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As one of the most rapidly developing nonwestern civilizations, India plays a critical role in the way we as Westerners view the world. From the call centers we utilize in the wee hours of morning in midtown Bangalore to the organic, hand-picked tea we consume, we have many inextricable links to this great multicultural nation. The experience of traveling in India exposes us to extremes in every capacity: wealth and abject poverty side by side, 3,000 native languages spoken across the country, indigenous tribal communities remaining sustainable after thousands of years in remote areas, and the encroachment of technology and western living standards on this ancient culture. Given our role as early adopters, conspicuous consumers and critical players in today’s global economy, we as Americans have an obligation not only to experience nonwestern cultures, but understand how our collective and individual actions can potentially have global impacts – in both positive and negative ways.
Rebecca Kauten, Professor
Department: International Studies
Phone: (319) 610-7507
This course focuses on the assessment and evaluation of environmental education in two New Delhi schools. Both schools promote educational practices related to sustainability, conservation and environmental awareness. However, given the divergent demographics of the two schools, methods and approaches to environmental education may differ considerably. Our goal as part of this course is to explore environmental education and approaches to learning within these schools. We will compare and contrast methods, materials and resources within the two schools. In addition, we will discuss the approach to environmental education within the United States education system, as well as within other non-formal settings.
Students will gain hands-on experience visiting urban communities, engaging with students enrolled at the primary schools as well as cultural amenities of local communities – including the world-famous Taj Mahal. We anticipate a multidisciplinary framework with opportunities to explore new ideas and concepts collectively. Students interested in sustainability, nonprofit management, economics, cultural, and social welfare issues may find as much merit in this course as a student of K-12 education or the sciences. We anticipate a multidisciplinary framework with opportunities to explore new ideas and concepts collectively. By immersing ourselves in the culture of northern India, we are able to also reflect on our culture, customs and approach to education at home – some of which may be more or less sustainable than what we discover on our journey. There is much to be learned from the developing world, just as there is much to share. Simple can sometimes truly be better. Often the challenge lies in the discovery of “how,” not “why.”
Day 1: Arrive and acclimate at Shirdi Sai Baba School
Day 2: Initial meeting with staff, tour of facility and local community.
Day 3: Begin field tours, site visits, and inquiry of tribal community members.
Day 4: Visit Delhi Public Schools
Day 5: Return to Shirdi Sai Baba School
Day 6: Cultural activity--New Dehli sightseeing
Day 7: Cultural activity and travel to Agra/Taj Mahal.
Day 8: Meet with Shirdi Sai Baba Faculty with projec plan.
Day 9: Interaction with Shirdi Sai Baba Students.
Day 10: Meet with Delhi Public School Faculty with project plan.
Day 11: Interaction with Delhi Public School Students.
Day 12: Review/assess activities, revise or adjust.
Day 13: Cultural activity--North India temple visit
Day 14: FREE TIME - New Delhi excursion
Day 15: Shirdi Sai Baba School.
Day 16: Delhi Public School.
Day 17: Review progress/projects with Shirdi Sai Baba.
Day 18: Review progress/projects with Delhi Public School Faculty.
Day 19: Final presentations, celebration, and farewells.
Day 20: Departure for Iowa.
Accommodation will be organized by UNI with the assistance of the Shirdi Sai Baba School in India. Some meals may be included in the program cost.
The total estimated cost for this program is $3,500-$4,500.
- Round-trip airfare
- UNI Tuition and Fees for 3-credits
- Housing while abroad
- Transportation while abroad
- Group meals
- Cultural activities
- Personal Expenses
Students pay UNI tuition and fees (in-state or out-of-state), the $65 application fee, and the study abroad administration fee to participate.