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Matthew Rudisi Appleby College Oakville, ON, Canada.

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Presentation on theme: "Matthew Rudisi Appleby College Oakville, ON, Canada."— Presentation transcript:

1 Matthew Rudisi Appleby College Oakville, ON, Canada

2 American School of Kuwait – Service work Masters of Education – Global Educational Policy Studies Thesis Project – ISL Appleby College Faculty PD Service – Patacancha, PERU Student International Service Project - BOLIVIA Student International Service Project - BELIZE Upcoming: Student International Service Project - ECUADOR

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4 ISL can help students to develop 21 st century skills including global citizenship, civic engagement, critical reflection etc. Exposure to intercultural experiences – fosters compassion, empathy, open-minded attitudes Encourages development of skills in team work and collaboration Provides opportunities for leadership development Can develop project specific goals (e.g. construction, agricultural techniques etc.)

5 ISL comes with some inherent challenges that need to be addressed Quite often simple knowledge and awareness of these negatives help to mitigate them

6 International service projects usually have goals that are distinctly global in nature. They usually offer an excellent degree of exposure and integration into other cultures (Tonkin & Quiroga, 2004). ISL programs help students to acquire a deeper understanding of their world and reassure their commitment to service (Monard-Weissman, 2003) combining service learning with study abroad is a powerful pedagogical innovation for increasing students' intercultural competence, language skills, and experiential understanding of complex global problems (Kiely & Neilson, 2003)

7 participation in service-learning has a direct impact on civic engagement and the continued development of cultural competencies (Miller and Gonzalez, 2009). ISL projects that have a particular focus on social justice tend to create a transformative experience in the lives of students (Kiely, 2004). Transformative experiences often alter participants attitudes & outlook of life, and therefore create feelings of isolation and alienation in their daily interactions back home

8 international service projects burst with potential and stumble with the weight of contradictions left unattended (Grusky, 2000). early evaluations of adventure programs relied more on statements of faith than anything else (Hattie, 1997). Reflective pieces are the key to creating a meaningful experience for students. Without these reflective aspects ISL projects can simply recreate cultural misunderstandings and perpetuate stereotypes (Grusky, 2000). This leads to Reverse Culture Shock (Allison, 2011) that negates the positive effects of ISL

9 Some other issues that need to be considered, which are largely absent from the literature and research Financial cost – limits the participation to certain socio-economic groups Gender – male vs. female participation

10 1.Interaction with Local Communities 2.Curriculum Connections 3.Critical Reflection 4.Restrictive Elements and Biases 5.Transformative Changes, Assimilation and Re-Immersion

11 1.Interaction with Local Communities 2.Curriculum Connections 3.Critical Reflection 4.Restrictive Elements and Biases 5.Transformative Changes, Assimilation and Re-Immersion

12 The Challenge Disconnect between the local community and the ISL participants Possible Solutions Increased pre-trip communication Needs analysis Anyi – Andean reciprocal relationship Strengthen the pre-trip curriculums focus on local culture Increase continuity over time

13 The Challenge Projects often fail to make clear curriculum connections before, during and after the trip Possible Solutions Solve logistical issues in one way or another Creation of specific on-trip curricular links Set the foundation of connections during pre- trip meetings Creation of new programs or initiatives

14 The Challenge Benefits of ISL are greatly reduced when critical reflection is sacrificed Possible Solutions Critical reflection should take place daily in evening debrief sessions Post trip meetings help students process what they have experienced Surveys / newsletters sustain engagement Social media can act as an asynchronous venue for solidarity and reflection

15 The Challenge ISL is expensive (hence geared towards certain socio-economic groups), restrictive and may include gender biases Possible Solutions Subsidies or financial assistance would help Use technology to connect globally, but perform service locally Location choice is important Active encouragement towards the participation of both genders may be necessary

16 The Challenge Due to perspective changes, some students have trouble assimilating into home culture or sustaining changes in their lives Possible Solutions Critical reflection and support are necessary Solidarity with other participants and sustained engagement through communication Creation of a globally aware student population reduces feelings of alienation

17 What Appleby is doing to plan and implement the most successful trips possible: Faculty development Pre-project curriculum / meetings Post project curriculum meetings Project partners Pre-project risk assessments Pre-project threat analysis Integrating Classroom Connections

18 What Appleby is doing to plan and implement the most successful trips possible: Faculty Development and Training Wilderness First Aid Medical Qualifications Extensive training on procedures, protocols and scenarios Faculty Professional Development program (summer)

19 What Appleby is doing to plan and implement the most successful trips possible: Curriculum (Pre/During/Post) Multiple pre-trip curriculum meetings On-trip curriculum and debriefs Post trip meetings / reflection / communicative pieces

20 What Appleby is doing to plan and implement the most successful trips possible: Project Partnerships Selection of appropriate and experienced project partners. Creation of extended relationships with partners to foster relationships in communities ProWorld, Habitat for Humanity, Canada World Youth, Projects Abroad, CASE

21 What Appleby is doing to plan and implement the most successful trips possible: Risks and Threats Pre-project scouting trips for risk analysis Detailed documentation related to risk analysis and management Communicated and discussed with students, parents, leaders in advance

22 Example Hazards: Accommodations Fire Food Water Health Injury Kidnapping Transportation

23 What Appleby is doing to plan and implement the most successful trips possible: Integrating Classroom Connections (e.g. Co-op credit)

24 Best ISL Practices Managing Transformative Changes Reducing Restrictive Elements Increasing Critical Reflection Creating Curriculum Connections Fine-Tuning Local Interactions

25 Contact Information: Matt Rudisi


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