• 2014–2015 Provost's Initiatives

    "Global Service-Learning in Ecuador," Professor Letitia Basford, School of Education

    Course Description: 

    Hamline’s School of Education is exemplary at preparing new and practicing teachers for diverse classrooms. Yet missing from their HSE experience are the rich study abroad opportunities that produce more globally minded, culturally responsive future educators. We know that study abroad experiences push (and inspire) students to see culture and difference in more complex and meaningful ways. Funding from the Provost Initiative has allowed me to travel to 5 different areas of Ecuador in order to observe schools, interact with several different volunteer organizations, and plan meaningful J-term experiences for Hamline students. Throughout this time I have also been creating a course syllabi, assignments and potential course calendars. I hope to share the results of this research with other colleagues in HSE, so that they too can consider taking students abroad. Additionally, I hope that the results of my research can be of use to faculty and students from various disciplines and in other schools, such as the CLA.

    My research in Ecuador has resulted in 3 different outcomes:

    1. Funding has allowed me to develop new partnerships/relationships with schools and volunteer organizations in Ecuador so that I can design a J-term course that utilizes these relationships. This course could potentially be partnered with a Freshman Seminar course. I have created a J-term syllabus with two different course calendar options.
    2. Research in Ecuador has resulted in several potential J-term course opportunities for colleagues in Science and Social Studies Education in HSE. Specifically I see opportunities for faculty teaching “Diversity in Education,” courses within the TEFL certificate, or service learning.
    3. Research in Ecuador has resulted in several potential J-term course opportunities for colleagues in Spanish, Science, Political Science, Social Justice, and Environmental Studies in the CLA.
    I am grateful for the support that I have received in order to accomplish these outcomes.


    1. I will apply to teach a J-term course in Ecuador that utilizes this research and these partnerships. This course could potentially be partnered with a Freshman Seminar course. I am excited about this course and know that students will be offered a very rewarding and educational experience!
    2. I have already begun reaching out to specific faculty in HSE and CLA, making appointments to share information that may be of specific interest to them with regard to taking students to Ecuador. I will continue to do reach out to faculty.
    3. At the Faculty Development Day in late May, I will also prepare a faculty development session about my Ecuador research, and discuss potential J-term course opportunities for colleagues in HSE and CLA. I will share assignments, syllabi, course calendars, and assignments with other colleagues interested in taking students abroad.


    •  "Global Service-Learning in Ecuador" Syllabus  (Professor Basford's Comments: "Within the syllabus you will find both the course learning objectives and major assessments. I am thrilled to share them with others and want Hamline faculty/staff to know that I am at their service should they wish to plan a trip to this wonderful country. (I have lots of resources and ideas that I collected for them on my travels in Ecuador this spring.) I also believe that my course is one that could easily be replicated for another Hamline professor to teach anywhere in the world. These learning objectives and assessments could be applied as easily to Ecuador as they could toward Thailand or Greece or Ethiopia. Students meet the course learning objectives by taking part in a few basic tasks. First, instead of relying on their teacher or others for information about the country's culture, history, politics, etc., students themselves are charged with researching and presenting this information to their peers. Throughout the travel experience, students will provide "mini workshops" about various topics of their choosing (see "Unpacking Ecuador" research topics in the syllabus). Additional information on the topic will be provided by outside experts and/or the professor, but the students will always present what they discovered from their research first. Students are encouraged to reach out into the Ecuadorian community to learn about their topic, which will also serve to build intercultural competence skills. Students are required to maintain a journal about their daily experiences with people as well as with their service learning projects. As they become more familiar with the country and with their service learning projects, they may find that their reflections change as their own intercultural competence grows. At the end of the course students are required to reflect broadly on their experience abroad, presenting their final reflections in class upon return to the USA. Their daily journals allow students to reflect on how much they have learned and grown from the study abroad experience. They will revisit the course objectives and assess how well they feel they met the objectives. They will compare and contrast their ideas before the trip—about Ecuador, about volunteering abroad, about traveling abroad—with their ideas after the trip. What ideas were "correct" or "incorrect" or "in between?" What did they find most surprising or disturbing? What was "positive" and "negative?" Do they see themselves differently now as "Americans?"")
    •  Ecuador 2017 Course Calendar