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ERIC Number: ED449113
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999
Pages: 7
Abstractor: N/A
Defining the National Interest: A Sample Lesson on Current International Affairs from Choices Education Project.
Brown Univ., Providence, RI. Thomas J. Watson, Jr. Inst. for International Studies.
Clearly, the United States cannot respond to every crisis, but what is meant precisely by the phrase "American interests"? How is the U.S. national interest defined and by whom? Does its definition affect the decision of how to respond to a crisis? This lesson deals with these complex and intertwined questions. By defining the national interest for themselves, students understand not only what their options are but the core values and assumptions that are the foundations of these options. Students working to understand the framework of decision making surrounding intervention will benefit from having articulated and tested their own definitions of the U.S. national interest against those of their classmates and against the decisions of policymakers. The student reading and assignment, in conjunction with the lesson's exercises and suggested discussion, are designed to begin the process of understanding the core assumptions of U.S. foreign policy. The lesson cites educational goals, presents a group exercise, provides questions for class discussion, and outlines a homework assignment. (BT)
Choices for the 21st Century Education Project, Watson Institute for International Studies, Box 1948, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912. Tel: 401-863-3155; Fax: 401-863-1247; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Brown Univ., Providence, RI. Thomas J. Watson, Jr. Inst. for International Studies.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: For the related curriculum unit "Keeping the Peace in an Age of Conflict: Debating the U.S. Role," see ED 443 760.