CALIS analytical tools are content-based. Each tool provides context for information by placing ideas in a conceptual framework.
Tools provide rigor, depth and balance. The social sciences examine complex questions about the human condition. When we engage students in studying, let alone decision-making and problem-solving about these questions, tools provide structure and flexibility.
Tools are used with cases. This database homepage includes an overview of analytical tools & case teaching. For further background, visit the High School Case Teaching Initiative and the Analytical Toolbox.
Case Transcripts are a goldmine!
Each case transcript is linked to its NPR or APM broadcast as an option to use radio media. The audio augments student engagement while still focusing on text. Regular reading -- through radio news -- models the civic habit of following the news. For English Learners, the audio is a highly effective support to complement the text.
The case format is designed for active reading and citing text, and each case is followed by three levels of case questions: main ideas, inference & implications, and relating to “the big picture” or a larger context of issues.
Case teaching is not current events. Cases are meant to be very purposefully “mapped” across a course as layered opportunities for students to practice using analytical tools.
Analytical Tools and Case Teaching
CALIS received national recognition for our direct service in classrooms and innovative use of analytical tools in secondary social science education. Among 100 university nominations, the CALIS outreach program was selected in 2005 by the Goldman Sachs Foundation Prizes for Excellence in International Education as one of the top three in the United States.
It is the CALIS mission to promote student-driven analysis through case teaching with analytical tools. Through the interdisciplinary field of international relations, we are developing tools and cases for history, government and economics that include ethics, psychology, area studies, etc. Case readings are drawn from primary sources, news radio, news magazines, think tank reports, classic literature and contemporary novels. Case teaching both challenges and supports students to contend with a wide variety of concepts and perspectives.
Systematic tools are necessary to manage complexity and approach controversy with depth and balance. As a professor in law school or medical school uses cases so that students can practice law or practice medicine, so must social science students use cases to practice civic engagement using effective, empowering tools.
The collection includes reference files, activities and cases for each of these analytical tools:
Four Worlds (4W) – Actors, Factors & Dynamics
Worldviews – The Logic of our Assumptions
Levels of Analysis – Distinguishing Groups of Variables
Continuum – Ideal Types in Perspective
Concept Map – Relationships & Big Ideas
Two Search Functions
1) Search using key words --RECOMMENDED. Some topics have search tags and some items have descriptions that include a tag for related materials.
2) Browse -- This search option has not been further developed since the initial set-up of the database. We hope to revisit this feature in a future upgrade.
Database files are offered as Word docs that can be edited (customized) with any changes a teacher needs or wants, but we ask that USC CALIS source credit always remains intact.
Classroom-ready materials have two links:
IMPORTANT: Analytical tools are not entered to this database as lesson plans. Tools come in the form of reference charts, continuums, and concept maps that outline terms and provide context. The guide version of the tool file will most often point to related cases.
CALIS materials are used by USC students involved in our Teaching International Relations Program (TIRP). TIRP teams review the collection in order to plan and teach at local high schools: TIRP Search Tags
As the collection is strengthened, we hope that teachers and students -- nationally and globally -- will adopt and adapt case teaching with analytical tools. We are in the continuous process of weeding, upgrading, updating, and restructuring to better serve a wider audience of users. Your questions and feedback are welcome!
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Updated: October 26, 2016