Using Dating as an Analogy to Teach IR Theory
Political Science and International Affairs
School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development
Active learning techniques tend to emphasize simulations, research projects, and the use of popular media to the relative neglect of problem-based approaches. This paper introduces a new problem-based exercise specifically for teaching international relations (IR) theories that builds on existing problem-based approaches by incorporating analogies and an exemplar-based approach to concept learning. Teaching complex IR theories to students, who are often early in their academic careers, can be a challenge for many academic staff. Our approach uses a carefully structured analogy, based on a dating scenario, to challenge students to explain and theorize the behaviour of the key actors in a way that is transferable to an IR analysis of state behaviour. The exercise yields an intuitive understanding of core theories that facilitates subsequent learning and application.
European Political Science
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)