International Studies Instructor Resources

Teaching Materials for International Studies: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Global Issues by Sheldon Anderson, Mark Allen Peterson, Stanley W. Toops, and Jeanne A. K. Hey

Welcome to the Instructor Resources page for International Studies, 3rd Edition.

The Program Behind the Book

International Studies at Miami University is truly an extraordinary educational experience. Staffed by faculty who are all half time in their respective disciplinary departments, it offers a strong, focused program of instruction in which students take a broad range of classes in anthropology, economics, geography, history and political science, organized around a topical or regional focus. It has a demanding foreign language requirement, and requires all majors to spend a semester studying abroad. The program is given coherence through a broad introductory course and a tightly focused senior capstone course.

Since its inception, the program struggled with building coherence in its introductory course. Serving nearly three hundred majors and more than five hundred non-majors, the course required faculty to teach outside their own regional specializations and to introduce the central elements of disciplinary perspectives that were not their own. The struggle to find strong readings that reflected the program’s diversity of perspectives, led to the creation of the textbook, International Studies: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Global Issues.

How to Teach an Interdisciplinary Course

In 2005, the book’s author team presented aspects of the first edition of International Studies at a panel on interdisciplinary teaching at the International Studies Association meetings in San Diego. The idea of an interdisciplinary introduction to international studies was received enthusiastically, but during the question and answer period it became clear that many instructors were concerned with an important related question: how does one teach an interdisciplinary course?

This web page is our answer to that question. It collects together course materials shared among a wide variety of faculty members who teach using the International Studies textbook. There is enough material here to organize several different international studies courses; instructors can pick and choose those assignments, class exercises, discussion questions and other materials that best fit their personal pedagogical styles.

About the Course Materials

This material was compiled and edited by Lisa Suter and Mark Allen Peterson, with generous funding from Miami’s Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching. Through the generosity of Westview Press these materials are made available here without password protection; while the materials are designed to work with the International Studies textbook, you are free to download this material and make use of it to suit your courses. All materials are protected by copyright, but are free to any person for classroom use. We hope this site will continue to grow as teachers at schools beyond Miami develop their own teaching materials and contribute them to this site. If you have lessons or assignments that have worked well with this text, or suggestions for modifying some of the existing materials, please contact Mark Allen Peterson.

Course Objectives

Print or download Course Objectives (PDF)

An interdisciplinary international studies course serves as a core liberal arts course, introducing students to an extraordinary breadth of content and depth of contextualization. These eight learning objectives represent a general set of ideal student outcomes: skills and knowledge the ideal student would take from the course.

  1. Critical thinking: Students will be able to critically analyze academic texts, international news, maps, histories, and their own received ideologies and received wisdom for assumptions, political and cultural points of view, and stated and unstated biases.
  2. Core concepts: Students will have a basic competence in the core concepts of each of the five disciplines, including an awareness of how these disciplines frame problems, and how the disciplines can complement one another.
  3. Applying disciplinary contexts: Students will understand how to use historical background, geographical context, political systems, economic structures, and socio-cultural milieu to better understand regional and global developments.
  4. Connections: Students will begin to see the connections between world events and the multiple contexts that inform them, and learn that these seemingly disparate factors are always already interconnected and in flux.
  5. Skills: Students develop core liberal arts skills: reading unfamiliar information and making sense of it; thinking critically about what they’re reading; synthesizing material; coming to a conclusion about it; and articulating that conclusion verbally and in writing.
  6. Representation: Students develop a recognition that all acts of representation are always partial-that they are shaped by the questions asked and the perspectives of those creating the representation. Therefore, students will be more critical consumers of such representations in the future.
  7. Living in the world: Students develop knowledge, skills, and attributes needed to live effectively in a world possessing limited natural resources and characterized by ethnic diversity, cultural pluralism and increasing interdependence.
  8. Diversity: Students should gain an awareness of international diversity and learn to think about what the world, or specific issues, might look like from other points of view.
Discussion Questions

This section includes discussion questions for essay tests, homework or class discussion. The PDF documents linked below contain at least two dozen questions for every chapter, conveniently organized by subsections.

Download all Discussion Questions (.zip)

Discussion Questions for Individual Chapters (PDFs):

1: The Past in the Present: Historical Interpretation in International Conflict

2: Peoples, Places, and Patterns: Geography in International Studies

3: Anthropology and Intercultural Relations

4: Economics and International Development

5: Power, Conflict, and Policy: The Role of Political Science in International Studies

6: North America and International Studies

7: Europe and the Modern World

8: East Asia, the Pacific and International Studies: Demography and Development

9: South/Central Asia and International Studies: Environment and Population

10: Africa and the International Community

11: The Middle East

12: Latin America

13: International Terrorism

14: Turkey and the European Union: The Crossroad from Europe to Asia

15: New Global Players in the 21st Century

16: The Arab Uprisings

17: The Veil Controversy

18: The Responsibility to Protect

19: Global Population Projections

Notes for instructors:

  • Discussion/test questions are divided by chapter subheadings, in boldface.
  • Some numbered items contain questions of more than one part.
  • Use care if using this list of discussion questions to create tests! Some of the questions may provide partial or complete answers to other, subsequent questions.
Text Resources


BBC News Special ReportsSince 2001, the BBC has been posting—and archiving—background reports on the history and contexts of the major stories of the year.

