The study abroad to South Africa, the Pedagogy of Action was designed as a year-long process of student education and transformation. This is a three-course series, the first being the Pedagogy of Empowerment AAS 443, the Epidemic of HIV in the African American community. This class explores race, gender, health and activism in the context of HIV/AIDS in United States Black communities. Through this two-tiered course, students cultivate strong background knowledge of HIV in Black communities, and explore issues of accountability, apathy, and activism as they pertain to HIV prevention.
The second class is AAS 469.
The end piece is AAS 468, the Pedagogy of Action which is the experience in the field.
The pedagogy of action is the kernel of empowering ordinary people to act in their communities to address their own pressing problems. At the heart of this methodology is the philosophy that people can take responsibility for themselves if given the right tools, that literacy was not a requirement for education. Students will use this methodology to teach HIV prevention in groups of two or three depending on the size of the site. They will not only teach HIV prevention, but leave in place enough local persons who can continue this process. It is expected that the student, before leaving for their site in South Africa, will have completed teaching this module to a local community in his or her home community in the U.S. The process of the student’s own transformation begins here. The idea is to give them new eyes so that they could see themselves and the world anew.
This class is designed to prepare the student for their work in South Africa. All students who are accepted in this program must attend this class. Readings and discussions about the issues, ideas, culture and politics of the young American student teaching in South Africa will be rigorously addressed.
- What and where is South Africa?
- What are the myths and perceptions of this African country?
- Is this trip a chance to have a vacation or to take seriously this place as a site of cultural significance, a place of ideas and learning?
- What does it mean to be an American in the world today?
- How do South Africans see Americans?
- What kind of American do you want to be and present to the world.