Course Syllabus

SOUTH AFRICA: Creative Energy, Social Change, and Knowledge of Place
Summer 2009 Credits: 3 Credits Instructors: Diane Gayer, (; Maggie Sherman, ( Location: Museum Park, an environmental education centre, Pretoria, South Africa Class Dates and Times: June 29 to July 13, 2009 With 2 pre-planning meetings Tuition and Fees Participants pay for 3 credits of tuition, as well as a program fee, which includes airfare. Program Fee: $4,174 Total of Tuition and Program fee for a Vermont Resident: $5,172 Students also pay the UVM comprehensive fee ($10 per credit in 2008). Course Description: Participants will meet with teachers, students, and community leaders in South Africa to engage in dialogue and shared experience around issues of social and racial justice, arts- and place-based identities, and geopolitical realities of climate change. This travel experience will lead to a better sense of South Africa as an example of creative energy, social change, and knowledge of place which is transferable to our own communities and the work we do at home. We will build a shared experience through community activities undertaken with local NGOs; connect with teachers and students in their classrooms and schools; visit key cultural places (e.g., Constitutional Court, Apartheid Museum, and Cradle of Humanity). Cultural exchanges are facilitated through specific activities such as a tree planting in Diepsloot (an informal settlement) or the making of clay footprints with middle school students in Pretoria; site visits to places like the People’s Environmental Centre (an urban gardens and recycling project), Constitutional Court (the new justice center), and Robben Island (prison where Nelson Mandela was held for 27 years). Dialogue will occur around informal dinners with local educators as well as meetings with local leaders. The teaching focus is experiential engagement and cross-cultural involvement. Understanding of the complex and interwoven issues of South Africa will be arrived at through

reading, dialogue, hands-on activity, and reflection. Identity and pride of place are strong in South Africa for both whites and blacks. This identity with place shows up in the creative energy brought to music and art, but also in the strength South Africans collectively brought to effect change in their country. Can this same creative energy be transferred to affect needed environmental and social change in our own country? How can our study, personal interactions, and projects result in developing deeper understandings in our own relationship to place? Participants will stay together in an environmental education center with cooking and meeting facilities. Those taking the course for credit will be expected to do preliminary research and work on their study projects during the two weeks—time will be available during the evenings for dialogue with guests, informal interviews with teachers and community leaders, reading, and journal writing. The daytime activities are programmed to provide the various study projects background material, as well as, exposure to the complexities of another culture and place. The final projects are not due until three weeks after the return. THREE PHASES OF TRAVEL COURSES Travel study courses are offered for three (3) graduate credits through UVM. A credit-free option is also available. Each course consists of three phases: pre-trip, in-country travel, and post-trip. During the pre-trip phase, all participants join with the instructor(s) to discuss shared readings as a means of orientation to the country, as well as addressing the specific foci of the course. An online forum will be used to facilitate participant introductions and discussions during this phase. Two face-to-face meetings will be scheduled for group camaraderie and to discuss travel arrangements. In-country travel includes the planned itinerary. The course itinerary involving all participants will include visits to schools, communities, historic sites, meetings with local community leaders, hands-on projects, dinners, and group discussions. Time will be structured to allow participants to begin their particular projects. The final phase, post-travel, involves completion and evaluation of the project, most frequently “curriculum development.” This may be accomplished individually or in conjunction with other teachers (see below). Goals:  To develop an understanding of global issues by exploring South Africa as a case study and reflection of our own geopolitical identities  To use this new information in developing “equity and cultural diversity” or “place-based learning” in classroom curriculum  To share knowledge and curriculum with others Learning Outcomes:

 To analyze a class of students for differences and similarities in cultural heritage, identify potentially unequal learning opportunities, and respond with culturally responsive and equitable curriculum design  To use the research base in your subject area and exposure to the complexities of South Africa to inform and develop a plan for improving your teaching and your curriculum design  By the end of the course, complete a Vermont Standards-based unit of instruction for use in your curriculum.

