|Teaching Civic Engagement Globally is the result of collaborative work spanning scholars from multiple disciplines, fields, and careers. Political scientists, educators, and students have joined to produce important, timely research.|
Chapter 14: Studying Community and Development in The Gambia and Senegal: A Case Study of the Initial Offering of a Unique Course
by Aminata Sillah and Donn Worgs, Towson University
This chapter presents a case study of the development and initial offering of a study abroad course centered on community-driven development in The Gambia and Senegal. The objectives for the course were to enhance students’ understanding of the roles and impacts of civil society, social capital, and community-driven development, while fostering an ethic of global citizenship, as they studied theories of community development and nongovernmental organizations. Students were exposed to a range of experiences, including site visits to development projects, cultural events, visits with local families, lectures, reflective sessions, guest speakers and service projects. The authors present a set of key lessons learned from this initial offering of the course. The key lessons centered on the impact and importance of: local partners, having a clear organizing theme (in this case community -driven development), interpersonal connections, student engagement in service projects, and incorporating frequent opportunities for student reflection. The chapter ends with a set of recommendations for others who seek to design study abroad courses and other community-based learning experiences that seek to foster a sense of global responsibility, interdependence, and citizenship.
About Teaching Civic Engagement Globally
Educators around the globe are facing challenges in teaching politics in an era in which populist values are on the rise, authoritarian governance is legitimized, and core democratic tenets are regularly undermined. To combat anti-democratic outcomes and citizens’ apathy, Teaching Civic Engagement Globally provides a wide range of pedagogical tools to help the current generation learn to effectively navigate debates and lead changes in local, national, and global politics. Contributors discuss key theoretical discussions and challenges regarding global civic engagement education, highlight successful evidence-based pedagogical approaches, and review effective ways to reach across disciplines and the global education community.