Community Project: Multicultural Education in The Hague

Course description Community Project: Multicultural Education in The Hague
Year: 2014-2015
Catalog number:
Teacher(s):
  • Dr. A.M. Wilson
Language: English
Blackboard: Unknown
EC: 10
Level: 200
Period: Semester 2, Block III, IV
Hours of study: 61:00 hrs
  • No Elective choice
  • No Contractonderwijs
  • No Exchange
  • No Study Abroad
  • No Evening course
  • No A la Carte
  • No Honours Class

Tag(s)

GC

Admission Requirements

None. Open to first-, second-, and third-year students. Dutch proficiency is not necessary.

PRE-REGISTRATION (INCLUDING A BRIEF STATEMENT OF INTENT) IS REQUIRED BY DECEMBER 10. Visit Engage The Hague to sign up.

Description

In this course we’ll learn about the promises and challenges of multicultural education—both in theory and in practice, right here in the city of The Hague.

In our own LUC classroom, we’ll raise a number of interrelated questions. What does it mean to be an educated person? What are—or should be—the purposes of education in a democratic society? How do schools subvert or reinforce existing societal inequalities? And what kinds of challenges and opportunities arise when students come together from a wide variety of social, economic, or linguistic backgrounds?

We’ll seek answers to these questions by reading and reflecting upon philosophical, historical, and ethnographic texts. We will also welcome visiting speakers—scholars, educators, and policymakers—who will share their knowledge about educational practice in the Netherlands. Through readings and discussion, we’ll deepen our understanding and place the contemporary Dutch experience in a broader comparative perspective.

In addition to reading and theorizing about multicultural education, we will also experience it first-hand. For approximately 3 hours each week, students will serve as tutors or teachers’ assistants in two local secondary schools: the Johan De Witt School in the Schilderswijk, and the College St.Paul in Mariahoeve. In each of these settings, students will have the opportunity to connect their academic knowledge to real-life, everyday practice—while providing valuable assistance to our neighbors in The Hague.

Course Objectives

The broadest goal of this course is to help LUC students practice engaged, informed, meaningful citizenship in the community in which they live. In addition to learning about multicultural education, it is my expectation that students will come to better understand the City of The Hague—including its history, neighborhoods, governing structures, and communities—and feel that they themselves form an integral part of it.

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  • speak in an informed way about educational theory and practice, linking academic work with the lived reality of teachers, students, and policymakers;
  • compare and contrast the challenges facing students and educators in different neighborhoods of The Hague, and to place these stories in a broader historical and comparative framework;
  • reflect in a critical, self-aware manner upon their own beliefs concerning multiculturalism and education, and to understand how individuals’ beliefs and experiences shape the way they move through and contribute to diverse social settings;
  • recognize human diversity as a point of departure for serious learning, and not as an explanation or recipe for failure.

Mode of Instruction

  • Class will meet once a week, on Wednesdays from 11:00 to 14:00. This three-hour session will help us accommodate both discussion of assigned readings as well as visits from invited speakers. When we host a visiting speaker, lunch will be served. On other days, we may not use the entire three-hour session.

  • Each student will serve one service shift per week. The total amount of service hours will amount to about 35-40 hours over the semester, normally 2-4 hours per week. Based on their individual skillsets, students will be assigned to specific tasks, which may include tutoring in English or Dutch, exam preparation, or math and science assistance. (Knowledge of Dutch is not necessary for the course, but working in local schools will be a great way to help one learn it!) See the form at Engage The Hague for full scheduling details.

  • In addition to class meetings, assigned readings, and service, students will write informal response papers, a short reflective essay, and conduct individual, independent research on a topic related to the course, resulting in a final project of 3500 words.

Assessment

Students will not be able to pass the Community Project course without fulfilling their agreed-upon service obligations, as confirmed by the partner school.

The final letter grade of the 10EC course will be determined by students’ performance on the following academic assessments:

  1. Active class participation.
  2. Weekly, informal reflection papers of ~300-400 words.
  3. A short, formal essay of ~2000 words (due end of Block 3)
  4. A longer, formal research essay of ~3500 words (due end of Block 4)

At the end of the semester, students will have an opportunity to presentthe results of their research essays at a public Community Engagement event hosted by LUC.

Commitment

Students who enroll in the inaugural Community Project course will be pioneers, responsible for helping to build LUC’s growing community engagement efforts. They will also serve as ambassadors, representing our college in the schools and in the community. As such, it is very important that all participating students take the course very seriously: not only keeping up with all the usual readings and academic demands, but also holding true to their weekly commitment to the partner school. Every course at LUC depends for its success on the commitment of everyone involved, but in this case, the stakes of that commitment are all the greater. We will be promising our time, skills, and enthusiasm to the staff and students of our partner schools in The Hague, and we do not want to let them down. At the same time, the potential rewards of this course for LUC students are high: hands-on learning; new,
transferable skills; and deeper integration within the broader community of The Hague. It will be a fun course!

Pre-registration

Because we need to arrange for placement in the schools, pre-registration is required for this course. Visit http://engagethehague.nl/register to sign up. The deadline for pre-registration is Wednesday, December 10. Questions? Email Ann Wilson

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