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Collaborative Learning with Other Professional Education Programs

During the past few years, WISR has developed partnerships with several professional education programs–to offer the participants in these non-degree programs the opportunity to pursue WISR degrees. WISR does not grant credit simply for documenting such participation.  Instead WISR faculty work collaboratively with the faculty of these programs to enable interested learners to integrate, and build on, their studies and activities in these programs while pursuing WISR degree projects and studies.

The World Dignity University Initiative is Joining with the Western Institute of Social Research to Offer Dignity Studies

The World Dignity University (WDU) Initiative and the Western Institute for Social Research (WISR) are pleased to announce a collaboration that will provide adult learners who wish to pursue the multidisciplinary study of topics related to human dignity and social change an opportunity to do so through flexible, learner-centered graduate degree programs.

The World Dignity University Initiative is an affiliate of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies(HumanDHS), a global, multidisciplinary network of scholars, practitioners, activists, and students committed to the advancement of human dignity around the world. WDU was created in 2011 to foster educational programs related to human dignity, both independently and in ongoing and temporary partnerships with other institutions and individuals.

The WDU-WISR collaboration will allow students to pursue a WISR graduate degree based largely on multidisciplinary readings and learning projects, and a thesis or dissertation on topics related to human dignity, working with faculty drawn from WISR’s core faculty, including scholars drawn from the WDU and HumanDHS communities who will be joining WISR faculty. Two current WISR graduate degree programs are eligible for this “Dignity Studies” specialization:

  • MS in Education and Community Leadership; and,
  • EdD in Higher Education and Social Change

All three programs have a small number of required courses, each of which has some required readings, but primarily involves learner-defined action and/or research projects culminating in papers related to the student’s purposes and interests. Students pursuing a Dignity Studies specialization would take a 5-credit course, “Dignity Studies,” as part of their required courses.

Center for Critical Environmental and Global Literacy (CCEGL)

We are now partnering with the Center for Critical Environmental and Global Literacy (CCEGL), and their Executive Director, Dr. Sudia Paloma McCaleb (supaloma@ccegl.org) to offer CCEGL participants the opportunity to use their studies, travel and learning with CCEGL as important projects and studies for two of WISR’s degree programs—the MS in Education and Community Leadership, and the EdD (Doctorate of Education) in Higher Education and Social Change.  Students involved with CCEGL, for example, can use as little or as much of their involvement with CCEGL in developing and pursuing these personalized projects. Some students might be involved with CCEGL for just several months and use their CCEGL studies and their educational travel for one, two or three WISR course projects.  Other students may go “above and beyond” the typical involvement with CCEGL, if they wish, and use their CCEGL endeavors for more than three projects, or even for a thesis or dissertation.

The Center for Critical Environmental Global Literacy  (CCEGL) [  http://ccegl.org/ ] supports innovative educational projects and activities that embrace and infuse a critical, social justice and humanistic approach to education, thinking and action. Our goal is to bring educators, youth and community together to explore critical issues in education towards the furthering of democratic values; environmental stewardship; global cooperation and the development of critical literacy and media skills.

One of their goals is to help teachers to gain a global focus for their teaching and to help their students to understand common environmental and social challenges among the world’s peoples. This institute is for people who are committed to providing others with an understanding of the interdependence of the people and eco-systems around the globe.

For the past 15 years, their International Teacher Collaboration project has been carried out with Bay Area classroom teachers, artists, organizers and community activists as they learned about both the local and global implications of current environmental challenges. Part of the institute is a journey to another country, lately to El Salvador or Oaxaca, Mexico, to engage in an international educational exchange. During the collaborations, teaching and community building practices and common life themes are explored and lasting personal and professional relationships are sometimes developed. Students in the home classroom of participating teachers can become thoroughly integrated in the journey of their teacher and the process and experiences are also shared with the families and the greater school community. We believe that young people who build first hand connections, with peers in different countries will grow up developing a critical awareness of their interconnectedness to other people and places around the world.