[Syllabi planning filter] Teaching a plethora of globalizations
June 17, 2019 2:26 AM   Subscribe

I'm teaching two undergrad level courses in the fall: globalization and international political economy. There will be considerable content and student enrollment overlap. How can I structure the courses to minimize repetition whilst staying sane? More details within...

Hey all:

Next semester I've been assigned to teach international political economy and a unhelpfully titled "globalization" course, both geared toward students with some entry level political science/economics background.

But, I find myself at wits end because I'm kind of tapped out with regard with globalization. It's soon to be my second year teaching full time, and I've been assigned a lot of the introductory level political science courses. Last semester, I taught a course on globalization and regionalism and a separate one focusing on regional integration. While I received favorable student feedback overall, I'm struggling with dealing with the twin issues of low student participation, and overall insufficient student ability to engage with course reading material (most students are taking our courses outside their mother tongues).

I'd like to structure the course around how theories tie in with contemporary issues (for example economic inequality). What makes it more challenging is that a lot of the students will be enrolled in both of these courses.

Any suggestions on how I can:
-better differentiate the subject matter of the two courses (globalization and IPE)
-while also giving students a chance to see how theories and concepts between the two are interwoven?
-conserve my dwindling physical and mental capacities (have major course loading)

Thanks for any insights!
posted by wallawallasweet to Education (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have specific readings or a syllabus, sorry, but...

most students are taking our courses outside their mother tongues

Could you use this to highlight the very individual-level effects of globalization, and therefore encourage student participation? The linguistic hegemony of English in the professional sphere, for instance, and ways in which individuals push back against that, or not. That would also allow you to distinguish the globalization course from the more population/political level IPE course, while still being complementary.
posted by basalganglia at 3:30 AM on June 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Michael Castells book The Rise of the Network Society and the Power of Identity could be a good place to pull chapters, dealing with how individual concept translate in globalism. Also provides a nice theoretical base that you could discuss. Even if students aren't interested (too much) in globalization they might be interested or have opinions about fundamentalism, patriarchy, environmentalism, or specific movements like American militia, the anti glovalization movements, lbgtq movements, etc.
posted by aetg at 4:56 AM on June 17, 2019

If participation and reading are issues, why not flip the classes? I'd encourage you to do this in collaboration with your center for teaching, but this will likely improve the class more than thinking about what readings to assign!

But for me, I've found that assigning long form journalism and podcasts versus scholarly texts has helped quite a bit. I can explain the theory in class.
posted by k8t at 8:04 AM on June 17, 2019 [3 favorites]

I am not in your discipline, but I do teach in the social sciences.

A very very practical suggestion and a way to address the foreign language learners is to use the huge number of excellent documentaries available on these topics. This past semester, I used the Kanopy video streaming platform, available through the university and the public libraries. My students super appreciated having the option of English captioning / transcripts for nearly all the films, and the ability to slow down or speed up playback.

I would suggest that the globalization class could be more topical in structure, with things like food/fair trade, climate change, financialization, governance (non-profits could be separate week, William Easterly’s work is great, as are the critiques of microfinance practices) as the weekly topics. I would have loved to learn about global recycling flows (highly recommend Adam Minter’s book Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade)

IPE could instead look from the theory side first, perhaps by critiquing once dominant ideas like Fukuyama’s or the McDonaldization prevents war bromide (sorry I am dredging this up from my international relations class I took over a decade ago).
posted by spamandkimchi at 10:49 AM on June 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Also seconding k8t's suggestion to avail yourself of the university's center for teaching or similar institute. As a new lecturer struggling to figure out how to design syllabi and engage students, even just having moral support was a huge help, let alone the strategies or resources that I learned about through the workshops. I didn't even know that I could request captioning for videos, even ones from Youtube!
posted by spamandkimchi at 10:52 AM on June 18, 2019

Thank you all very much for the suggestions!
Our library is now looking into Kanopy and in my quest to find weekly topics I stumbled across a great site.
I will also try to seek minimizing lectures and giving incentives for students to work collaboratively in projects and presentations.
posted by wallawallasweet at 6:03 PM on June 21, 2019

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