such extent, with new articles and textbooks about comparative political theory already existing. In some sense, political science has already addressed (if not completely addressed) some of these concerns.
Overall the conference has been very useful and I learned quite a bit about internationalizing the curriculum (and hopefully we were able to contribute meaningfully to the conversation, too). It certainly has given me much to contemplate about in our discipline.