Summer Institute of Teaching Social Action

If interested in civic education and student problem-solving, please consider applying to the Summer Institute on Teaching Social Action on June 6-8 (virtual)Click here to learn more and apply for this cost-free Institute; applications are due by May 15th. Over the past year, faculty and staff who have participated in our recent Institutes have created over 25 courses and co-curricular experiences utilizing social action in a variety of disciplines, including English, Environmental Studies, Ethnic Studies, Gender Studies, Religion, Sociology, and Political Science. Co-curricular experiences have been created mostly by centers of civic engagement. 
The Teaching Social Action Initiative mission is to have on every U.S. campus, every semester, a course where students learn social action by doing it. Social action is a transformative experiential learning model where students develop and launch a social action campaign as a part of the course. Social action campaigns seek to change a rule, regulation, norm, or practice of an institution, on campus or in the community. This social action model requires teachers to devote about one-half of the time to the social action campaigns (e.g., to explore issue development, building power, tactics, and campaign implementation). Generally, the class reading is also reduced so that the 1.5 hours per week that students devote to their campaign work is not burdensome.
In addition to the Institute, there are several other ways to participate in the Teaching Social Action Initiative:

  1. Join the Teaching Social Action Group to receive updates about our collective social action work;
  2. Attend our virtual “monthly meetups” of our Community of Practice, where we explore best practices and lessons learned from folks who are currently teaching it; the next meetup is Friday, April 7th at 3:30-5 pm EST: (Passcode: action);
  3. Attend the National College Summit on Social Action on Thursday, May 11th at 8-9:30 pm EST to hear from students around the nation discuss their campaigns.

Published by David J. Smith

I am a career coach, consultant, and head of a not for profit - the Forage Center - that offers humanitarian education training. I also teach at George Mason University and Drexel University. A one time lawyer, I spent many years teaching in a community college where I was a Fulbright U.S. Scholar teaching in Estonia. I'm the author of Peace Jobs: A Student's Guide to Starting a Career Working for Peace (IAP 2016). I've been married to my best friend for over 31 years and we have two well adjusted adult children who teach me something new everyday. I live in Rockville, Maryland.

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