CIA World FactbookThis online publication has become a standard source for basic background information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 of the world’s political units.

Global VoicesGlobal Voices is an international community of bloggers reporting on events around the world, often with a local perspective.

Media Resources

The Newseum is an extraordinary resource which displays the front pages of 800 newspapers from around the world, with separate links for different world regions.

Another useful media resource is HeadlineSpot, which offers news categorized by region.


Global Conflicts is an award-winning educational game series allows students to explore and learn about different conflicts throughout the world and forces them to think about underlying themes of democracy, human rights, globalization, terrorism, climate and poverty.

Peacemaker is another simulation game that asks you to figure out how to solve the conflict between the Israeli government and the Palestinians. Both Global Conflicts and Peacemaker are designed specifically for teachers and have loads of instructional resources. You can review them free but there is a fee to license them for class use.


Part I: The Disciplines of International Studies


Conversations With HistoryCreated by the Institute of International Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, this site offers more than 500 interviews with diplomats, economists, historians, journalists, artists, statesmen, soldiers, political analysts, scientists, activists and writers, who share their perspectives on the recent past and what the future may hold.

History and PolicyCreated to connect historians with policymakers and the media, this site provides links to news articles, op-eds and articles taking historical approaches to contemporary international policy issues.

Timeline BuilderThis online tool allows you to easily create and manage graphic timelines without any special skills or experience.


National GeographicWith news, videos, articles and beautiful photography, the website of this classic American magazine offers a great teaching resource.

Perry Castañeda Library Map CollectionOne of the best on-line map resources, this University of Texas library has more than a quarter million maps and its goal is to scan and put all of them online.

Why Are We Changing the Maps?This scene from the television series West Wing challenges people to see maps as representations, not realities.


Anthropology Blog at Huffington PostAnthropologists contribute brief 800-word commentaries on issues and events of the day.

Anthropology in PracticeThis Scientific American blog by Krystal D’Costa uses anthropological theory to explain practical, everyday events and behaviors. It invites everyone to consider and discuss the world around them in terms of ethnography and history.

Chief Culture Officer:An interview with MIT anthropologist Grant McCracken on the need for culture specialists in contemporary organizations.

Cultural SurvivalThis website is for an organization that supports and gives voice to indigenous peoples.


Ayiti: The Cost of LifeThis interactive flash animation game simulates the lives of the Guinard family as they try to make ends meet and get ahead in their poor homeland of Haiti. Designed for high school kids, it is still eye-opening for many college students.

Economic ScenariosEconomic Scenarios is a newsletter offering case studies of what could happen, based on economic assumptions, if a particular event occurred or policy was enacted. While the newsletter is subscription only, this link takes you to an archive of older scenarios.

How To Teach Economics After the Financial CrisisAn online debate in the New York Times web site by leading economists about what lessons we should draw from the global financial crisis, and how it should affect the way we teach introductory economics.

International Economics Study CenterInternational Economics Study Center offers a set of free online materials on international economics, including free on-line textbooks.

The Story of StuffThe Story of Stuff is a short critical animated film describing the lifecycle of material goods. It is critical of consumerism and promotes sustainability.

Dueling Videos: To jump start a debate, try assigning these three videos back to back. The first, “How International Trade Works” is a classic liberal economic explanation made in 1951. “Barriers and Benefits to Free Trade Agreements” is a 7 minute video from the Brookings Institute making the case that dropping trade barriers is always beneficial. “Economic Hitmen” is a 3 minute video criticizing globalization as creating global poverty.

Political Science

Ace Project: The Electoral Knowledge NetworkA joint endeavor of seven partner organizations, the ACE Electoral Knowledge Network provides comprehensive and authoritative information on elections, around the world.

Center for Teaching International RelationsA collection of case studies, blog posts, student exercises and other resources intended to encourage, mentor and equip K-12 educators to incorporate global studies in their curriculum, and to advocate for and improve international awareness among students and the community at large.

International Relations at the MoviesThis link downloads a paper by Stefan Engert and Alexander Spencer on how to use popular films to teach lessons about International Politics.

Part II: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Regional and International Topics


Network of European University Centers of ExcellenceThis site houses a collection of materials for teaching European Area Studies, including a number of ready-made learning modules, college course syllabi, and links to additional resources.

East Asia

Asia SocietyAn international organization dedicated to strengthening relationships and deepening understanding among the peoples of Asia and the United States, founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller III. The Society’s web site houses a large number of teaching resources, articles and videos.

Education About AsiaPublished three times each year since 1996 by the Association for Asian Studies (AAS), this journal offerspractical teaching resources for secondary school, college, and university instructors. While a regular subscription is $30, back issues from 3 years ago to 1996 are available free on line.

International Institute for Asian StudiesThe IIAS is an organization seeking to encourage the interdisciplinary and comparative study of Asia and to promote national and international cooperation among Asia scholars.

