“Notable courses” is a blog series in which we will highlight some of the amazing courses offered at Quest University Canada. We talked to the tutors and students about their classes and gathered some pictures to illustrate what the students were up to during the block. This time we talked to Jonathan Warner about his Belize Community Development class.
Here is what they said:
What is the main (meta) goal of this course?
To introduce students to the development challenges facing a small Central American country.
What concepts are explored in the course?
Sustainable development; community development; Belizean culture; ethnicity; nationality; agriculture; tourism; ecotourism, religion, education.
What projects do students complete in order to reach this goal?
The major output is an essay exploring some aspect of the goal. We also visit and talk with numerous people living and working in Belize, to learn their perspectives.
How does Quest’s structure of not having departments and being on the block system help create or benefit courses like this?
Without using the block system, this course would not be possible, because of the disruption it would cause to other classes on a semester system.
What deeper issues, beyond face value, does it address? / What can students expect to receive from completing the course (again, beyond face value)?
An appreciation of, a challenge to, their own presuppositions and perspectives on developing countries, other ethnic groups and the interactions between them; how to live in close proximity with other students; how to navigate different cultural norms.