Cross Cultural Issues in Education: Learning Through Listening
Ethnic Studies 499/599 Sociology 499/599
Ethnic Studies Spring Field Course 2000

From March 19 to 24th twenty students from Oregon State University took a non-traditional approach to understanding cross-cultural issues in education. The students spent five days visiting Salem, Independence, and Corvallis in order to listen to the perspectives of various stakeholders (superintendents, legislators, principals, teachers, students, parents, and community advocates). Throughout the week students also reflected on course readings, wrote journal entries, formulated questions for the stakeholders, created mind maps, and watched short videos on the challenges which face Hispanic and African American students in the Oregon school system. Shared reflection on the information obtained through intense listening experiences contributed to the students better understanding of  the education issues as presented from different social positions and perspectives. By doing all of these activities students got a better understanding of the ways in which various stakeholder groups in Oregon are working together and alone in order to serve an increasingly diverse primary and secondary school population.
Course Directors:

Dwaine Plaza, Department of Sociology
Robert Thompson, Department of Ethnic Studies

Course Facilitator: Sriyanthi Gunewardena,

Course Syllabi

Course Photo Album

Dwaine, Sriyanthi and Robert at their weekly course
pre-planning meeting in StAg 230.

The group on the final day of class infront of Strand Agricultural Hall.

Much time was spent driving up and down the I5 in big white vans.

Becky Waldrop (media stakeholder) being interviewed
by Ken and Alicia.

Marshall Haskel and Geoff Brooks discussing post-interview issues.

Larry McMurray (Superintendent Salem/Keiser) being interviewed
by Rebecca and Beth.

Karen Isaias and Laura Zinch (Billingual Education Teachers) being
interviewed by Mark and Leili.

Janice McMurray (Director InterACTION!! project) facilitating
exercise on active listening at the Sunday retreat.

Alexis and Cipriano delivering their final presentation at the lunch.

Roxana and Delia delivering their final presentation at the lunch.

Friday stakeholder lunch and student presentations.

Link to Student Web Pages