South Asia

India: Pedagogical ResourcesA set of pedagogical resources compiled by Education About Asia magazine.

SARAICreated by Columbia University, SARAI stands for South Asian Resources Across the Internet and includes a number of links to teaching resources.


Global-link AfricaSponsored by UCLA’s African Studies Center this site offers tutorials, animations and key definitions of central topics in the relations of Africa to the wider world.

Outreach Program of the African Studies CenterThis web site sponsored by Boston University hosts materials to promote and support education activities related to the continent of Africa, its peoples, history, geography, literature, and arts.

Pambazuka NewsPambazuka News is an electronic newsletter produced by a pan-African community of some 2,600 citizens and organizations—academics, policy makers, social activists, women’s organizations, civil society organizations, writers, artists, poets, bloggers, and commentators—who together produce insightful, sharp and thoughtful analyses and make it one of the largest and most innovative and influential web forums for social justice in Africa.

Middle East

al-Jazeera (English edition)In depth coverage of the Middle East and coverage of world events from a Middle Eastern perspective.

Teaching the Middle East: A Resource for EducatorsThis web site was created by University of Chicago with high school and college World History teachers in mind.

Latin America

Ecotourism in the AmazonA simple simulation that gives students a chance to recognize the complexities of trying to run a success ecotourism project.

LANICThe Latin American Network and Information Center at the University of Texas offers multiple resources for the study of South American, Central American, and Caribbean culture.

LASERThe Latin American School and Educational Resources web site, created by Michigan State University, offers a searchable database of sample lesson plans, materials, and ideas for teaching about Latin America and the Caribbean ranging from K-12 and college level.

Part III: Contemporary Global Issues

International Terrorism

Teaching About Terrorism After 9/11 and IraqA set of resources compiled by the American Political Science Association.

Turkey and the European Union

The TurkEU BlogA blog by Paul Levin, Acting Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Department of Economic History and the Department of Journalism, Media and Communication at Stockholm University, Sweden.

Tourism Along the Silk Road

Silk Road FoundationA non-profit organization established in 1996 to promote the study and preservation of cultures and art on Inner Asia and the Silk Road.

Silk Road SeattleAn ongoing public education project using the “Silk Road” theme to explore cultural interaction across Eurasia from the  beginning of the Common Era (A. D.) to the Seventeenth Century.

Persistent Political Violence

Human Rights Watch : The web site of the world’s most prominent independent organizations on defending and protecting human rights is rich with reports, videos and up-to-date information on human rights abuses.

The Veil Controversy

Fashioning FaithIn this film by Yasmine Moll, fashion designers explore what it means to be young, female and Muslim in today’s America.

Conflicts in Sudan

Darfur: Teaching About the IssuesGiving a teachers’ and students’ guide to the conflict and providing testimonies from children living in refugee camps in Darfur, this resource from Oxfam helps to make this complex topic comprehensible to students.

Global Population Projections

Population Reference BureauFunded by private foundations, government agencies, and individual donors, the PRB offers demographic information by country or region.


Care2Care2 is an online community of more than 15 million progressive activists. In addition to the social networking resources available on its website, Care2 also runs, which allows individual activists, as well as advocacy groups, to create petitions that generate messages to Congress or any other email target.

Gov2UGov2u is an international NGO founded in 2004 to harness the potential of ICTs as vital tools for the improvement of representative democracy.

Human Centered DesignStudents interested in how development projects are designed from assessments of the needs of local people should join the social network, download the free toolkit and explore the stories on the web site.

United Nations Development ProjectOrganized by the Millennium Development Goals, this site offers development information and reports on sustainable development throughout the world.

Waves of ChangeA multimedia project describing and archiving creative uses of participatory communication globally.

Writing Assignments

This section contains assignments designed to involve students in written exploration of course topics and objectives. Questions covered in the PDF documents linked below range from simple identification and comprehension questions to questions that involve synthesizing and evaluation.

Download all Writing Assignments (.zip)

Individual Writing Assignments (PDFs):

Lesson Plans

Lesson plans are classroom activities intended to be used in a single class. While some of these relate concretely to specific units of the class, many are reusable activities that can be tailored for repeated use. Each lesson plan includes objectives, anticipated learning outcomes, activities and a list of materials required, if any. If the lesson uses handouts, they are included as part of the linked PDF documents below.

Download all Lesson Plans (.zip)

Individual Lesson Plans (PDFs):

Test Bank
 A bank of sample test questions is available to professors who have adopted the third edition of International Studies in their courses. The bank includes multiple choice questions for each chapter, conveniently organized by subsections, as well as the correct answers.
To receive a copy of the quiz bank, please fill out online form, or send an email to with the following information:

Email Address
Phone Number
Mailing Address

If you have adopted International Studies for your course, please include the following:

Course Number
Course Name
Approximate Enrollment



Excerpts & Maps

This section includes selections from the textbook, including the table of contents and introduction. In addition, we have included a set of blank maps matching those in the textbook, to facilitate geography quizzes.


Download all Excerpts (.zip)

Individual Excerpts (PDFs):


Download all Maps (.zip)

Individual Maps (PDFs):

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