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This online course is an introduction to English Language Instruction Methodology to support students in the Lesley University semester abroad program in Guyana, South America. This course has a rich environmental theme and will use the environment as subject matter. From an eco-pedagogical perspective, students will develop their own teaching materials and will engage in community-based projects. Students will live in Macushi indigenous villages and will innovate English language instruction that integrates their project work in both formal (primary school) and informal (after school) village life settings, with the purpose of improving English literacy among the Macushi people. The course will start two weeks before the travel.
Dr. Nicole Weber (face to face, in Guyana, and online; 3 credits)
This course is a three-credit supervised experiential/fieldwork course designed to complement "Fundamentals in English Language Instruction and Eco-Pedagogy," which prepares students to teach Basic English to indigenous-language speakers using the local environmental context.
This course is the "community-based projects" component of the cross-cultural teaching and learning experience of the GLASS program. English is both the source-language of new ideas and information, and the medium of collaboration, but the projects serve purposes identified by indigenous villagers.
Students will work with a supportive team, consisting of 1) a Lesley faculty mentor in their major, 2) the on-site Lesley instructor, and 3) a member of the Yupukari Village Council or other village leader (e.g. schoolteacher), to identify a project that fits both village needs and each student's area of interest and knowledge. Project planning with the village via email and chat may begin before the student arrives.
Alice Layton (face to face in Guyana; 3 credits; selected topics)
This course builds on the knowledge and experience of Field Experiences in Tropical Ecology, by exploring the interface between humans and their environment in the Amazon basin. Through readings and student-conducted interviews among the Macushi and Wapishana Amerindians of Guyana, students will examine the history of human development, resource extraction, politics, power, and education that shape human population growth in the areas containing the world's highest biodiversity. Students will also get an opportunity to explore and work with NGOs (Conservation International, Foster Parrots, Rupununi Learners Foundation) that aim to reduce negative human impacts by improving education, empowering indigenous populations, and establishing sustainable development options and alternatives to destructive resource exploitation. Students will synthesize their knowledge and experiences in a final paper focused on an organization (NGO or academic program) in Guyana that is working on an issue in an area of the student's interest.
Matthew T. Hallett (online, some face to face in Guyana; 3 credits; selected topics)
This course is a three-credit, eight-week fieldwork course designed to complement Tropical Human Ecology by providing an immersion in the social environment of a Macushi community during which time students learn first hand from villagers about their relationships to the land and their use and management of natural resources.
Traditional Amerindian communities have thrived through direct sustainable exploitation of their natural resources. Since colonization by Europeans, members of the Macushi Amerindian tribe have been increasingly disempowered with a gradual erosion of their resource use rights. These communities are now under intensive pressure to abandon their traditional land use practices due to new social, economic and cultural pressures resulting from the construction of a new road built through their land that connects northern Brazil to the Caribbean Sea and therefore the North American market.
Villagers will introduce students to some of the key resource-based survival skills enshrined in their Indigenous Knowledge (IK). Students will make observations, ask questions, and collaborate with villagers regarding natural resource use to generate summative presentations in oral/visual media for community viewing, with the aim of supporting ongoing village discussion of the natural resource management planning process offered by NRAMP (North Rupununi Adaptive Management Process).
Students will be supported by staff on the ground as well as by faculty online and on site.
Alice Layton plus village-run Indigenous Knowledge (IK) Academy (face to face in Guyana; 3 credits)
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