Exploration of case teaching method in teaching international trade course

  The earliest application of case teaching method in legal education is the case teaching method in the common law system. In 1870, Christopher Columbus Langdell, the dean of Harvard Law School, introduced the case law method. In 1870, Professor Christopher Columbus Lang dell, dean of Harvard Law School, introduced case law in legal education and created the first case teaching method. =The case method was first introduced by Professor Christopher Columbus Lang dell.

The case method was formally introduced in China in the 1980s and has since been widely applied to management, economics, law, sociology and other disciplines. The case teaching method is a real or virtual scenario written based on typical events, and the interactive teaching process of teacher-student Q&A and? The interactive teaching process such as discussion, in order to achieve learners’ learning cognitive and skill objectives. In short, it is a teaching method that uses cases as a medium of instruction and aims to improve students’ comprehensive abilities.

As a typical heuristic teaching method, the case teaching method focuses on the active participation of students in the classroom, giving full play to the main role of the students and the leading role of the teacher, avoiding the teacher to sing a monologue, completely breaking the traditional teaching duck and fill the classroom with teaching methods, transforming students from listeners to participants, making them the main body of teaching.

Therefore, the use of case teaching method in teaching will stimulate students’ interest in learning and participation to a greater extent, which is more conducive to students’ mastery of theoretical knowledge and application of knowledge to solve practical problems, and finally improve the quality of teaching and achieve the training objectives of school education.

  The importance of case teaching in international trade course

  International trade course is an important professional core course of international economics and trade, international business and other economic majors in higher education institutions, mainly studying the emergence of international trade, development and trade profits and other issues, and revealing the characteristics and movement of the changing laws of the discipline, its main content generally includes two major parts of international trade theory and policy, such as classical free trade theory, neoclassical free trade theory, modern Free trade theory, trade protection theory, tariff and non-tariff barriers, regional economic integration and other knowledge.

Through the study of this course, students are expected to be able to use the knowledge they have learned to understand and analyze the world economy and the real problems in China’s foreign trade more skillfully, and to highlight the ability to use the theoretical knowledge they have learned flexibly to analyze and solve problems.

  From the field of international trade course research and specific content, the course involves a wide range of knowledge, with theoretical, foreign-related, comprehensive characteristics. The traditional lecture-based teaching mode is teacher-centered, in the teaching content of theoretical, light on practical, over-emphasis on theory and basic knowledge of the explanation, especially focus on purely theoretical knowledge, easy to cause a disconnect between the classroom and social reality, the teaching process is boring, too monotonous, it is difficult to stimulate students’ interest and enthusiasm for learning, and not receive the desired effect.

Therefore, compared with the traditional teaching of purely theoretical knowledge, the greatest advantage of case teaching method is to take cases as the basic material to draw students into a specific real situation, through the joint discussion between teachers and students, in-depth analysis, stimulate students’ enthusiasm and creativity, cultivate students’ sense of critical reflection and the ability to think independently, analyze problems and solve them, and finally help students transform theoretical knowledge into practical ability. The final help for students to transform theoretical knowledge into practical ability.

  The general implementation framework of case study teaching method in international trade course

  (I) Selecting and designing cases

  In the preparation process of case teaching, teachers should first do a good job, combined with the teaching content of international trade courses, carefully select and design cases. Whether the selection of teaching cases is appropriate directly affects the teaching effect. In the selection of specific cases should pay attention to the following points: First, the typicality of the case, that is, closely around the basic theory to be taught and the core content of the selection of representative cases, in order to achieve the purpose of deepening students’ understanding of the basic theory of international trade through case discussion.

The second is the novelty of the case, that is, as far as possible to choose the latest cases in international trade practice, in order to make the case teaching closer to real life, so that students through the practice of the new issues raised to further understand and think about the theory. Third, the case is comprehensive, that is, the selected cases should have a certain depth and difficulty, so that students can find out the possible points of knowledge of international trade theory, in order to enhance the students’ ability to use the theory learned to analyze and solve practical problems.

  (II) Presentation and reading of cases

  In this session, the teacher uses multimedia to present the case and describe the background of the case, briefly introduce the relevant theoretical knowledge points involved to the students, and create the atmosphere of the case description as much as possible, so that students can enter the case scenario as soon as possible. In this session, students should read the case materials prepared by the teacher and understand the contents of the case.

  (3) Analyze and discuss the case

  After students have a preliminary understanding of the background of the case, teachers should guide students into the analysis and discussion of the case. This session is the key to students’ knowledge and analysis, and therefore is the core part of case teaching. In the process of case analysis, attention should be paid to finding the cause-and-effect relationship among them, and only when the causes of the problem are clarified, it is possible to find a reasonable means to solve the problem.

Therefore, teachers should inspire students’ thinking, guide them to use relevant international trade knowledge, boldly think and actively participate in group discussions around key issues, teaching priorities and difficult problems, and always let students become the main body of teaching activities, and they are only an inspirer and guide. In the whole process of analysis, discussion and debate, teachers should try to mobilize students’ initiative and sense of participation, give students the opportunity to fully discuss and speak, encourage students to actively and boldly express their opinions, while focusing on cultivating students’ oral expression ability, logical reasoning ability, discernment and adaptability, collaboration ability and the ability to use knowledge flexibly, so that case teaching can really achieve the teaching purpose.   