General Course Information DESIGN YOUR OWN STUDY PROJECT Create an individualized study project -using the travel study course as the foundation for further research, identify specific areas of interest in history, geography, the arts, literature, anthropology, world languages, the physical sciences - among a wide range of possible research areas - and then design your own unique study project. Connect this research to your classroom curriculum and professional interests. Or… Interdisciplinary Team Projects - Join with other teachers to pursue common areas of interest or collaborate on curriculum design. This study option is ideal for teachers from the same school planning interdisciplinary curriculum projects; or for teachers from different schools who may join with others to share common research interests. FAQ
How Do I Develop an Independent Study Proposal? Either on your own, or in collaboration with other teachers, complete the following questions and present to the faculty for approval prior to acceptance into the course. Although travel locations are selected based on our assessment of them serving a broad teacher audience, each travel study course has unique resources. Your proposed project should reflect available resources and topics for the region being studied. Basic research and discussion with the faculty as you develop your proposal may help identify possible themes. When will I have time for my independent research while on the travel study course?

The daily course itinerary will allow for time in the schedule many afternoons for you to explore identified research interests. What is expected of participants in terms of a final project? The final project will focus on your proposed research topic. This project will be completed following the travel component and should relate to a professional development goal or a school curriculum initiative. We invite you to think creatively about its components. The following would serve as the application for an independent or group independent study project.

TRAVEL STUDY PROJECT PROPOSAL Location of Travel Course: ____________________________________________ Date of Travel: ______________________________________________________ Project Title and Description: Provide a detailed description of your proposed study project. Include your goals and objectives, your area(s) of research, and how you will apply this study to your teaching and school, and the Vermont Standards that the project will address, if applicable. Pre-trip readings and your own research or discussions with faculty may help in solidifying your ideas. A clear and complete statement of project objectives: A concise statement of the plans and methods to be used in order to accomplish each objective. Resources: Identify people and places or types of environments you'll need to access in order to accomplish this research. Final Project: Identify your tentative idea for a final project. We realize that this may evolve over the course of your in-country experience, but provide us some details of what you hope to accomplish. The faculty member(s) will discuss with you a plan for evaluation, which will include the specific work to be submitted for evaluation on the project, and a statement of criteria to be used for evaluation. Other Collaborators: Identify the names of other teachers/staff involved with your research project. ______________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ If currently proposed as a study project to be done by you alone, are you open to other group members joining you in this research? _______ If approved, may this research project be listed for others to consider? _______

Course Policies/Expectations: The following are necessary for successful completion of this course: Consistent and engaged participation in travel experience Active participation in individual and group projects Active engagement in community discussions Participation in and completion of readings Completion of project assignments Attendance Expectations: Consistent and engaged participation in travel experience Active participation in class discussions of projects and readings Contributions in Class: It is expected that participants will attend class. Participants should also take an active role in hands-on exercises, class discussions around new information from assigned projects and readings, and the development of classroom applications. Academic Honesty Policy: Students are referred to The Cat’s Tale on the web at for specific information concerning the Academic Honesty Policy. Offenses, sanctions and procedures are therein defined for all students and faculty. Required Text Materials: Nelson Mandela’s A Long Walk to Freedom Groundswell, a VDI monograph written by Diane Gayer Articles selected by instructors (see bibliography) Electronic Submissions/Internet Use: NA because this is a live, face to face course with no distance component. Students may be asked to use the web for research

Student Evaluation/Assessment
Grading: Course Preparation (assignment #1) Attend two (2) preliminary planning sessions (March 7, April 11) . During class, you will: Take note of travel data and trip preparations Discuss the preparatory reading assignments with class members and faculty Formulate preliminary idea for a study project

Due: prior to departure Assigned value: 15 pts Observations and Insights Journal (assignment #2) Using your own observations, insights, sketches, and group discussions develop and complete a travel journal. Investigate sensitivity of appropriateness, cultural meanings and differences, history Develop awareness of your identity and role in community Observe physical place and patterns, geology, and climate Reflect on readings and daily activities Assigned value: 20 points Due date: ongoing during trip (1-2pp/day) South Africa Experience Project (assignment #3) Participants will develop a project based on the design and community engagement tools explored in this course as well as from the readings and discussions. The project can take many forms – for example: classroom curricula, a community-based learning project. The individual project will include a written description of the activity, timeline, type of participant, etc. The description should include school focus, means of implementation, and possible goals for community participation and associated strategies to accomplish them. Assigned value: 30 points Due: July 8, 2009 (project outline during trip); August 10, 2009 (final project due after return) Community Engagement (assignment #4) There will be two (2) hands-on engagement activities with the communities we are visiting and one (1) personal one. These will culminate in a group exhibit at the end of the program. The projects are aimed at facilitating observation and sensory awareness, organizational and participatory engagement practices, and presentation skills.

