This assignment is a co-curricular assignment designed as part of LaGuardia Humanitarian Initiative (LHI). LaGuardia Humanitarian Initiative is an inclusive platform for students, faculty, and staff foregrounding pedagogical inquiry, civic engagement and academic service learning by facilitating a year-long college-wide inquiry of a global issue as addressed by the United Nations. Through partnerships with local and global NGOs, students gain access to career opportunities and professional development workshops. Ultimately students are mentored on how to translate their classroom learning to advocate, educate, and support their communities. This experiential learning assignment required students from a First Year Seminar (FYS) course to engage with LHI’s 2021-22 global partner, Malala Fund and focus on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 4, Quality Education which aimed to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” Through this work, students develop skills associated with competencies aligned with LaGuardia’s General Education requirements: global learning, integrative learning, inquiry and problem-solving core competencies and utilize various communication abilities including written, oral, and digital. While the assignment strengthened student work in all the above competencies and communication abilities, it especially addressed global competency and digital communication ability.
Encouragement and discussion of co-curricular activities on campus and in our communities has long been a part of First Year Seminar practice. The First Year Seminar introduces students to important aspects of their college journey, including habits of success, the college’s core competencies and communication abilities and career paths. As part of these discussions, students are made aware of learning that can be done outside of the classroom, on campus and in their communities. This LHI assignment allowed us to provide an opportunity for students to experience the importance of co-curricular activities while practicing critical engagement, reflection, and application of course content in a real-life setting. Participation in this assignment required that students attend the LHI “virtual” workshops focused on the year’s theme of equitable education. By attending LHI’s workshops, students gained knowledge of how COVID-19, global politics, and climate change affected girls’ education. The workshops offered students opportunities to work collaboratively with peers from other disciplines and learn a range of skills including how to design flyers, engage in digital marketing, make digital presentations, and lead advocacy efforts.
After reflecting on their own educational journeys and reading about the journey of Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai, students were assigned to identify action steps needed to create accessible and inclusive approach to education. With the knowledge they gained they were tasked with developing a project (options included fundraising, digital marketing, and creating videos), to advocate for quality education. The inspiring workshops helped students with designing elements and communicate key points for their digital flyers and PowerPoint presentations as part of their digital assignment.
Main Course Learning Objectives:
- Learn about the global problem of inequitable education and its ethical implications
- Consider differences in cultures and perspectives
- Work collaboratively to develop action steps for advocacy and civil engagement
- Become familiar with the global learning, inquire and problem-solving core competencies
- Engage in a process of inquiry and problem-solving of a global issue
- Consider the importance of communication and be familiar with a variety of communication abilities
- Design digital media to communicate their learning and advocate for educational equity
This assignment is worth 20% of the course grade.
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