Experiential Courses

PACE (Programs for Cross Cultural Awareness)

EDUC 566

Pedagogy and Action for Critical Education (PACE) is a course open to both graduate and undergraduate students and a partnership between the Greenfield Intercultural Center and the Graduate School of Education.

* All Penn undergraduate and graduate students and staff from all twelve schools are welcome.

Jennifer Phuong

Jennifer Phuong (she/her), Ph.D
Co-instructor
PACE Instructor since 2017
Contact: jphuong1@swarthmore.edu

Kia Lor

Kia Lor, (she/her), M.S.Ed
Associate Director, GIC
PACE Alum 2015
Contact: lork@upenn.edu

About The Course

This graduate-level course is designed in collaboration with students and is centered on student-facilitated critical dialogue. Students in this course will engage with salient dimensions and theoretical foundations of critical education, such as social justice, diversity, intersectionality, oppression, and more. Through course activities and discussions, as well as student designed and facilitated classes, we will examine issues related to anti-oppressive education and develop skills in workshop design and facilitation that will empower them to work towards social change as community members, educators, and/or researchers. This course will engage participants at their own entry point. Students with little background in these issues are as welcome as students with extensive history in social justice organizing and research. While in the first half of the course, we examine key concepts in the field, the second half of the course allows students to select and lead class discussion on topics of interest. These discussions should help us address and gain understanding of key concepts from the first half of the course and their relationships to each other in the field of education. In this way, the course allows students of varying knowledge levels and interests to learn and grow collaboratively.

Email instructors at paceatpenn@gmail.com with any questions

Background

Programs for Awareness in Cultural Education (PACE) and Teaching Performing Art for Cross-Cultural Education (TPACE) are partnerships between the Greenfield Intercultural Center and the Graduate School of Education. Their aims are to train students to increase cross-cultural awareness at the University of Pennsylvania.

Democratic Classroom Environment:

We strive to create an environment where students are engaged and active participants in a democratic learning process. Within the PACE context, democratic education means that students are peer educators – creating knowledge with the instructors rather than acting as containers waiting to be filled by expert knowledge. It also means that a supportive environment for cross-cultural dialogue dismantles and exposes the hierarchy both within the structure of the classroom itself and between course participants.

Elements of democratic education:

  • Course is facilitated by two instructors to model cooperative learning facilitation.
  • Shared decision-making and responsibility among the students and instructors.
  • A learner-centered approach; everyone can learn from anyone.
  • Equality among instructors and students.
  • The community as an extension of the classroom.

 Course Objectives:

  • Deepen self-knowledge about one’s own positionality and the impact of oppression on one’s own multifaceted identites.
  • Acquire new knowledge about, and exposure to oppressiojn through readings and class discussions.
  • Develop awareness of, and sensitivity to, the lived experiences of others.
  • Develop facilitation and consciousness-raising skills to engage in critical discussions about social justice, diversity, intersectionality, oppression, and more.
  • Examine one’s own level of influence in working for soical change.

Course Requirements:

  • Weekly 3-hour class sessions at the Greenfield Intercultural Center.
  • Complete assignments as designated in the syllabus, which usually includes readings, reading reflection papers, in-class facilitation, and a final research project.

Benefits:

  • Earn graduate level course credit.
  • Learn workshop design and facilitation.
  • Develop skills to engage difficult cross-cultural discussions.
  • Explore the intersection of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, culture, society, and education.
  • Improve and develop storytelling and performance skills.  
  • Learn how to incorporate performance art into a learning environment.
  • Explore the intersection of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, culture, society, education, and art.
  • Make strong and lasting connections with fellow course members and the diverse community of PACE and TPACE members, instructors, and advisors.
  • Improve public speaking skills.

Programs for Awareness in Cultural Education (PACE) and Teaching Performing Art for Cross-Cultural Education (TPACE) are partnerships between the Greenfield Intercultural Center and the Graduate School of Education. Their aims are to train students to increase cross-cultural awareness at the University of Pennsylvania.

PACE was founded in 1993 by Dr Navneet Khera, a graduate student at the time, at the initiative of GIC’s acting director Joseph Sun, with advice and support from GSE Professor Nancy H. Hornberger. Khera’s original conception remains the core of the PACE experience today.

