Diversity & Democracy: Civic Learning for Shared Futures
Diversity Innovations Institutional Leadership and Commitment
Diversity Digest Volume 8, Number 3

Diversity Digest
Volume 8,
Number 3

Download our print issue (PDF)
Curricular Transformation
Shared Futures: Global Learning and Social Responsibility
Recasting Religious Studies at Beloit College
Hybrid Student Identities: A Resource
for Global Learning
Global Education Continuum—
Four Phases
New Global Studies Degree Combines Liberal Arts and Preprofessional Disciplines
Globalizing the Curriculum
Campus-Community Involvement
Student Civic Engagement at Home
and Abroad
Looking Within to See the World
Institutional Leadership
Shared Futures? The Interconnections
of Global and U.S. Diversity
Connecting the Global and the Local: The Experience of Arcadia University
Partnership in Education for a Sustainable Future
Student Experience
Engaging Diversity on the Homogeneous Campus: The Power
of Immersion Experiences
Crossing Borders: Interdisciplinary Centers and Global Learning
Resources for Shared Futures
The Curricular Disconnect

Globalizing the Curriculum

From 2001 until 2004, eleven schools participated in Liberal Education and Global Citizenship: The Arts of Democracy. This project was designed to help colleges and universities develop societal, civic, and global knowledge in their graduates by linking liberal education and democracy in the context of our interdependent but unequal world. Below are some of the innovative ways participating institutions tackled this mission.

Beloit College

Beloit College has shifted its approach to citizenship to focus on “world citizenships” in curricular and cocurricular activities, both on and off campus. Building on the premise that women’s secondary status is a problem of global concern, part of this change is taking place within the women’s and gender studies department. The specific goals of the department were to infuse global perspectives into the curriculum, reorient faculty toward this global perspective, and create internships and experiential learning opportunities for students. This was done by creating opportunities for faculty to gain more international perspectives, revising courses and curriculum accordingly, and encouraging students to gain a deeper understanding of gender as a historical, cultural, and global construct. This shift is reflected in the “International Perspectives on Women and Gender” course, which seeks to widen the scope of Western feminisms, to complicate the so-called women’s issues, and to en-gender issues that, on the surface, do not seem about gender at all by focusing students’ attention outside the “mainstream” and U.S. contexts. The “International Perspectives on Women and Gender” course has been made permanent and is offered on a regular basis, and a trans-global requirement has been added to the women’s and gender studies major.

Pacific Lutheran University

Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) contends that one of the most effective ways to build meaningful and equitable relationships with other cultures is to place oneself in the space of others. With that in mind, PLU created the Trinidad and Tobago program, which includes courses and study abroad as well as an off-campus residence in the multicultural neighborhood of Shalimar. One of the new courses designed to promote global learning and understanding is the “Plays on Tour” theater course, which uses a Trinidadian Carnival model and employs traditional and oral characters from street theater around the world. The objectives of the “Plays on Tour” course are threefold: (1) to develop skills in the art of interpreting and creating the role of a traditional Carnival character utilizing both mental skills (such as emotional recall of the understanding of self and other cultures) and physical skills (such as bodily control and expression); (2) to help free the student-actors from inhibitions, mental and physical, which prevent them from realizing their potential as actors and members of a global society; and (3) to help students understand the interconnectedness of our global society by immersing them in the realm of street theater. The course allows students to explore the way in which theater is enriched by infusing it with global components.

University of Delaware

The University of Delaware developed a Global Citizenship Certificate (GCC) program that enhances the opportunities for students to link curricula with international experiences. The GCC is an inclusive attempt to encourage students of all academic backgrounds to engage actively in globally focused endeavors, both credit-bearing and extracurricular, and to formally recognize this engagement. There are no prerequisites or requirements that qualify a student to pursue the GCC, but in order to earn the certificate, students must participate in a certain number of preapproved activities. For example, students may take one or more courses with a global or cross-cultural focus, study abroad, engage in international service learning, serve as an officer of an international club, or attend a series of lectures. In the spirit of inclusiveness, the requirements for the GCC are such that students are not compelled to engage in any one particular activity. Instead, students choose from a large array of possible activities. This high level of flexibility allows all students to create their own global experience, regardless of curricular constraints, financial means, physical impairment, or other traditional hindrances to off-campus study. The goal is simply to encourage all students to become more active and engaged in global issues than is required by their chosen academic field.

Rochester Institute of Technology

The Rochester Institute of Technology’s Globalization, Human Rights, and Citizenship curriculum development project features over twenty internet-accessible, issue-specific modules that can be incorporated into existing classes or developed into specialized courses. The project helps interested faculty incorporate globalization-related topics into their courses. The lectures and discussions are designed in blocks of time, most spanning two or three sessions that last from ninety minutes to two hours, depending on the topic. Some of the modules include: “Poets Without Borders: The Poetry of Witness and Human Rights Activism,” “Globalization: Islam, Dialogue or War?,” “Technology in Global Society,” “Globalization and Democratization in Africa,” “Social Movements in the Global Economy,” “Global Governance,” and “Globalizing the Credit Card Nation.” For more information about the project, visit www.rit.edu/~gannett/ and follow the modules link.

Questions, comments, and suggestions regarding Diversity & Democracy should be directed to Kathryn Peltier Campbell at campbell@aacu.org.
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