Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Period 4 - Suhani Bansal
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.

Required Format:
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.]
*** For the minimum of 3 student specifics, do not refer to students by name; instead call them Student A, B or C.
*** For the minimum of 500 words, guiding questions are here:

Use clear paragraph structure. If you include too much focus on the step-by-step process of the lesson rather than substance, you may be asked to revise your report.
*** The webboard is public. If you include names, commentary or observations, you will need to revise your post.

To Post:
1. For each report, select Post Reply.  (Do not select New Topic)
2. Copy/paste from your Word file and save a copy until after the semester is over.
3. Before pasting, confirm that you have met the minimum of at least 500 words.
4. Each report must be submitted by midnight within 3 calendar days after each session.

A CALIS staff member will review your report each week and post a message below of the scoring for your performance evaluation.
We welcome any questions or concerns you have about scoring.
Session 1: "Name that Tune" Distinguish Levels of Analysis in US Foreign Policy Making
Focus Question: 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?

Our first session focused on introducing the students to the three levels of analysis in International Relations. We started off with a presentation talking about the anarchic nature of International Relations and the objectives of the United States foreign policy. We then introduced the activity and discussed with the students some questions to be considered for it. This helped the students understand what role levels of analysis play in International Relations. 

After this, we began with the activity and discussed three passages with the students, each highlighting a different level of analysis. These passages introduced North Korea at the three different levels of analysis. The students were able to identify the different levels and highlighted numerous words/ phrases that helped them identify the levels. Student A participated actively in the discussion and asked us how we can apply these levels of analysis to the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict. 

After the students successfully identified the level of analysis in each of these passages, we divided them into smaller groups and they worked together on reading the next three passages. We engaged with the students during this time by walking around the classroom and clarifying any doubts they had. After 5-10 minutes, the students shared their answers with the rest of the class. Student B was able to get a strong understanding of the material and identified all three passages correctly. Student C shared with the class different terms that helped them connect each passage to a level of analysis. These three passages discussed Iran at the three different levels of analysis. 

The students participated actively throughout the discussion of the Iran and North Korea passage so we gave them another 5-10 minutes to discuss the next three passages. These passages discussed Iraq at the three different levels of analysis. The students were done with this in less than 10 minutes, and were engaging with the material thoroughly. We then discussed with the students which level of analysis they believed to be the most effective or which one was their favorite. The class participated actively in this discussion and we also shared our views with them. 

I believe that the slideshow we had prepared helped the students become more engaged and helped us discuss the topic with them. While most of the students participated actively in the discussion, there were some students who were a little more quiet. We tried to engage them more by discussing the passages with them personally. This helped them to speak more in the overall class discussion. For the next session, we were considering adding a short video so that the engagement level of the class increases. I also believe that most of the students were able to get a thorough understanding of the three levels of analysis. This was portrayed when at the end of the activity, some students applied these concepts to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Overall, this was a successful first session that both us and the students enjoyed!
Session 2: "Foreign Policy Let's Get Personal" Handout and "Dark Knight - the Joker's Social Experiment"
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? 

This session focused on foreign policy on a more personal and individual level. We introduced the class to various moral dilemmas and the role of ethics/ values that help a leader make decisions. We started off with an introduction to the Truman administration and the decision to drop U.S. nuclear bombs on two Japanese cities. We explored the thinking and reasoning that went into this and how the decisions of individual citizens create the great forces of world history. 

We also explored the decision of a preemptive strike on Iraq by the Bush administration. This led to the discussion of the Joker’s Social Experiment. We started off by showing the class a short video on this and went on to discuss ‘what would happen if Batman had not saved the day’. Student A said that the boat of civilians should have let the boat of prisoners die for the greater good. Student B had a different take and said that sinking either of the two boats would be wrong because then the people would have to live with the fact that they killed someone. 

We then went on to discuss with the class what methods of reading did the people on both the boats use to come to their final decisions. This was an interesting discussion. Student C pointed out that the debate on the boat full of civilians was more democratic in comparison to the debate on the boat full of prisoners. We explained to the class how different leaders make their decisions on the basis of consequences, rules, or virtues. We explained the difference between moral values, virtues and ethics and the role each of these played in the decision made by the people on both boats. 

We showed the class another short clip on virtue and ethics defined. This helped them grasp the concept more and answer our next question- “What are Batman’s Virtues” much more effectively. We discussed how although Batman did save the lives of the people on the boats, we also used surveillance cameras which was a violation of their privacy. Student D said that although Batman did violate their privacy, it was justified because he saved all their lives and helped achieve the greater good. We also discussed how Batman did not kill The Joker either and tied this to how world leaders often have to make the most ethical decision in face of difficult situations. We discussed how important the role of morals and ethics is in terms of foreign policy because it makes the world a safer and better place. 