Graduate level courses are co-facilitated by instructors to create a pedagogically democratic space with students for sustained engagement and dialogue about cross-cultural issues. Students explore differences among each other and within themselves through collaborative,experiential, and textual learning, interwoven with lived experiences.

After the course component is finished, instructors and the GIC staff continue to work with these students on campus in order to deepen their knowledge and to identify applied strategies for engaging in social change.

Background:

Programs for Awareness in Cultural Education (PACE) and Teaching Performing Art for Cross-Cultural Education (TPACE) are partnerships between the Greenfield Intercultural Center and the Graduate School of Education. Their aims are to train students to increase cross-cultural awareness at the University of Pennsylvania.

PACE was founded in 1993 by Dr Navneet Khera, a graduate student at the time, at the initiative of GIC’s acting director Joseph Sun, with advice and support from GSE Professor Nancy H. Hornberger. Khera’s original conception remains the core of the PACE experience today.

Graduate level courses are co-facilitated by instructors to create a pedagogically democratic space with students for sustained engagement and dialogue about cross-cultural issues. Students explore differences among each other and within themselves through collaborative,experiential, and textual learning, interwoven with lived experiences.

After the course component is finished, instructors and the GIC staff continue to work with these students on campus in order to deepen their knowledge and to identify applied strategies for engaging in social change.

Program Structure:

PACE now includes three graduate level courses (open to all Penn students and staff) offered throughout the academic year. The courses provide students the opportunity to develop the skills and experiences that allow them to design and lead cross cultural discussions. After completion of a course students join the PACE experiential community which allows students to further engage the issues developed in class and develop the skills of facilitating cross cultural dialogue. The experiential community also serves as an on-campus resource that assists organizations and individuals throughout campus and the local communityin starting difficult but necessary dialogues and programs that deal with the many dimensions of human interaction – gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, age, ability, class, and others.

iBelieve 2018: Interfaith Dialogue in Action

EDUC 566

iBelieve is a course aimed at exploring spiritual/ideological identity development, community building, leadership, and examples of interfaith action. The course includes an overnight service-learning retreat.

The goals of this program are:

1.   To prepare students to facilitate dialogue around interfaith issues on campus & in their various career paths.

2.   To create and/or expand leadership around interfaith community-building.

3.   To develop skills in communicating and collaborating across differences.

The format of the course will call for students to become co-collaborators in the education of the class and therefore leaders of their own learning. This approach is modeled on the success of the Greenfield Intercultural Center’s Program for Awareness and Cross-Cultural Education (PACE) course – which has been an effective tool for supporting and creating hundreds of leaders over the last 17 years.

Faculty Members: Kathy Hall and Steve Kocher

Questions? – skocher@upenn.edu

* All Penn undergraduates and graduate students from all twelve schools are eligible.

APPLICATION COMING SOON…

Teaching Performing Arts for Cross-Cultural Education

EDUC 566

TPACE interweaves artistry, identity, and pedagogical tools for a course that actively links theory and practice. Through facilitation, creation, reading, and discussion, graduate and undergraduate students develop skills to use theatre and other arts to address culture and differences in educational and community settings.

*All Penn undergraduate and master’s students from all twelve schools are eligible.

Background

Programs for Awareness in Cultural Education (PACE) and Teaching Performing Arts for Cross-Cultural Education (TPACE) are partnerships between the Greenfield Intercultural Center and the Graduate School of Education. Their aims are to train students to increase cross-cultural awareness at the University of Pennsylvania.

Democratic Classroom Environment:

We strive to create an environment where students are engaged and active participants in a democratic learning process: meaning students create knowledge together with the instructor and classmates rather than acting as containers waiting to be filled by expert knowledge. It also means that a supportive environment for cross-cultural dialogue dismantles and exposes the hierarchy both within the structure of the classroom itself and between course participants.

Course Goals:

  • Train students in the use of collaborative, inclusive techniques for utilizing performing arts in educational and communal settings to address cross-cultural issues creatively.
  • Engage students, on a personal level, with the factors involved in their own identity formation and socialization, and that of others.
  • Develop students’ skills in inclusive, creative lesson planning and facilitation tailored to the learning goals of the various settings where they are teaching or facilitating.

Course Requirements:

  • Willingness to address potentially uncomfortable topics and to understand multiple perspectives.
  • Weekly 3-hour class session.
  • Complete assignments as designated in the syllabus, including several that involve partner or group work outside of class.
  • Willingness to learn by doing, through activities, art-making, facilitating, and critical discussion.