Class participation and attendance: this is included in this “assignment”. It is expected that participants will attend all program activities. Participants are expected to take an active role in discussions, organization, and group development of projects. Assigned value: 20 points Due Date: ongoing during trip Reflection Paper (assignment #5) Using your readings and journal notes, write a short paper reflecting on your expectations before you left Vermont. Compare and contrast these with your experience in South Africa. How did your expectations, perceptions, and experiences align or change with the trip?

Assigned value: 15 points; 3pp Due Date: (due upon return) July 20, 2009

Format for Expected Work: See “design your own study” project Percentage Contribution of Each Assignment: See above in the assignment description Instructional Sequence:

Date Pre-Session 1 March 7, 2009 Pre-Session 2, April 11, 2009

Topic Introductions; slide show re program to SA; course description and travel logistics; class footprint (clay); discuss reading. Slide show re “hands across the water”; presentation on community projects and course requirements; reading discussion

Assignment Reading: Nelson Mandela’s autobiography DEPOSIT DUE Prep for course in SA REMAINDER DUE Check List: passport, money, shots, insurance, UVM doc’s, personal meds, etc. Journal entry Journal entry

Day One (June 29) Day Two (June 30) Day Three (July 1)

Leave Burlington/JFK airport for SA Arrive Johannesburg, SA Transfer to Museum Park accommodations; food shopping, cooking, and neighborhood walk

Meet with Dr. Schalk Raath, director of Museum Journal entry Park; visit to local school; lunch; presentation by Prep for next day activities science teacher at Museum Park; dinner with guest Chrisna du Plessis, CSIR (environmental leader) Drive to Diepsloot (an informal settlement)—visit two NGO projects; lunch with local city councilor; do community project #1 (tree planting/clay footprints); dinner at hostel Return to Diepsloot—visit elementary school in morning for show & tell (Life in Vermont); lunch; afternoon trip to Ivory Park Ecovillage (demonstration project) and dinner with director Alan Dawson of Uri Gaia Visit lion rehab center; glass recycling center for lunch; Magaliesburg caves; and dinner at Goblin Cove; return late Journal entry Organize info from project #1

Day Four (July 2)

Day Five (July 3)

Journal entry Prep for next community project

Day Six (July 4)

Journal entry

Day Seven (July 5)

Drive to Soweto—visit Apartheid Museum; lunch; Journal entry walk up Tower Hill; community project #2 (castOrganize info from project #2 hands project) at Cheshire Group Home, tea; return to hostel for dinner Drive to downtown Joburg—visit People’s Environmental Centre (urban gardens project and demo site/lunch with director Dorah Lebelo); visit to Constitutional Court; shopping at African Market; dinner at restaurant Fly to Cape Town; visit Table Mountain; lunch; visit historic fort; dinner at hostel; Journal entry

Day Eight (July 6)

Day Nine (July 7) Day Ten (July 8)

Journal entry Evening mtg about project #3

Visit MSF AIDS clinic; lunch; trip to Robben Island Journal entry (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 Develop outline for individual years); community project #3 (impressions of Cape project due upon return Town) Quiet morning; trip to Kirstenbosch Gardens; Journal entry community project #3 (impressions of Cape Town); Organize info from project #3 dinner at local winery in countryside Organize, develop, and install exhibit of community Journal entry project & activities “Touching Earth/Hands across the Water”; dinner with friends and drumming circle Quiet morning/finish installation; evening reception and exhibit presentation for public; prepare to leave next day Leave Joburg/return to Vermont Reflective paper due Final project due Journal entry

Day 11 (July 9) Day 12 (July 10)

Day 13 (July 11) Day 14 (July 12) July 20 August 10

Bibliography A Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela Blink! by Malcom Gladwell Boundaries of Home: Mapping for Local Empowerment edited by Doug Aberley Country of my Skull by Antjie Krog Groundswell monograph by Diane Gayer The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Sense by Juhani Pallasmaa The Hand: How its Use shapes the Brain, Language and Human Culture by Frank R. Wilson Toward Sustainable Communities by Mark Roseland The Experience of Place by Tony Hiss Inside the Third World by Paul Harrison Other readings based on participants specific course of study.

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