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Period 4 - Risa Carter
Thank you for participating in TIRP service-learning outreach!

Your reports are the basis for academic credit.  Whether or not you are seeking a credit option, reports are required as a university record of service-learning efforts and impact in local schools.

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Session 1 materials: [The first line of your report is the session number and full title of the database item(s).]
Focus Q: [On a new line, list your focus question from your TAP form. If you changed the question then add the new version after the TAP version.]
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Session 1 materials: "Name that Tune" Distinguish Levels of Analysis in US Foreign Policy Making
Focus Q: When you hear someone's description of a foreign policy problem can you tell which level of analysis (individual behavior, national attributes, and systemic conditions) he/she favors?

When we first got to the classroom, Suhani, Loui, and I introduced ourselves and we passed out our teaching copies to the students. It took us a few minutes to pass the papers out because we thought they were all double-sided, but it turns out a few were single-sided, so after we made sure every student had the correct papers, we started going over our slideshow. I think the slideshow was a great way to help us pace the activity and keep the students engaged. 

Before jumping into the activity, Loui gave an introduction to the class on what foreign policy is and why international relations is anarchic In nature. Then Suhani gave the class an overview of the activity and questions to consider while we go about the activity. Finally I gave a description of what each level analysis means, as well as key words and phrases they should be on the lookout for in order to identify each level of analysis. 
Now we were ready to start the activity, so we began by working as a class to identify the different levels of analysis for the first three passages. A lot of the students were willing to participate, because we kept it very casual and we were open to any ideas or questions they had. After reading each passage aloud with the class, we always asked them if they needed us to clarify any tricky words. Student A asked us what a dictator was, and Loui explained that a dictator is a leader with total power, and that a dictatorship is the opposite of a democracy. Student B participated a lot during class time, and they helped us identify that the second passage represented individual behavior, because it highlighted the beliefs and characteristics of an individual. His participation encouraged other students to participate. Student B helped us identify that the third passage was national attributes, because it highlighted the political system within the country. 

Since the first three passages were a success, we broke the students off into small groups to work together on reading the next 3 passages for about 5-10 minutes. Suhani, Loui, and I walked around the classroom together to help answer any questions they had and offer support to any students who seemed like they may have been having trouble with a passage. Then we brought everyone back together as a class and allowed the students to shout out any words or phrases they highlighted to determine the level of analysis. Then we showed the students the passages that we highlighted and allowed them to compare their’s with our’s, but we made sure to explain that these passages are up for interpretation, so there was not necessarily a right or wrong answer. 

Finally, we brought students into small groups again for another 5-10 minutes, and then we came back together as a class to discuss the words and phrases we highlighted for the last set of passages. Then we moved on to a few discussion questions where students were able to share their favorite level of analysis, which one they think is the most effective and whether they thought the level of analysis used depends on the situation. For the next session, I think we will continue using the slideshow to help guide our discussions, because this proved to be very useful. Overall, I think the students had a great time and so did we!
Session 2 materials: "Foreign Policy Let's Get Personal" Handout and "Dark Knight - the Joker's Social Experiment"
Session 2 Focus Question: What are your thoughts on the idea that "individuals are the only true actors in IR," and how does this tie into what you have learned about the policy of preemption, morals, ethics and virtues? 

Once again, I think our slide presentation helped us set a nice pace for the activity and also facilitate a better discussion, because students were able to follow along with the slides and the handout easily. We first started reading off the first paragraph of the worksheet that discussed preemptive strike in relation to the Truman administration and then the Bush administration, because this helped students start to think about the ethics, morals, and virtues that can play a role in leaders making these difficult decisions. With these factors in mind, it was time to turn the discussion toward the joker’s social experiment. We watched the video as a class, and then we reviewed a few slides on what morals, ethics, and virtues are, so that we could ask them about which of these clarifying concepts were exemplified on either boat in the social experiment. Student A believed that if Batman had not come to save the day, it would have been best if the boat of civilians were saved and the boat of prisoners were sunken, because that would have had the greatest good. Student B believed that it was not worth it for either boat to sink the other, because then they would have to live with the fact that they sunk another boat, which we explained ties into virtues since he thinks the passengers did not want to sacrifice their principles and values. It was a very interesting discussion, and Loui, Suhani, and I tried our best to explain the difference between these three clarifying concepts, so that every student felt comfortable engaging in the discussion. I think that we would have had more participation if we had let the students do a think-pair-share beforehand. Before asking the next question we played a video from youtube that discussed virtue ethics, and brought up a batman scenario to tie together these ideas even further. Then we asked the class what Batman's virtues are for saving the civilians even though he used a surveillance system to save them, which violated their privacy. Student C agreed that it was worth it for Batman to violate their privacy, because he was able to save all of them and achieve the greatest good. This led us to a discussion about whether sometimes one wrong can make a right? Then we tied the presentation together by explaining how foreign policy is all about making choices and policies that are for the greater good. A moral foreign policy not only makes Americans safer, but also makes the world a better place, so it’s important to understand how morals, ethics, and virtues can play a role in our decision-making and actions. I think this topic was a bit challenging for the students to grasp at first, so I think this would have been best to present at our last session, but I think we did a great job getting the class to engage more in the discussion and we could tell students felt more comfortable asking questions.
Session 3 materials: "Iraq War, 2003: A Root Cause or Convergence" Handout and Guide
Session 3 Focus Question: How can you determine and defend your opinion about the primary reasons for the US invasion of Iraq?