(4) Summarize and review the cases

  After the students discuss the case, the teacher should summarize and review the case, which is a refinement and enhancement of the above. The teacher should not simply give the answer to the case directly, but also make an overall evaluation of the whole case discussion, affirm and improve the correct arguments put forward by the students, and give a reasonable inductive evaluation of the correct or wrong typical thinking exposed by the students in the independent inquiry, so that the students can be inspired by it. In addition, students’ analytical reasoning ability and the ability to relate theory to practice should be summarized, and students’ ability to find entry points and solution ideas when facing a case should be cultivated, so that students can accumulate certain experience when facing similar trade problems in the future. Therefore, the teacher should summarize the comments in the following points: firstly, “accurate”, the use of theoretical knowledge, concepts and principles should be accurate, and the comments should be to the point; secondly, “precise”, concise, concise, concise language, and proper time management. Finally, to grasp the “proportion”, not to frustrate the enthusiasm of students.

 The specific application of case study teaching method in international trade course: a demonstration of case study

  To further elaborate the specific application of case teaching method in the international trade course, the following is a case as a specific application object for demonstration analysis. Comparative advantage theory and competitive advantage theory is the important content of international trade theory, in the teaching process, teachers often first from the connotation of comparative advantage, the development process and the background of competitive advantage, the connotation of each for a detailed introduction, and then a comparative analysis of the two. In terms of logical relationship, such an explanation process is rigorous and clear, but students may be more obscure to understand. When explaining these two important international trade theories, we carefully chose “Why China is the world’s largest shoe manufacturer but not the world’s strongest shoe manufacturer” as a case study based on the guiding principles of typicality, novelty and comprehensiveness of case selection.

  Case content: China is the world’s most recognized footwear production, trade and consumption country, but in recent years, India, Brazil, Vietnam and other countries in the footwear industry to catch up quickly, so that China is facing more intense competition. The data provided by China Leather Association shows that, as a major production country, in 2010, China’s annual output of 13 billion pairs of shoes, accounting for about 65% of the world’s total production, ranking first. As a big trading country, China has nearly 10 billion pairs of shoes sold to nearly 200 countries and places in the world? ^, with an export share of $33.7 billion (excluding shoe materials, etc.), the number and value of exported shoes account for 73% and 40% of the world’s footwear exports respectively, ranking first. In the World Footwear Forum, China Leather Association made “the next five years of the world footwear industry and China’s footwear industry development trend release”, in which a group of the world’s most competitive several countries shoe-making labor cost data comparison caused great concern. China’s annual output of 13 billion pairs, labor costs are 13-15 U.S. dollars / hour; India’s annual output of 2 billion pairs, labor costs are 065 U.S. dollars / hour; Brazil’s annual output of various types of shoes in 2016 nearly 900 million pairs, labor costs are 435 U.S. dollars / hour; Vietnam’s annual output of various types of shoes in 2016 nearly 800 million pairs, labor costs are 048 U.S. dollars / hour.

  China Leather Association expert analysis points out that, from the production quantity of shoes, these countries to replace the position of China’s footwear power in 10 years, is relatively difficult, but China’s competitive pressure in the future development is still very large, must accelerate the adjustment of the structure, transformation and upgrading. Completely abandon the development mode that relies on speed, scale and price to compete, and change to the development mode that relies on quality, standard, technology, service, innovation ability and brand influence to compete. At the same time, experts agreed that China’s development of leather industry still has many advantages, such as rich raw material leather resources, perfect industrial chain, huge processing capacity, high quality and low cost labor, available at low cost to produce a variety of quality products and a large market of 1.3 billion people with great potential, but should actively change from a large shoe making country to a strong shoe making country.

  After the students read the case, the teacher set up questions by establishing a student-centered “problem-oriented” learning model, and let the students focus on the question of “why China is only a big shoe manufacturing country but not a world shoe manufacturing power”, combining the theories of comparative advantage and competitive advantage to explore. The question of “why China is only a major shoe manufacturer but not a world power” was explored in the context of comparative and competitive advantage theory, which improved students’ ability to apply their theoretical knowledge to analyze problems. After the students put forward their own views, the teacher summarized the case and pointed out that the main reason is that the comparative advantage of China’s footwear industry has not been transformed into a competitive advantage, and the national support and cultivation of competitive advantage is a positive guidance for the development of competitive advantage in developing countries, especially in the supporting and related industries, which are relatively weak in China. Foreign competitive industries are supported by large industrial clusters consisting of supporting and related industries, while most of our industries lack such support. Therefore, to improve the competitiveness of China’s footwear industry, we need to work on the industrial clusters and promote its transformation from comparative advantages to competitive advantages.


  As a professional core course of international economics and trade, international business and other undergraduate majors, international trade undertakes the key task of introducing students to the discipline of international trade, stimulating their interest in learning and research, and assumes the important mission of constructing the basic framework of the discipline, consolidating the professional theoretical foundation, depicting the frontier of the discipline’s development and expanding the international economic perspective for students.

In view of the complexity of the real economic situation and the abstract nature of international trade theories, teachers must break the traditional “fill the classroom” teaching mode in classroom teaching, and use case teaching on each knowledge point to enhance students’ understanding, use typical cases and typical problems to guide students’ thinking, and use interactive discussions between teachers and students to encourage students to speak. However, there are still some issues worth noting in the implementation of case teaching method, such as the selection of cases, the organic integration and coordination of theoretical knowledge points and case studies, etc.

Teachers are required to follow the current international trade hot issues and real-life problems to collect a lot of information and cases before class, and process and organize them, and use heuristic means to encourage students to boldly and flexibly use relevant trade theories to explore the problems in the process of teaching, in order to ensure the best teaching effect when using case teaching.