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Pre-Departure Readings and Materials

Readings and Materials Before the Course
Over the next five weeks, Paul and Elley will share readings and media links on this Yak Board for you to review, reflect and share your observations and thoughts.  The materials will be based on the four central strands that run through the Educator Course in Jordan: living culture, gender, Islam and the Syrian refugee crisis.  After each themed post on the field notes, you will be invited to contribute to the discussion by responding to guiding questions or with your own freestyle response.  These readings and online reflections provide the grounding for experiential learning and discussions during the course.

It is useful to reflect on your initial thoughts and expectations before immersing yourself in readings on the Middle East and the themes of the course.  Consider the questions below and spend some time journaling about your thoughts.  We recommend that you keep your notes and read them after you return from Jordan.  You may be surprised by your shift in understandings.

Living Culture: What are some perceptions, knowledge and/or biases that you have about the Middle East in general? Jordan in particular? Where does these ideas come from?

Gender: How does your gender play a role in your day to day in the US? How do you imagine gender plays a part in Jordanian life? What similarities and differences do you expect to see?

Syrian Refugee Crisis: Explore the internet and identify sources on the Syrian Refugee crisis (and the political rhetoric surrounding it) that you feel represent a fear-based narrative, and a few that you feel represent a sentimental-based reaction. How would you describe the range that exists in the US media’s treatment of Syrian Refugees?

Islam: What do you currently know about Islam?  What would you like to learn about Islam?  What are you expecting Living Islam to be like?

As an additional activity, you could discuss these questions with your students, and incorporate their answers into a post-course lesson to teach to what you saw and experienced and how it may have changed your perspectives.

Best Regards,

Dragons Admin