GRS 290/390/490 syllabus for term 1 2014/2015 academic year

September 10, 2014 THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA GRS 290/390/490: GLOBAL ISSUES IN CULTURAL CONTEXT Rationale The rationale of this program is to bring GRS students together so that you can get to know one another and form a community of learners for sharing cross cultural experiences and perspectives on global issues. This course will connect you to your GRS colleagues before they go abroad for their international experience, while they are abroad, and after they return to campus. You are required to take GRS 290, 390, and 490 for 1 credit each term that you are enrolled in the GRS program. This will ensure that you are part of a GRS community of learners from the time you enter the program until you graduate. You can contribute different questions and different perspectives to the learning process as you develop academically and personally throughout your undergraduate program. In your last year, you can focus on global leadership development as you assist new GRS students in understanding global issues and being effective in their international settings. Whether abroad or on campus, you will interact and share perspectives on-line that will help both groups understand their place in a global world and build skills as global citizens. In addition to on-line participation, you will attend a series of face-to-face classes during the time you are on campus. Learning Outcomes • Interact and learn from student colleagues, both in the classroom and on-line. • Recognize cultural differences and value cultural diversity (academic, agricultural, gender, ethnicity, nationality). • Identify the different stages of cultural shock and describe alternative approaches for dealing with them. • Articulate important global issues that relate to agriculture, food, and natural resource systems. • Describe the interrelationship between global issues, regional issues, local issues, and culture. • Interpret your area of resource specialization within the context of the global community. Resource People Look in the mirror. Yes, it’s you. The key human resource for this course is the GRS students. You can contribute to global issues form the perspectives of your resource specialization and contribute to the cultural context from the perspective of your regional specialization. Global issues and culture context will be integrated so that they are seen and discussed as inseparable, recognizing that both are necessary to understanding global issues in their cultural context. Additional resource people with international and intercultural experience will participate as guest speakers in the on-campus sessions as well as contributing to on-line discussions. Facilitators Brent Skura, Program Director, Global Resource Systems, Faculty of Land and Food Systems Roxana Quinde, Coordinator, Global Partnerships, Faculty of Land and Food Systems Emme Lee, Teaching Assistant and coordinator of the GRS blog site Assessment You will be assessed on your attendance and contribution in class and on-line, through asking questions, raising global issues, contributing responses, stimulating debate, and sharing cultural experiences. Following your international experience, you will prepare a poster presentation to be displayed on poster night toward the end of the term and post information on the GRS blog site about your exchange or internship. You will also be assessed on assignments and on the content and delivery of your poster. The grading system for the course is pass/fail. Discussion Groups & Members Welcome to the GRS 290/390/490 discussion groups! Discussion topics that will emerge from the class will be posted on-line on the GRS blog site: The same topics will be discussed by all groups, but within the context of each particular region. Further details and instructions will be provided during our class session about the GRS blog site, on September 24th. The first discussion topic will be posted in the Discussion Section of the GRS blog site on September 25th. Discussion Groups You can come at the questions from any angle you choose; from that of your resource specialization, from personal experience in your region, from information you gather in the news or on the internet … and perspective is welcome! Try to be as specific as you can in your contributions. If you can back up your opinion with examples or case studies in your region, great! And please remember to follow the discussion forum guidelines. The idea is to learn from each other and generate some thought-provoking conversations. Commonly Asked Questions Where do I post? The format and location for the discussion groups is within the GRS blog site. How often do I post? There will be five or six discussion topics posted during each term. You need to post at least five discussion items during each term. Response to a class member’s discussion posting will be included as a posting for you. When do I post? Each topic will start on Thursday morning and ends on the following Wednesday evening. You can post at any time within that period. Please do your utmost to contribute on time to each topic. You can continue posting comments to past topics as well, but this doesn’t exempt you from contributing to the current discussion. On-Campus Component Contact persons: for all matters regarding the on campus component please email both Roxana Quinde ( and Brent Skura ( Emme Lee (, the Teaching Assistant in GRS, and Brent Skura will coordinate the GRS discussions and postings on the GRS blog site. Attendance: attendance is mandatory. You must sign your name on the class list that will be circulating during each class. IF you cannot attend a class for a valid reason, you must send an e-mail before the class to both and Schedule for Term 1: Date and Topic September 10 Dr. Rickey Yada, the next Dean of the Faculty of Land and Food Systems; Introductions to GRS; GRS ice breaker; assignment for September 24 September 17 No class September 24 Discussion, in regional groups, about reading assigned on September 10;Emme Lee and colleagues regarding academic paths and opportunities in GRS interactive session regarding group skills for problem solving October 1 Review of key words and phrases arising from discussion on September 24th; interactive session regarding group skills for problem solving October 8 No class October 15 Information about applications for internships, scholarships, Go-Global, employment and post-graduate programs October 22 Dr. Chris Bennett: Development in Indonesia and update on International Field Studies in Indonesia October 29 Dr. Atakilt Haimanot: Food Security in Ethiopia November 5 Linking with GRS alumni internationally and locally November 12 Dr. Shafik Dharamsi: Ethics and International Development November 19 GRS Poster Session November 26 GRS Potluck The schedule for term 2 will be posted on the GRS blog site in early January 2015.  

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