Honors | Community and Knowledge (HON)
H228 | 27319 | Donna Eder


Tu 1:00-3:00 pm
Th 1:00-3:00 pm
Tu (HU 217)

This course is designed to examine how knowledge and community are
intertwined in many cultures. The course is also designed around a
community service project, providing an opportunity for a ghands onh
learning experience. This project will help to extend your
understanding of cross-cultural knowledge as well as show first hand
how oral traditions, like storytelling, help strengthen a sense of
what it means to be a community member. (See H228 home page on
mypage.iu.edu/~eder.) In short, storytelling will be the vehicle
through which we will be learning about a variety of themes
including ethical explorations, holistic teaching, and cross-
cultural values.

We will begin by contrasting a mainstream approach to learning with
models of local knowledge. We will then examine models of learning
from specific non-Western cultures including Mexican, Native
American, and African cultures. This will be followed by a focus on
the role of storytelling as a means of teaching both ethical and
social beliefs, emphasizing the role of oral practices. We will then
look at how children can learn about different cultures through
storytelling. This section will end by considering how START
(Storytelling as Reflecting Time) provides a vehicle for
strengthening communities and the cross-cultural lessons to be
gained.

The second half of the course will focus on learning outside of the
classroom. At this point all students will be actively engaged in
START, either telling stories to young children or facilitating
storytelling activities. During this half we will also be looking
more closely at Bloomington as a source of local and cross-cultural
knowledge as well as at learning practices that emphasize process
drama as well as forming caring connections with others. By the end
of the course you should understand the way oral traditions pass on
life lessons and help children explore ethical issues. You should
also have a conceptual and real-life understanding of the importance
of storytelling for building community.

Course Requirements
We will be using the city of Bloomington as a site for learning,
service, and research throughout this course. All students will do a
service learning project which will take an average of 2-3 hours per
week. Because of the extensive service component, there will be
fewer readings during the second half of the course and the main
written assignments will be a series of journal reflections,
culminating in a final report.

The class will be divided into three groups, each of which will
focus on a particular cultural tradition (e.g. Kenyan, Japanese,
Mexican, etc.) After researching stories and storytelling practices
of this tradition, students will either prepare to tell stories to
elementary students or prepare to facilitate community-building
activities based on the stories told. (See the START Project
description and Studentsf comments about the course and project„Ÿboth
on the web page.) Students will keep a journal, give a group class
presentation, and write a final report on these projects.  This
paper will be due on April 27. Students are also expected to attend
all class sessions and do all reading prior to class. There will be
one take-home essay covering the readings, discussions, and guest
speakers.

The course grade is based on:
20% Take home essay
20% Service learning journal reflection assignments
15% Group assessment of your participation in the project
40 % Service learning paper
15% Attendance and professionalism*

*Since students will be meeting with their groups during class time
and guest speakers will be providing necessary learning, it is
critical that you attend class as well as your service learning
sessions.