Learning Communities are predicated on linking inside-the-classroom teaching with outside-the-classroom experience. This idea of ‘learning-by-doing’ is not only important for higher education, but is especially relevant at Villanova University, inspired by St. Augustine’s hope that “I may do what I learn and not just learn what to do.”
The Learning Communities Abroad Program (LCA) builds on these ideas by providing select members of the learning communities the unique opportunity to complement their classroom learning through an 8-week, 6-credit summer program based in London, which includes a 4-week academic coures and a 4-week work placement. Work placements will be based on students’ academic and personal interests.
Students are required to take both courses for a total of six credits.
HUM 5950: The Making of Britain will be taught by Dr. Christopher Daly, of the Villanova Center for Liberal Education (VCLE). This course will examine the history of England and how it applies to modern day London. The aim of the course is to complement and to enrich the study-abroad experience, giving students the opportunity to prepare for, deal with, and reflect on the international experience. The course will be divided into three parts. First, the class will occasionally meet beginning after spring break until the end of the semester. Then, when students are overseas, the discussion shifts on-site where Dr. Daly will teach the course in London. Finally, an intensive workshop/retreat will be hosted upon return, with the goal of helping students connect their abroad experience with the themes of the course.This course-structure thus seeks (like the learning communities themselves) to link learning inside the classroom with learning outside it. Students will be graded for this course. 3 credits.
HUM 5900: International Contexts is the course which will 'house' the academic work placement (internship). This course links the practical experience of a work placement abroad, and the professional development skills therein, with a capacity to reflect on the experience in a rigorous academic manner. Its approach is to pose a series of prompts that students must adapt and apply as they see fit to their internship experience. The aim is for students to test their personal observations of the workplace and its place in the broader British, European and global contexts against a range of other sources, for example from think tanks, the media and governmental sources.
While students are strongly encouraged to take an intellectually independent view in their papers, they must also be aware of broader opinion on a given topic and be prepared to refer to other arguments and data in relation to their own thinking. The overall objective is to write a persuasive research paper (rather than an impressionistic journal) in which the work placement experience will count as an important ‘source’, albeit one amongst many. 3 credits.