How to teach international affairs in an era of flux

Six Canadian academics reflect on the challenges of teaching in a world of fast-paced news and distrust of sources.

University of Toronto
The University of Toronto campus. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

In the fall of 2018, University of Northern British Columbia professor Heather Smith brought together a panel of international relations scholars at the annual meeting of the Prairie Political Science Association.

One of her requests to the five panel participants was that they share how they are teaching “Canada in the world,” particularly in the Trump era, which is perceived by many to be a time of considerable flux. A lively conversation ensued — one that she says was made richer by the academics’ different theoretical orientations, areas of expertise and lived experiences.

Following the event, Smith and the panellists reflected on teaching in general, and teaching about Canada in the world in an era of flux more specifically, for OpenCanada.org. Here are their thoughts — and advice for their colleagues.