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Thursday, December 10 • 1:00pm - 1:30pm
Women Transforming the World/Students and Instructors Transforming the Curriculum: Student Activism and Community Engaged Learning in Level One Women's Studies at McMaster University

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Over the last three years, McMaster University has been working toward a new mission for the university structured around Community Engaged Education, Internationalization and Local-Global Connections. This research team conducted an intensive exploration of community engaged learning and student activism as it currently takes place in inside Women’s Studies 1AA3: Women Transforming the World.  WS 1AA3, taught by the faculty member on this research team, enrolls approx. 200 students per year in a course designed as an introduction to the basic terms of women’s and gender studies, with an emphasis on activism and on local-global connections. Students in this class are introduced to feminist activism through reading material generated by feminist organizations, through assignments which direct students to attend activist events on campus and in the community, through community activists leading the class, and though an optional activism project.  Each term approx. 40% of the students in the class undertake a short-term (10-15 hour commitment) activist project in lieu of the traditional research paper. Our research team is evaluated the student activism component of the course as it related to: 1) the existing academic literature on student activism in women’s studies classes (notably the critique in Dean, 2007); 2) the communication of ethical standards in activist work and the principles of responsible partnership with community organizations; 3) the benefits of introducing students to activism that breaks the border between the university and the wider world.


Karen Balcom

McMaster University

Julie Gouweloos

McMaster University

Katherine Killam

McMaster University

Thursday December 10, 2015 1:00pm - 1:30pm EST
Meeting Room A

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