United Nations经济和社会事务部 可持续发展

“International Politics and Cinema” Thematic Workshop

European Centre for Environmental Research and Training – EKePEK, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences (
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    Description
    Intro

    Our project is an educational workshop with the participation of undergraduate students of the Dpt. of International, European & Area Studies at Panteion University. Throughout the current academic year, the participants are examining subjects concerning the field of International Politics by tracing and watching films that are later on being analyzed and documented. More specifically, they focused on topics concerning the Law of the Sea, International Organizations and Outer Space. Up to date, more than 90 movies have been analyzed. Related SDGs: 4, 14, 16.

    Description

    The main objectives of the workshop are: a) to help students gain a deeper understanding of the international politics, institutions and regulations and to study how they are applied in practice (SDG 16 & 14), b) to assist them to better grasp the interconnectedness of international affairs and international law (SDG 16 & 14), c) to improve their capabilities to work autonomously or as team members (SDG 4.4), d) to build up their digital skills and identity, e) to provide an option for overcoming COVID19 anxiety and isolation (SDG 4.4), f) to highlight the importance of the SDGs and their connection to daily matters (all SDGs). Participation is free and open to all students. The only prerequisite is internet access.

    Contribution to SDG Implementation

    The workshop is an activity aiming at the achievement of Targets 4.3, 4.4, 4.7, during the COVID19 times, by focusing on issues related to SDGs 14 & 16. It was planned so that all interested students could participate, based on their availability and capabilities. Apart from purely academic merits, it also aimed at providing students with technological, organizational and public speaking skills. Furthermore, it can help participants become more responsible, open-minded and pro-active citizens through cognitive procedures.

    Implementation methodologies

    The workshop was planned and coordinated remotely by EKePEK’s research staff, in advance of the academic year, anticipating that in-class teaching would be impossible. Our motivation was to mobilize and engage students in studying international politics, in a collective and collaborative way, through a relaxing activity, such as watching movies. Throughout the Fall Semester approx. 30 students: a) gathered on a weekly basis, to discuss their progress and solve their questions, b) submitted, in writing, the outcomes of their research, c) planned and participated in public events and d) presented their work to their classmates. Their goal was to trace films depicting International Politics cases, document relevant scenes and analyze them. However, the workshop’s outputs were communicated to all class attendees (approx. 350 persons), through oral presentations and digital content dissemination. The workshop started in 10/2020 and is planned to last 1 year. Its continuation will be decided upon evaluation. Till today, 9 workshop official meetings have been held, with a total duration of more than 15 hours, while at least 4 more meetings are being planned. In total, more than 90 films have been recorded and analyzed. One of the highlights of the project was an online open discussion, organized by the participants, using the movie 007: Thunderball as a case study. The participants presented key elements of the movie and led the discussion with the audience. The whole workshop was implemented digitally, hence there was no financial cost. The participants used online meeting platforms, multimedia and Office-type programs. As a monitoring mechanism a questionnaire was circulated, to record the participants’ experience and to gain feedback for future consideration.

    Results

    The digital format, along with the flexibility in implementation, provided assurances for the participation of students, irrespective of their residing locations or any physical impairments. According to participants’ statements, the workshop helped them in two ways: a) to reach a deeper understanding regarding the oceans, int’l organizations and cooperation and b) to improve their ICT, organizational and public speaking skills. Moreover, it was considered a nice opportunity to sharpen academic skills and test research capability. The overall impression was that it gave them confidence, improved their knowledge and enhanced their interest to move on with their studies. Most of the engaged students stated that they would wish to participate in similar future events, while all stated that they would definitely suggest other peers to join. General feedback suggests that it is a successful endeavor that should be continued.

    Factors and Constraints

    This workshop was planned and executed as an additional educational activity and was tailormade for remote implementation. The flexibility provided by the used technologies (teleconference & telecommunications platforms, cloud facilities, video on-demand platforms) allowed the participants to work remotely and gave them the capability to work either as a team or as a unit, according to the project’s needs. The participants were highly enabled by free online services, without which the success of the workshop would have been difficult to achieve.

    Sustainability and replicability

    The results showed that this is an innovative and entertaining learning method, that is also cost-effective and does not require advanced technological skills or equipment. This method could be easily adapted and duplicated in other parts of the world, as well as to other scientific disciplines, always aiming at promoting SDG 4. As suggested by the participants, the workshop will also be held during the Spring Semester, focusing on Outer Space Law and Int’l Development Law. The organizers wish to use the results and know-how gained by the workshop, in order to build a comprehensive educational package that could be used in the future, in a relevant context.

    COVID-19 Impact

    The workshop may be described as a response to the impact of COVID19 in tertiary education and was planned as a tool to keep students active and cooperating despite distance, by taking advantage of a common habit, such as watching movies. Feedback has also shown that participating in this project was an excellent way for students to catch up, or even build relationships, both highly needed in times of estrangement. Despite the fact that the remote working format was essential to the workshop’s success, the participants have stated that they are eager to work together in class and have suggested various ways to do so, whenever possible.

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    This initiative does not yet fulfil the SMART criteria.
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    Timeline
    12 October 2020 (start date)
    30 September 2021 (date of completion)
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