How does a community college instructor begin to tackle a lack of global awareness exhibited by her students? She spends an afternoon at Stanford with leading faculty and experts, as well as other community college faculty, to discuss issues of importance to the global community.
The Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE) and Stanford Global Studies are offering exciting professional development opportunities to help community college instructors internationalize courses by incorporating recent area studies research and materials. The Education Partnership for Internationalizing Curriculum (EPIC) is funded by the National Resource Center Program of the U.S. Department of Education under Title VI.
Held on Friday, March 6, 2015 at Stanford, the first EPIC community college workshop focused on Global Food Security. Twenty community college instructors attended from 16 community colleges, with disciplines ranging from English composition to math, economics, nutrition, sociology, anthropology, biology and political science. EPIC and SPICE organizers chose food security as the topic of their first workshop because it combined interdisciplinary appeal with international content.
At the half-day workshop featuring lectures by Walter Falcon, an agricultural economist at Stanford, participants learned how every individual’s access to an adequate supply of high-quality food—that is, the individual’s food security is affected by very complex processes of production, distribution, and consumption. And how, despite decades of progress in agricultural technology, economic development, and poverty relief, food security continues to elude hundreds of millions of people around the world.
Some topics covered and highlights from Dr. Falcon’s lectures include:
The final part of the workshop, led by SPICE Curriculum Writer Jonas Edman, discussed how instructors can incorporate more international content into their curriculum. All attendees were given online access to a copy of the curriculum unit developed by SPICE, Feeding the Poorest Billion: Food Security in the 21st Century, and a copy of the book, The Evolving Sphere of Food Security, edited by Rosamond Naylor.
Through group activities, participants then collaboratively explored pedagogical practices for incorporating the material into their particular courses. Some of the ideas shared included:
As the workshop concluded, an English instructor with 40 years’ experience expressed her concern about students’ lack of global awareness, even basic geography, and Edman answered that this is the reason we have Title VI funding.
The next EPIC workshop for community college instructors, to be held on Friday, May 8, will be focused on Global Health. More information on this and other Global Studies community engagement activities is available at https://sgs.stanford.edu/programs-centers/community-engagement.