International Studies Instructor Resources

Teaching Materials for International Studies: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Global Issues, 4th Edition, by Sheldon Anderson, Mark Allen Peterson, Stanley W. Toops, and Jeanne A. K. Hey

Welcome to the Instructor Resources page for International Studies, 4th Edition.

Available Resources

These resources are designed to enhance the content of International Studies in order to help instructors plan for their courses, and better engage students. If you have any suggestions on how to improve the book or the online resources, please contact Westview Press at

The Program Behind the Book

International Studies at Miami University is truly an extraordinary educational experience. This interdisciplinary program is run 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

Many materials were compiled and edited by Lisa Suter and Mark Allen Peterson, with generous funding from Miami’s Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching. 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 any suggestions on how to improve the book or the online resources, please contact Westview Press at

Instructor Resources by Request

  • Discussion Questions
  • Lecture Slides (PowerPoint)
  • Test Bank

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Additional Resources

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, 179 KB)

Individual Lesson Plans (PDFs):

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, 133 KB)

Individual Writing Assignments (PDFs):

Online Resources

Download Online Resources (PDF | DOCX)


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.


Aftershock is a board game that simulates the interagency cooperation needed to address the emergency and early recovery phase of a complex humanitarian crisis. The game is designed for 4-8 players, and takes approximately two hours. Although it is set in the fictional country of Carana, the simulation is modeled on disasters such as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Game play takes two hours.

The International Trade Game: Based on a simulation created by the Third World development charity Action Aid. This World Trade Game was adapted by Dr. John Sloman to be suitable for students studying  economic development or international trade.  Students play in teams of 2-10, each representing one of six countries.

Peacemaker is another simulation game that asks you to figure out how to solve the conflict between the Israeli government and the Palestinians.

People Power: People Power is a digital strategy game that puts the student in the position of being a leader of a popular movement who must use strategic skill and ingenuity to struggle against adversaries who control the police, the army and bureaucracy, and the media. People Power teaches civil resistance and nonviolent strategies, as well as offering opportunities to design scenarios and make them available to the community of game players.

Part I: The Disciplines of International Studies

The Past in the Present: Historical Interpretation in International Conflict

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.

Peoples, Places, and Patterns: Geography in International Studies

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 and Intercultural Relations

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.

SAPIENS is an on-line journal of public anthropology, including articles that apply an anthropological perspective to current events.

Economics and International Development

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.

Crash Courses: The YouTube channel Crash Course also has a number of excellent videos that work well with this chapter, including “Imports, Exports, and Exchange Rates,” “Globalization I,” “Globalization II,” “Globalization and Trade and Poverty,”  “Income and Wealth Economy,” “Foreign Aid and Remittance,” and “Environmental Economics.”

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 for creating global poverty.

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

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.

APSA Teaching Resources: The American Political Science Association offers a number of excellent teaching materials.

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

Europe and the Modern World

Network of European University Centers of Excellence: This 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 and the Pacific

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 website houses a large number of teaching resources, articles and videos.

Education About Asia: Published three times each year since 1996 by the Association for Asian Studies (AAS), this journal offers practical 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 and Central Asia

South Asia Institute Links for TeachersCurated by Columbia University, this web site offers a number of links to teaching resources.

South Asia Resources for Educators: These teaching resources compiled by the South Asia Center at the University of Virginia are designed for a range of students from kindergarten to college age.

University of Illinois South Asian Collection & Resources: This curated research web page offers links to newspapers, libraries, South Asian Studies programs, dissertations, films, museum collections, and more.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Global-link Africa: Sponsored 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.

The Middle East and North Africa

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.

Conflict in Israel and Palestine. This 13-minute multimedia digital lesson offers an illustrated account of the 19th and 20th century origins of the contemporary conflict.

Latin America

Ecotourism in the AmazonA simple simulation that gives students a chance to recognize the complexities of trying to run a successful 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 Built around a series of videos from the US TV series Frontline, this site offers background materials, discussion questions, and nine activities to explore the complexities of terrorism in the contemporary world.

Whose “Terrorism”? This exercise from the Zinn Project asks students to decide if actions in disguised real-life scenarios are terrorism or not. Only then are the real names of the countries and organizations revealed.

Turkey, the Syrian Civil War, and the Refugee Crisis

Understanding the Syrian Refugee Crisis. This free pdf is a resource packet for educators compiled and published by the World Affairs Council.

The Syrian Civil War and the Rise of the Islamic State

The Conflict in Syria: Part of Brown University’s “Teach With the News” series, this link offers a complete lesson plan that critically engages students with news sources ranging from the Associated Press to the Council on Foreign Relations to Al-Jazeera.

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.

Global Population Trends and Impacts

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

Global Climate Change

Climate Change Controversies: This web site offers a report by the Gale Science Group on the three basic kinds of climate-change controversy: (1) scientific disagreement over the details of climate changes past, present, and future; (2) denial of the existence or human origin of present-day climate change; and (3) disagreement over what actions to take against climate change, when to take them, how much they will cost, and how to pay for them.

The Politics and Culture of Global Sports

Edge of Sports: This column by sports writer Dave Zirin focuses on the ways contemporary sports are at the center of some of the major political debates and struggles of our time both at home and abroad.


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.

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

Introduction to International Studies: Learning Objectives

Download Course Objectives (PDF, 13 KB)

  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.

Academic Disciplines and Courses

  • African Studies
  • Art and Architecture
  • Education
  • European Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Religion
  • Science and Advanced Math