My approach to teaching Introduction to International Political Economy exemplifies my teaching philosophy, which is rooted in constructivist principles of learning. The approach I took in planning the course was historical and context driven. I based the bulk of the course around a detailed examinations of crises. For example, rather than giving a lecture on ‘international finance’, I had a session on the Asian financial crisis, something familiar to many of the students in the course who hailed from the Asia-Pacific region. In exploring the different explanations for the causes of the crisis as well as the proposed solutions to it, we were able to expose how theory and ideology underpin much of what is commonly presented as an ‘accepted truth’. To explore the role of multinational corporations and foreign investment in the global economy, we looked at Argentina’s economic crisis in 2001 and its aftermath, including how investors used international investment agreements to try to recoup the losses they experienced when the Argentine government devalued the country’s currency. I was able to draw on my expertise on investment treaties for this session, a topic that is rarely covered in IPE/GPE courses despite its growing importance. I was also able to draw on my own research when we discussed the Global Financial Crisis, the G20, and climate change. I believe that research-led teaching enriches the experience for the students.
Quotes from student evaluations:
“Kyla was an excellent and engaging teacher who made good use of case studies and new multimedia technology to make the course both enjoyable and relevant. The course served as an excellent introductory course into IPE.”
“Extremely responsive lecturer, and excellent feedback on assessments was provided in time for us to take it into account before attempting the next assessment.”
“Kyla was an excellent and engaging teacher who made good use of case studies and new multimedia technology tomake the course both enjoyable and relevant. The course served as an excellent introductory course into IPE.”