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Internationalising the Curriculum: A Departmental Approach Nasos Roussias Department of Politics Presentation prepared for “Internationalisation of Learning.

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Presentation on theme: "Internationalising the Curriculum: A Departmental Approach Nasos Roussias Department of Politics Presentation prepared for “Internationalisation of Learning."— Presentation transcript:

1 Internationalising the Curriculum: A Departmental Approach Nasos Roussias Department of Politics Presentation prepared for “Internationalisation of Learning and Teaching: Good Practice in the Faculty of Social Sciences”, University of Sheffield, October

2 Subject Topic Politics as a subject by definition integrates numerous internationalization aspects Most modules examine different countries or regions – Level 1: Comparing Modern Polities, Politics of Globalisation, Security Studies – Level 2: Politics and Government of the EU/ Global Political Economy, Contemporary International Affairs/ Contemporary International Relations Theory/ New Politics of Latin America/ Comparative Politics, Contemporary Security Challenges/ Contemporary US Foreign Policy – Level 3: Foreign Policy/ Political Economy of Africa/ Civilisation, Empire and Hegemony/ European Union and Globalisation/ Peacekeeping, State-Building and International Intervention/ Terrorism, Violence and the State/ Cuba in the Post-Bipolar World/ Party Politics: Competition, Strategies & Campaigns/ War, Peace and Justice – Research Design and Methods courses, applicable to any context

3 Comparison At the heart of Politics is the use of direct or indirect comparisons Only by juxtaposing how different institutions function, individuals behave, states interact, etc. can we understand the world of Politics This forces us to become accustomed to and incorporate information/views from multiple and diverse societies

4 Comparison II Experiences from different environments key even for local politics – World understood through relation to others – Policies constructed by looking at examples elsewhere Methodological approaches used rely on comparing information from varying environments

5 Viewpoints Comparisons not enough – Aware that viewpoints may be biased Exploring at the world through a “western” lens may be problematic Incorporation of alternative worldviews – Aim at objectivity and a better understanding of phenomena

6 Diversity Significant number of foreign students – UG: between 10-15% foreign students per year – Exchange Students: ~30 per year – MA: around 60% of students foreign Staff from all over the world Diversity creates opportunities and challenges in the classroom

7 International Students Bring different perspectives & insights in class – Valuable for learning for all students – Tutors appreciate their input and try to exploit it, use diverse experiences and views in class But they may also expect different things from teaching... – More “lecturing” – The “correct” answer – The professor is always “right”

8 Teaching Strategies Lecture presentations placed online to help student understanding (in advance of class) Seminar participation more difficult – Some foreign students are shy or conscious of language limitations and find it difficult to participate – Group work used as a potential solution – Mix them up with native speakers (learn from others, do not only talk to compatriots)

9 Teaching Strategies II Mock UN sessions – Use country expertise to everyone’s benefit Role playing – Students called on to “advise” different PMs Case studies – Analyse particular scenarios or countries Institutional design – Draft a constitution for imaginary/real cases

10 Challenges Language barrier – Seminar participation – Essay writing (more acute with MA students) Cultural barrier – Difference in expectations – Varying understanding of concepts, lack of “universal” terms & understandings

11 Conclusion Internationalization closely linked with Politics as a subject – Yet, not as easy to fully implement as it may seem Creates ample opportunities for teaching – Beneficial for all students Yet, challenges remain, especially in unbalanced classrooms – No silver bullet


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