Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Teaching Foreign Policy in the Post-Cold War Era

Teaching Foreign Policy in the Post-Cold War Era. One of the stated goals of this blog is to highlight sites which discuss teaching history. I do not always follow through on this as well as I like. But I do blog this way sometimes.

I found this ERIC Digest from 1994 and realized it could serve several roles on this blog. As history, it shows how at least one history teacher saw American foreign policy in 1994. At the same time, it gives tips on ways history could be used to teach the topic of foreign policy.

Go ahead and read this digest. Please note the section on Themes In Foreign Policy. How accurate are these themes today? Are they still the same as 1994? Have events like 9/11 and the War on Terrorism changed anything? If so, how? This site could provide for a good teaching moment.

From the site:

Today the United States finds itself in a world that has changed fundamentally. For more than 40 years the United States and the Soviet Union were the foremost powers and rivals in international affairs. U.S. foreign policy, U.S. domestic politics, and international relations revolved largely around this intense rivalry. Now the Soviet Union no longer exists, and the fifteen new states of the former Soviet Union are caught up in the turmoil of economic and political change. Since the end of the Cold War, there have been fewer external constraints on the projection of U.S. power abroad than at any time since the years immediately following World War II. And yet, there are no longer common understandings among Americans about what the U.S. role should be in this changing international environment. This ERIC Digest treats the (1) need and rationale for teaching and learning about current foreign policy issues; (2) main themes in foreign policy education in the post-Cold War era; (3) balance, inquiry, and decision making in the classroom; and (4) current classroom materials.

1 comment:

Textbook Evaluator said...

My favorite book for understanding and teaching American Foreign Policy is Walter Russell Mead's Special Providence. For me, it helps to put the history into a neat framework. The schema is not flawless, but it's helpful...and a reminder that US foreign policy always contains some threads of the past.