YouTube in the Classroom

Choosing Clips on the Carnegie Council Channel to Illustrate Concepts in Ethics and Government

What makes a good video clip for use in class?

  • Short: 2–5 minutes
  • Animated: lively engaging speaker
  • Pointed: clear beginning and end
  • Reasoned: analytical but not entirely emotionless
  • Conceptual:  illustrative of a major idea, not simply descriptive
  • Anecdotal: incorporating a brief story as a "hook" to illustrate the concept
  • Authoritative: major figure, title, or institution to lend gravitas, OR
  • Seditious: challenging basic assumptions

How do you use them?

  • Set up: explain why you are watching                        
  • Show: watch
  • Review: go over the basic ideas in the clip so everyone gets it
  • Relate: point out the connection to other readings or activities
  • Discuss: engage the class the ideas
  • Conclude: explain where this leads

The Carnegie Council YouTube Channel's most helpful clips are concise and illustrative of the ethical choices we face. The Channel offers diverse learning communities access to participate in the Council's Programs or to partner in the dialogue its Global Ethics Network facilitates.

Options to combine Norton e-Books or printed texts with Carnegie Council resources and with Foreign Affairs online articles make a course design that engages students in conversations within and beyond the classroom. For example:

1. In a discussion to introduce concepts including the state, institutions, and democracy, Parag Khanna's presentation in the 4-minute clip, What is a Second World country? is helpful. Khanna identifies the features of the 'second world,' and provides other ways for students to think about Mexico. Students are also offered the chance to travel with Khanna as he discusses his experiences in a variety of countries whose futures are likely to impact on global security.

2. In another 5-minute clip, Fixing Failed States: Success Stories, Ashraf Ghani cites challenges the international community faces in different countries, which result from the criminalization of economies in post-conflict situations. His analysis speaks to the conditions under which, after peace agreements, conflict returns, and offers undergraduates insights into these social dynamics. This is significant for students who do not have opportunities to live outside the United States.

3. The 4-minute clip with Andrew Bacevich, The Economic Crisis, gives two scenarios for reflection: 1) the present economic crisis is a passing phase since economic fundamentals are sound and no one can out produce the American worker; and 2) the crisis indicates that Americans have reached a true turning point in US and global history.

4. A 6-minute clip by Dominique Moïsi, Humiliation, Hope and Fear, presents students with an alternative, unorthodox way to understand the dynamics of intra-state and non-state interactions. His analysis cites the ways in which three emotions, which he defines as the cultures of hope, humiliation and fear, are the dominant "colors" of the world. Moïsi is concerned with the ways emotions impact on the confidence of societies in different regions. For students of international relations, who always return to questions of peace and war, Moïsi's animated discussion provides critical examples of the ways these emotions can sustain constructed narratives as well as the myths that are perpetuated within those narratives.

Read More: Education, International Relations

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