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Workshop on Teaching International Development in the Liberal ArtsColorado CollegeThursday May 19, 2011
Tourism and DevelopmentPilot Module
Recap of last workshop
The importance and challenge ofIntegrating inter-disciplinary perspectives into teaching international developmentPreparing students to “do development” abroad (or domestically)Raise students’ awareness of the complexities of doing development at the local levelBuild practical skills
Pilot module
Topic: tourism and developmentGoals:Inter-disciplinaryApplied; problem-solving orientedBuild skills to prepare students to do development
At Beloit Campus Spring 2011
Diep Phan: Economic DevelopmentJennifer Esperanza: Introduction to Anthropology with a module on developmentRachel Ellett: Introduction to International PoliticsAll threeprofessors inserteda module on tourism and developmentinto their courses atthe end of the semester
Tourism and Development Case Study
A fictional village namedSerapudiin BotswanaFictional but somewhat based on a real case studyThe government wants to create a Rhino Sanctuary with two goals:Protect the rhinosPromote tourism to generate jobs and reduce poverty in the areaStudents are given economic, political and cultural backgroundThey are asked to carry out two tasks:Should the project be implemented? Write a report to explain the reasons why.Assuming the project is to be implemented, what would a draft of the implementation plan look like?
Tourism and Development Case Study
Students are asked to work in groups and write the reports on their ownfirst.Threeprofessors take turn visiting each others’ classes to deliver lectures on economic, political, and cultural aspects of tourism anddevelopment.Students then revise and resubmit theirreports.
Results
Students feedbacks are very positive overall.Most students very much appreciated the inter-disciplinary approach.Most students agreed that the exercise has broadened their perspectives and affected the way they think about and approach development.Most students enjoyed the applied aspect of the exercise, agreeing that it has strengthened their skills in policy formation.Some students are interested in expanding this section of the course to a one-semester long course.Some students expressed interests in taking courses from the other professors.
Survey results
I enjoyed the different academic perspectives (economic, political, anthropological)Lowest = 1, highest = 10
Survey results
This case study strengthened my skills in policyformationLowest = 1, highest = 10
Survey results
I would be interested in expanding this section of the course to a full semester.Lowest = 1, highest =10
Survey results
I would be interested in alternating faculty during a semester-long course.Lowest = 1, highest = 10
Some quotes from students
“Development is much more than only economic development. In approaching it there are many aspects that need to be considered. With this case study, it was possible to analyze all the different aspects and put them together to create policies. If one of those aspects is not considered, then the policies created may not have the expected results.”“I felt that the interdisciplinary approach and the different perspectives provided helped me contextualize some of the things we’d been learning in class. I think it’s important to look at political and cultural factors to create successful development and I’d enjoy a whole course taught on the subject.”
Some quotes from students
“It has helped me see how economists might deal with information that is not directly related to the functioning of market dynamics to solve a problem”“… It’s very helpful to get lectures from other perspectives … It also helps to learn from other students’ thoughts from the discussions. There are lots of conflicts in a society and it’s not easy to compromise every class. The scale of local, national, and individuals benefits are very difficult balance and handle.”“After this exercise, I found that development is much more complex and difficult than what I thought before.”
Some quotes from students
“As an IR major, I enjoyed learning about economic policy formulation, it was very useful to apply textbook theories to a more real life example. Lectures by Professors Ellett and Esperanza definitely helped to look at the case study from different perspectives.”“Apply more than one view on a subject is necessary. This should be involved more often in class work.”“The exercise taught us comprehensive thinking. When I made a decision, I had to balance the interest on every aspect.”
Our own feedbacks
This is a very effective teaching method. It achieved the two goals set out earlier:Inter-disciplinaryAppliedIt can integrate different academic perspectives without the need to create brand-new courses.Note that developing these modules can have high fixed costs however.There must be a good inter-disciplinary team on campus.Not recommended for intro classes?
Future improvements
Various details on the case study can be improved.Students need more structured guidance on how to analyze the issues and to write the report.Inter-disciplinary lecturesneed to be better coordinated.A teaching note is needed.
Where do we go from here?
We will improve and use this module/case study again in the fall of2011In the long-run, we hope to develop more team-based inter-disciplinary case studies that can be implemented in multiple courses and campuses.Weencourage other campuses to also develop inter-disciplinary teams and teaching modules.

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