Current Events: Understanding Connections
Pusan National University
Busan, South Korea
Area of Study
International Affairs, International Studies
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
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Recommended U.S. Semester Credits0
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units0
Hours & Credits
In the information age, we have access to any factual information we could possibly need. The amount of data we can access through the internet is phenomenal, and this can be overwhelming at times. The challenge today is to be able to quickly and accurately find the information that we need, and more importantly, to be able to contextualize that information and connect it with other data to form conclusions, to see how it fits in with our understanding of the world. To understand world events, students need to engage not just with politics or economics; instead, they need to be able to pull information from history, religion, the sciences and other disciplines as well.
This class will be based on world current events. I will choose a current article from a magazine or journal. Students will read the article and identify topics for further research. The goal of this research will be to increase their understanding of the situation by connecting it to “the bigger picture”. Students will be able to follow information that they personally find interesting, but will also be forced to engage with issues that they are less familiar with. Student groups will prepare their research to present to the class. The presentations will of course include factual information about the topic, but they will also need to include various opinions on the topic, as well as conclusions that can be drawn, how this information sheds light on the event in question, what other events it might help us to understand, and a list of suggested areas for further research. Essentially, we are trying to gain a deeper understanding of the ways in which events are connected, inter-related, even when this is not immediately apparent. There is a web of connections that can be followed, and this web allows us to approach a situation from different angles, to look at something from a different perspective, not just the one initially presented. Along with this we will discuss different ways of doing research and different ways of summarizing and presenting information clearly and concisely, filtering out the less relevant details while focusing on the key points relevant to the topic. Students will have to draw conclusions and support their conclusions with evidence. Students will start off working with a team; as the class progresses, the teams will get smaller until all work is done and presented individually. This course meets twice a week, 1h15 each time, for 15 weeks.
No books are required for this class. Materials will be distributed based on current events.