UK students in a variety of majors take the course EDC/AAS 550: Education in a Culturally Diverse Society. It helps college students develop perspectives that will enable them to enter their future careers providing an equitable service and/or classroom environment where all have equal access and opportunities.
Taught by Dr. Elinor Brown, the course is hybrid, meaning it has scheduled class times on campus and online interactions. In recent years, much of the content began taking place through discussions on a website created for the course. Dr. Brown has formed partnerships with academics across the globe, so the online student voices are not only UK students taking the course, but also students from a number of countries. Students who are not able to attend the five face-to-face classes submit presentations via video; work within groups via Skype, Facebook and other social media platforms; and access peer presentations and lectures on the course website http://www.globaleneo.org .
Students in the course examine the foundation of their personal belief systems, their perceptions of other cultures, and the influence of their attitudes and behaviors on the academic and social development of culturally diverse students. The students then divide into groups and select a topic and population to research. They explore issues that negatively influence academic achievement and develop strategies to resolve some of the issues.”
“There is so much to learn in multicultural education,” said Brown, who is an Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. “If you’re lecturing, you’re saying students should do this, not that, and you don’t get some of the profound things that come out of student-led discussions.”
Brown recently completed a redesign of the website, which allows it to be responsive to the various devices students use to access the Internet, such as smart phones and tablets.
Entries Sought for Student E-Publication
Brown has recently launched a quarterly e-news forum that will be comprised of student entries from across the globe.
“Many students write well, but they are not always polished,” Brown said. “Often, students with important material to share don’t get to tell their stories because they are novice writers who are often rejected by publications geared for academics and professionals. Students can have more insight into things that are going on than the professionals around them. I want to give students an opportunity to see themselves in print. We might be able to glean more from these international student contributions than we could from a professional who has to stay in a certain lane as they write.”
In addition to student essays, photographs, poems and artwork will be accepted. An international board will select the best works and monetary prizes will be awarded each quarter. To learn more, go to http://www.globaleneo.org/svgpnews.