Benefits:

  • Gain hands-on practical experience with lesson planning and facilitation.
  • Develop the skills necessary for participating in and guiding difficult cross-cultural discussions.
  • Improve storytelling, performance, and public speaking skills.
  • Learn how to incorporate performance arts into learning environments.
  • Explore the intersections of identity, culture, society, education, and art.
  • Earn graduate-level course credit.
  • Make strong connections with fellow course members and meet professional artist-educators from Philadelphia’s arts community.

Experiential Learning Design for Intercultural Communication

EDUC 593

Experiential Learning Design for Intercultural Communication provides new and experienced educators the opportunity to learn and practice training design and facilitation using the principles of experiential and adult learning.  This course serves to develop self-reflective practitioners who are well-versed in intercultural communication theory and experiential learning design and provides a practical, skill-based course to balance the theory-based curriculum of the Intercultural Communication M.S.Ed (ICC).

*** This is a core course for the ICC MSEdu. Graduate students from all twelve schools are welcome to apply. Students must apply for entry into the course. Master’s students from across Penn and GSE General Admission Students are eligible.

Background

ELD was born out of the partnership and collaboration between the Greenfield Intercultural Center and the Graduate School of Education. The course aims to provide educators with practical tools to put into practice a variety of intercultural communication theories and frameworks. ELD is part of the ICC core curriculum but is open to graduate students and staff at Penn by an application.

Democratic Classroom Environment:

We strive to create an environment where students are engaged and active participants in a democratic learning process. Within the ELD context, democratic education means that students are peer educators – creating knowledge with the instructors rather than acting as containers waiting to be filled by expert knowledge (Freire). It also means that a supportive environment for cross-cultural dialogue dismantles and exposes the hierarchy both within the structure of the classroom itself and between course participants.

Elements of democratic education:

  • Courses are facilitated by co-instructors to model cooperative learning facilitation.
  • Shared decision-making and responsibility among the students and instructors.
  • A learner-centered approach; everyone can learn from anyone.
  • Equality among instructors and students.
  • The community as an extension of the classroom.

Course Overview:

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Conduct a needs assessment for the communities they are serving.
  • Discuss concepts of training, experiential learning, and adult learning and articulate how cultural or social contexts affect the understanding of these concepts.
  • Develop training goals, purposes, and objectives.
  • Design a workshop and facilitate group processes.
  • Evaluate the training, and provide documentation for the process.
  • Give and receive effective and appropriate feedback.
  • Adopt reflective and self-reflective practices, including an understanding of their own learning styles and those of others, and be able to adjust activities to cater to all learning styles.
  • Understand the ethical considerations involved in training.
  • Serve as a resource for facilitation and training on Penn’s campus.

Course Approach:

Course methodology will include a mixture of training techniques designed to inform, demonstrate, and enhance participant learning. The instructor will use both experiential and didactic methods with an increasingly progressive emphasis on student involvement. The first half of the semester will be facilitated, to a large degree, by the instructors and will focus on assisting students in acquiring a foundation of knowledge and skills in the affective, cognitive, and behavioral domains. Participants will spend the initial weeks acquiring skills and knowledge, assessing their own values, and developing confidence in their risk-taking abilities. For planning purposes please note that reading requirements will be heavier the first half of the semester.

The second half of the semester will be an opportunity for learners to actively apply the skills learned. Risk-taking, in terms of actual “hands-on” involvement, will increase as the semester progresses. Learners will have an opportunity to demonstrate and apply their training skills within a structured classroom setting. Learners will be required to do “stand up training” and “facilitation” work in pairs and triads during various parts of the semester. Student trainers will be filmed while facilitating 1 1/2- hour team trainings and later will have an opportunity to review their tape with a course instructor. The purpose of this practice is to improve their feedback and critiquing skills while at the same time receiving feedback critical to the further refinement of their own training and facilitation skills. Reading and individual design work will also be required. Continuous self-assessment, as well as peer-assessment, will be an integral part of the class.

Benefits:

  • Learn to co-facilitate.
  • Learn workshop design and facilitation.
  • Improve public speaking skills.
  • Learn to design, deliver and facilitate a workshop based on the needs of your participants.
  • Develop a close working relationship with a community of learners.