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Social Responsibility as Academic Learning Course at the University

by Ayseli Usluata (Author)
Monographs 90 Pages

Summary

The globalizing world needs responsible young generations who will be agents of social development; so universities are faced with the need to design innovative educational approaches and include academic learning courses that encourage young students to develop awareness and critical thinking. The opportunities to share love, kindness and respect with the local people and all living beings and to exchange ideas, experiences, different perspectives and perceptions through interaction with the students of a university in a different country help to develop mutual learning.

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Introduction
  • Social Responsibility Courses at a University: Academic Learning for Local and Global Solidarity
  • Social Responsibility of Universities: Educating Young People to Survive in a Globalizing World
  • New Century Began with a Consensus that Social Responsibility Education Needs to be Integrated into Higher Learning
  • The Need for a New Kind of Education
  • New Campus, New Community, New Courses
  • Coexistence in the Globalising World
  • Connecting the Young People of Different Nations
  • An Innovative Way to Internationalise Learning in a Traditional Classroom
  • “Global Classroom”
  • Social Responsibility Project for Graduation and Local Community
  • Social Responsibility Courses as Local and Global Academic Learning
  • Global Classroom
  • Reaction Papers about Stereotyping
  • “Social Responsibility Course”
  • “Here We Are” A Call to the Women of Kayışdağı for Solidarity
  • “Social Responsibility Project for Graduation” Course
  • At the Care Home in Kayışdağı
  • A Handful of Love and Respect
  • Loneliness in a Crowd
  • Concluding Comments by Students
  • Breaking Down the Walls
  • Change a Child, the Whole World Changes!
  • Great Love of Tiny Hearts
  • Love Increases When Shared
  • A Chance to Change Local and Global Communities with Children
  • Achievements
  • What Our Senior Students as Teachers Learned
  • Reactions
  • Children to Change the Society/Nation
  • Hello Life!
  • Young students who need special attention
  • Reflection
  • Joint Intergenerational Activities
  • Social Responsibility Projects During the Lockdown 2020
  • A Collection from the Project Stories and Comments of Students
  • What the Students’ Reflection Papers Reveal

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Introduction

Social Responsibility Courses at a University: Academic Learning for Local and Global Solidarity

Two undergraduate courses, “Social Responsibility Project for Graduation” and “Global (Intercultural Communication) Classroom”, were included in the syllabus of the Public Relations and Publicity Department of Yeditepe University, Istanbul, Turkey, in the beginning of the 21st century to prepare young university students for social and global awareness.

The future of all societies depends upon young people who need to experience activities that are challenging, inspiring, and educative. Social responsibility education programmes, through courses, educate young people on how to become active participants in the process of making positive social changes. Literature review reveals the importance of including social responsibility courses in the curricula of universities to provide young students with guidance and a sense of purpose.

After working at the two best and well-known public universities of Turkey, a new position with the responsibility of founding a new department was a challenge for an academician. A new private university with liberal education principles could respond by offering service-learning courses, relating projects to the world outside academia or connecting students to the students of universities in foreign countries. The new academic learning courses in the academic curriculum, with the responsibility to educate young people who will add new values to society, would foster the development of the behaviour and social responsibility of the privileged students and show that they can respond to actual social issues.

The green campus of the new university was surrounded by walls, and what we can do for the local community outside the walls was the question of our “Social Responsibility Project for Graduation” course. One group of students in the course wanted to reach the women inhabitants, declaring, “We are here for you!” Another group of students, inviting the primary school children to the campus, said, “We are overthrowing the walls and opening the gates to be your teachers.” The group who chose to visit the care home in the neighbourhood added a new name, “From 7 to ←7 | 8→77,” making the project intergenerational. Student enthusiasm influencing the quality of life in the local community, Kayışdağı, created solidarity for successful coexistence.

The language of instruction at Yeditepe University is English, so knowing a second language is a privilege, delegating the students the responsibility of connecting with the university students in foreign countries, exchanging ideas and promoting their cultures. Our “Intercultural Communication” course, joining the Global Classroom Project of UNL (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) each semester through video conferencing, allows students to talk face-to-face and transfer knowledge. Skills gained in the classroom are put into practice, and students become global citizens who are more socially aware and active.

Biographical notes

Ayseli Usluata (Author)

Ayseli Usluata holds an M.A. from the University of Kansas and a Ph.D. from Bog˘aziçi University. She is currently a professor at Yeditepe University in Istanbul, Turkey. Her areas of interest are new perspectives in higher education, women in politics and intercultural communication. She has organized intercultural peace communication conferences at Bog˘aziçi University; she was at the McGill University as an invited researcher and at the University of Oxford as a member of the Oxford Round Table and recently added the Social Responsibility course as a part of the PRP Department curriculum at Yeditepe University. Prof. Dr. Usluata has been an active member of SIETAR, GABC and ECREA and is the editor-in-chief of the Global Media Journal—TR.

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