The Congress of Berlin by Anton Werner

Teaching

Teaching Experience and Qualifications
·         Independent Instructor
o   IR 201 Research Methods I, Fall 2014 Ozyegin University

o   IR 315 Peace and Conflict Studies, Fall 2014 Ozyegin University

o   POLS 1101 Introduction to American Government, Summer 2014 Georgia Southern University

o    POLS 4138 International Terrorism, Summer 2014 Georgia Southern University

o   POLS 1101  Introduction to American Government, Spring 2014 Georgia Southern University  (Double Section Course)

o   POLS 7030 Theories of War, Spring 2014 Georgia Southern University

o   POLS 7437 Statistics for Social Science, Spring 2014 Georgia Southern University

o   POLS 4031 The Great Powers and International Relations, Spring 2014 Georgia Southern University

o   POLS 1101  Introduction to American Government, Fall 2013 Georgia Southern University  (Double Section Course)

o   POLS 2130 Scopes and Methods in Political Science, Fall 2013 Georgia Southern University

o   POLS 4301/INTS 3090 Non-Western Wars: Causes and Consequences, Fall 2013 Georgia Southern University

o   GLBL 296  Non-Western Wars and their Legacy, Spring 2013, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Developer and Instructor)
o   PS 280 Introduction to International Relations, Spring  2013, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Online Course)

o   PS 200  Foundations of Political Science, Summer 2012, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Online Course)
·         Teaching Assistant
o   PS 280 Introduction to International Relations, Fall 2011University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
o   PS 282 Governing Globalization, Spring 2010, Fall 2009,Fall 2008  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
o   PS 100 Introduction to Political Science, Spring 2009 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

·         Teaching Awards and Certifications
o   Graduate Teacher Certificate 2011,Center for Teaching Excellence, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
o   List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students, Fall 2011

o   List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students, Fall 2009
  • Courses I can teach
o   Undergraduate Level : Introduction to Political Science, Introduction to American Government, Introduction to International Relations, International Conflict, Scopes and Methods in Political Science, Interstate War, History of International Relations, History and International Relations of the Balkans, Introduction to Globalization, Special Topics course on the Great Powers, International Crisis Diplomacy, War. Causes and Consequences of Wars: European Wars, Causes and Consequences of Wars: Non-Western Wars, Causes and Consequences of Wars: North-American Wars
o   Graduate Level (Masters): Introduction to Statistics in the Social Sciences, Theories of War


o   Graduate Level (PhD): International Relations Theory, International Conflict, Special Topics on International War, Militarized Interstate Disputes, History of International Relations, The Role of Major Powers in International Relations, Transformations of the International System.

Teaching Philosophy

I see university education in political science as providing students with three main benefits. First, they learn facts that can be useful in life and their careers or can enrich their knowledge of the world and provide them with some of the elements of a cosmopolitan attitude to life. There is an argument to be made that may haps college education is not the place for the learning of facts. I disagree. Facts, especially a broad knowledge of the past can fortify students from presentism, provide them with an arsenal of secondary experience that can act as a guidepost when trying to make sense of current events, and provide role models and examples for withstanding the simplification of explanation that has been brought about by this age of instantaneous commentary.

Second, students learn to provide logical explanations for those facts, and to use those facts to construct logical explanations for other facts. The primary point of this exercise is not just to have students learn to think critically, but also to train their ability to use logic in everyday life. I believe that there is dearth of education in logic in the secondary schooling in this country, a dearth that hampers the ability of students to become better scholars and better people. Consequently I strongly believe that the teaching of causal reasoning to students should go hand in hand with a practice of logic.

Third, students learn to evaluate various explanations against each other, or against the facts. This is the critical thinking exercise that stands at the center of a liberal arts education.  For undergraduate students I believe that the critical thinking part of education should be structured around the scientific method and logic. While this is not the only benchmark for evaluating explanations, it is the benchmark against which alternatives have been built. A good foundation in the scientific method will then permit students to evaluate alternative systems (religion, critical theory, post-modernism) and decide on their own what their answer to the question of how we find truth is. Consequently while I would inform students of the criticisms of the scientific method, I would leave the deeper epistemological debates for more advanced courses or graduate courses, after students have built a foundation in explaining the world through the scientific method.

I also strive help students learn how to do collaborative work, learn to present their arguments to an audience, and learn how to write well.  For example I have students work on a course journal for my Non-Western Wars class. I am also having my Scopes and Methods students, present their projects in class, to an audience including other professors.

In pursuit of each element of this trinity I have used and developed a number of teaching techniques. When it comes to facts I am a strong believer in the use of primary sources and readings. For my Non-western undergraduate course I had on average 40-60 pages of reading per week, spread out across 6 books. In my introduction to American government course, I have students read primary sources like the Federalist papers and Anti-Federalist papers, and the Constitution. My past experience has also provided me with an appreciation of the benefits of interactive learning and the use of media to enrich classes and help teach facts. Scenes from documentaries, movies, and popular culture are used to spark student interest in facts and conditions they did not know or care about before. Student projects, like class magazines about events that are made publicly available, not only foster collaboration, but also provide incentives for the students to unearth further facts. To evaluate student retention of facts I use short quizzes, papers, games, and short essays.

To teach logic I rely or reading, explanation and writing. Students read theories, and have them explained to them via lecture, with the goal of breaking a theory down to its basic logic. Teams of students may be assigned to explore a specific link of the logic of a theory. Writing assignments are used to evaluate their ability to break down a theory to its parts, and to explain how parts are made. Students are also encouraged to develop their own explanations based on logic. In the scopes and methods course I am teaching I have students break down scientific papers into their parts, explain the logic of theories and then develop their own theories, and evaluate their logic.

To teach critical analysis I bring the two first elements together. I start by training students to understand how theories are applied to explain facts. This is done by reading and lecture. In my Non-Western Wars class after students learned about a theory of war, I had them read and discuss how that theory was applied to explain the 2003 Iraq War. The next step is to teach students to evaluate how well a theory was applied to explaining an event. This is done through writing assignments. Then students are asked to apply a theory themselves to an event. This is done through collaborative work and writing assignments, usually over many drafts. The final step and the cumulation of the trinitarian approach is when students compare and evaluate competing theories for explaining the same event. 

I also strive to marshal a broad array of resources in my teaching. This included movies and tv-series and board-games. For example in my “The Great Powers and International Relations” course at Georgia Southern University I used the game “Diplomacy” to help students evaluate if changes in state goals lead to different state behaviors when all other attributes in a system are stable. This is an evaluation of the structural (offensive) realist claim that structure determines behavior and not state variation.   


Students at GSU taking part in class game activity 




Students at Ozyegin Univeristy participating in a active learning activities.