Overall, I believe this session was a success. The students were more and more comfortable asking questions and sharing their opinions. Although I believe this session would be better placed as the last one instead, it was very interesting and opened up the class to a lot of debate. The short clips were really helpful since I believe that they helped the students engage more with the topic.
Session 3: Iraq War 2003…. A turn for the worse?
Focus Question: How can you determine and defend your opinion about the primary reason for the US invasion of Iraq? 

This session focused on the Iraq War and analyzing it through the three different levels of analysis. We started off with an introduction to US foreign policy and the Doctrine of Preemption. We spoke about how the Doctrine of Preemption was the turning point in US foreign policy and how it shapes future US foreign policy regarding national security. 

The activity for this session was an interesting one that engaged the students thoroughly. We distributed the handouts to the students with the activity. It included various factors which could be possible causes of the Iraq War of 2003. The students had to match each factor to a level of analysis. To make things a little easier, the factors were given as a statement as well as an abbreviation. Before starting the activity, we went over the levels of analysis quickly with the students. The students took about 20 minutes to finish this activity. During this time, we walked around the class and helped the students if they had any questions or doubts. 

After all the students finished filling out their answers, we discussed each question in class. Student A mentioned that factor (a) could be systemic level and gave their understanding of why they believed so. Factor (b) opened the class up to some debate because Student B believed that it had characteristics of both individual level as well as national level. Some other factors were also discussed in depth in class because both us and the students believed it had prominent characteristics of more than one level of analysis. Unfortunately, as we went through all the questions in the activity, we noticed that only Student A and Student B were participating in the active discussion. Both these students were also able to identify a specific cause under each level of analysis. 

After discussing all the factors in the activity, we went on to discuss some questions in class. For this, we adopted the Think Pair Share method. This helped more students participate. We discussed other possible causes of the Iraq War 2003 which were not listed as factors in the activity. Student C mentioned that a potential cause could be resources. We discussed this in more detail about oil resources as well as racism as a potential cause of war. 
While this session was definitely one of the more interesting ones, the class participation for this was comparatively less. In order to make the class more interactive for the final session, we have some ideas and hope to implement those. This session also went by faster than we expected and we were not able to cover all the discussion questions that we anticipated we would. 

The activity we did in this session is similar to a paper I wrote for one of my classes (IR 210) wherein I had to explain an inter-state war through the three different levels of analysis.
Session 4: Dilemmas and Decisions: What Priorities Determine Foreign Aid?
Focus Question: What are your priorities for giving foreign aid and why?

For the last session, we had a very interesting activity based on foreign aid. We started the class by giving the students an overview of foreign aid and how it relates to the other topics we’ve covered so far. We then went over the 2005 Foreign aid chart and asked the students to see if any countries stand out from the rest. Student A pointed out that most of these countries were located in the Middle East and also had authoritarian forms of government. Student B also pointed out that Iraq received the most amount of aid after the Iraq war of 2003. 

We then discussed each country in detail and how it is different/ similar from the other countries. Moving on, we then went over some important terms which would help the students understand foreign aid. After this, we started our main activity for this session. We divided the students into groups and they started working on deciding the amount of foreign aid to each country. The students had to figure out how to divide foreign aid between 4 countries who had asked for a total of $5B in aid. The dilemma at hand was that the limit for foreign aid was a total of $3B. The students had to read through all 4 passages wherein each country explained their current situation, why they needed aid, and where this aid would go. We walked around the classroom, helping students with their doubts and giving them advice on different factors they should keep in mind. This activity definitely generated a lot more participation from all of the students. After the students were done with all the sections, we discussed in class their reasons and arguments for their decisions. Student C pointed out that they would be most inclined to provide aid to Liberia since they are trying to uplift their government and had recently faced a humanitarian crisis. Student D pointed out that they would not be very inclined to provide aid to Egypt since most of the time, wealth in Egypt remained within the elites and did not benefit the public. 

This activity was very interesting and engaging, not just for the students but for us as well. I am currently learning about foreign aid in my class (IR 213) and this activity helped me understand the concept of foreign aid a lot more. On a wider scale, most of the activities and topics we covered in our four sessions relate back to the classes I am currently taking. Participation in this program has helped me develop a much deeper understanding of foreign policy, decision making, the levels of analysis, and foreign aid. I really enjoyed TIRP this semester, and it helped me hone my critical thinking skills as well as apply this knowledge to different concepts I am learning in class as a student.

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)