This third session is definitely where our TIRP group hit our stride, because students were engaged in the topic, working together on the sheet, and participating in the discussions. Just like our other visits, we used a slideshow to guide the activity. Before jumping into the activity, we reviewed the different levels of analysis we discussed during our first visit: individual behavior, national attributes, and systemic conditions for a few minutes. Then we broke the class up into groups of 2-3 and allowed the students to work together to determine which level of analysis matched each statement of a factor. During the work time, Loui, Suhani, and I walked around the classroom to answer questions. Student A asked me, “What does hubris mean,” so I explained it’s a synonym for having a lot of confidence almost to a fault, where it’s over-the-top. The student nodded and carried on working with their other classmates. Student B asked me, “What is a hegemony,” so I explained that it’s a word used to describe a superpower country that has a dominating amount of power compared to other countries. After answering a few more questions, the students continued to work through each statement. Then it was time for us to bring the class together and discuss our answers. Before revealing the correct answers on the board, we allowed the students to share their answers and explain what words or phrases stood out to them that led them to their final answers. Student C participated a lot during this portion of the class and shared many of his answers with the class. We made sure to explain to the class that sometimes it can be difficult to determine which level of analysis each passage represents, so we encouraged all of their answers and we were gentle even if their choice may not have been the correct level of analysis. It was exciting to see Student D participate in this discussion, because they did not participate in the last two TIRP discussions, so hopefully he feels encouraged to participate again next week. Once the students shared their answers for every statement, we revealed the guide answers and answered questions. Next, we moved on to discussion questions, the first one being “What information is missing about other possible causes of the war?” With this being a pretty difficult question to answer we revealed our ideas, “competition over land, competition over resources, imperialism, racism, etc…” and moved on to the next question: “What factors do you think were most significant in causing this war?” We allowed the students to discuss with their classmates for a few minutes and explained that there was no right or wrong answer to this question, so that more students would feel encouraged to participate. Student E shared that, “Fear probably played a large role given that everyone was scared after 9/11.” We agreed with his answer and other students shared their thoughts as well. Overall this was our best TIRP visit yet, and I’m looking forward to our visit next week!

I apologize this is a day late, I had some family matters come up that impacted my ability to complete this on time.
Session 4 Materials: “Dilemmas and Decisions: What Priorities Determine Foreign Aid?”
Session 4 Focus Question: What are your priorities for giving foreign aid and why?

For our final TIRP session, Loui, Suhani, and I started off by giving a brief overview of foreign aid and how it relates back to some of the larger concepts in foreign policy we have discussed in previous visits. Then we spent some time looking over the chart of U.S. foreign aid allocations in 2005. We asked the students if anything from the chart stood out to them, and Student A thought it was surprising that the U.S. had given so much foreign aid to countries with authoritarian governments. Student B agreed and said it was surprising the U.S. gave aid to countries with very high corruption scores. I think looking over this chart and asking questions about the chart helped the students understand the complexity behind foreign aid decisions, and that there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer when it comes to giving aid. Now that the students had taken some time to look over a real-life example of the United States’ foreign aid decisions, it was time to put the ball in their court, and decide how to allocated $3B of aid between 4 countries, who are collectively asking for $5B. After reading through four passages overviewing the politics, human rights, level of need, and sector of aid for each country, it was up to the student’s to decide whether they wanted to meet the country’s request or allocate the aid to a different country. Since this activity required more participation from the student’s than our previous activities, we allowed students to work together in groups, which helped them bounce ideas off of each other and have stronger arguments for allocating the foreign aid. Loui, Suhani, and I walked around the classroom and answered questions and gave advice to the students as they carried out the activity. Once most students had all four sections completed, we turned it back towards them and asked what their arguments were for or against supplying aid to each country. Student C and D worked together, and they explained that they would give less aid to Egypt since the passage revealed the money could become “concentrated among the elites.” Then Student E explained that it would be best to meet Liberia’s request for aid given that they are trying to build up their democracy, and all of their human rights issues were in the past, which they are trying to move away from, so aid could support their democracy. I think this was a great final activity, because it brought student’s together in a fun and educational way. I think it felt less like an assignment and more like a game. Overall, I am really glad I joined TIRP this semester, because I learned a lot about international relations, specifically foreign policy. This was a great topic for me, because the class I am taking related to TIRP covers the foreign policy decisions behind climate change policy. I am looking forward to bringing the knowledge I have learned from TIRP into my classroom, and beyond!

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