This service-learning course is a Public Interest Anthropology Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania. The course developed as a collaborative effort between Peggy R. Sanday, Professor of Anthropology at Penn, and Dr. Karl Janowitz and Clare Stickney-Tracy, teachers at University City High School. University City High School is located in West Philadelphia, adjacent to the Penn campus. The high school course was planned with Penn students as part of Peggy Sanday’s class in Public Interest Anthropology in the Spring of 2002. These students worked with Dr. Janowitz and Clare Stickney-Tracy to develop the curriculum. Dr. Janowitz (alias “Doc”) taught the year long course in 2002-03 with the aid of undergraduate teaching assistants enrolled in the Public Interest Anthropology course. Twenty UCHS students were enrolled in the course.
A. GOALS OF THE WORLD CULTURE INITIATIVE.
The problems facing inner-city schools are legendary: listlessness, dropping out, low scores on national tests, violence in the schools, and truancy. Such problems often create an environment which is so hostile to learning that even the most gifted students lose their motivation to learn. The result is that everyone, teachers, administrators, and students alike, are distracted by the cultural forces that mitigate against a commitment to learning.
The World Culture Initiative seeks to transform student consciousness from a parochial identity to that of world citizen by means of an innovative anthropology course which introduces students to the multicultural nature of their city, their country, and the world. The course is constructed on the assumption that anthropology provides an intellectual understanding of the many multicultural stimuli to which young people are exposed in today’s world. The basic hope is that knowledge of the world introduces a cosmopolitan outlook which encourages students to get the education they need to participate fully in the occupational force as world citizens.
B. OUTLINE OF THE UCHS WORLD CULTURE CURRICULUM FOR 2002 – 2003.
The curriculum includes a variety of projects and innovative teaching techniques. Students work with maps, including a web-based ego-centered map tracing their relationship through family and ancestors to various parts of the world. Students develop a genealogy, take trips to explore the international ancestry of Philadelphia, get to know the international roots of their neighborhood, visit local churches and restaurants, and write an ethnic autobiography. The lecture topics for the year-long course are as follows:
|September||Ethnic autobiographies, maps, locating countries and continents|
|October||The indigenous world: Language and culture areas of the world|
|November||Colonialism and the spread of World Religions|
|December||Post-colonialism and nation-building|
|January||Political systems in the post-colonial world|
|February||Migration, race, ethnicity, and female status|
|March||Religions in the world today and in Philadelphia|
|April||Economic systems in the post-colonial world: the beginning of globalization, the spread of Capitalism, and the rise of terrorism|
|May||Popular culture: food, clothing, leisure, music, ceremonies, etc. The grounds for global community|
|June||Wrap-up and world-culture celebration, Web construction|
“DOC” [Karl Janowitz]
C. COLLEGE COMPONENT OF UCHS COURSE. The UCHS anthropology course is one of many ABCS (Academically Based Community Service) courses taught at Penn. Penn students who take the course are involved in a number of activities:
- curriculum development
- working with groups of students in the high school class
- taking students on multicultural tours of Philadelphia
- learning ethnographic methods, especially writing field notes
- learning the theory of Public Interest Anthropology
- writing an ethnography on the impact of the course on themselves and the high school students.
D.TEXT FOR THE HIGH SCHOOL COURSE: 2002-2003
CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY. By Conrad Phillip Kottak. McGraw-Hill Higher Education. 9th edition. 2002.