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Bonner Global Engagement Curriculum

Page history last edited by Kelly Behrend 8 years, 5 months ago






In order to fully support Bonners in serving internationally, we know that they need to build up specific skills and competencies before their immersion, during their trip, and after their experience. An intentional set of outcomes and trainings can help facilitate high impact student learning as well as high impact community partnerships. This curriculum is designed to help Bonner administrators and students develop strong engagement programs that support high level service through intentional training and enrichment opportunities.


On this page, you'll find:

  • the Bonner Global Engagement Curriculum, a training resource for BONNER STUDENTS' training and enrichment before, during, and after an international immersion 
  • the Bonner Global Engagement Framework, a collection of best practices for ADMINISTRATORS in planning and implementing ideal international service programs 
  • the "Build Yourself, Build Your Country" Curriculum, an empowerment program for GLOBAL YOUTH conducted through international Bonner programs and projects, based on the Common Commitments and promotes youth empowerment and civic engagement across the globe
  • list of all relevant training modules that could be useful for preparing students for global engagement  



Global Engagement Training Series (for Bonner Students)

This resource has been created to aid administrators and students in creating materials for Bonner students' training and enrichment before, during, and after any international immersion/service project. Each of the pages below list various learning outcomes for each phase, paired with sample training and reflection activities.


In the planning and preparation for international service, Bonners should first develop an understanding for the history of international engagement in our program: Through our Common Commitment of International Perspective, we explore and develop international understanding that enables us to participate successfully in a global society. Since the founding of the Bonner Scholars Program in 1990, the program has included an openness to students’ service work in international settings, as well as the inclusion of international students as Bonner Scholars and (later) leaders. 


Current surveys of Bonner Scholars indicate that n several institutions where study abroad programs are strong, nearly 75% of Bonner Scholars are participating. Some work with key Bonner Partners, such as Peacework (see below), and others are working to establish sustained multi-year non-profit partnerships in particular countries that they will return each year. (This is true, for example, at Davidson College, Defiance College, Siena College, and Stetson University). 


Diversity and encounters with “otherness” has been found, through the evaluation of the Bonner Program, to be one of the greatest contributors to the program’s effectiveness; in fact this is closely related to students developing an interpretation and commitment to social justice. Opportunities to understand an issue (such as poverty) in both local and global contexts, as well as direct experiences, extend this learning. Because of the newness of this area, we do not have as much as much direct data on the impact of international perspective and experiences, but one key finding is that the Bonner Scholar students’ skills and commitment to social justice increases in key ways between junior and senior year. The third and fourth year typically involve more challenging service experiences, including in international contexts. 




Bonner Global Engagement Framework (for Campus Administrators)

Throughout the development of the International Partnerships Initiative, we have gathered best practices that inform our recommendations for high-level, high-impact global engagement programs for students and communities. Bonner Scholar Victoria Thompson ('12) helped in gathering and assessing these recommendations, geared at administrators in the planning and implementation of ideal international service partnerships.


The International Partnerships Initiative encourages Bonner schools to engage in global immersion projects and programs that replicate our domestic approach and incorporates the Bonner Common Commitments through the use of our Model for International Engagement – a set of standards for establishing and managing a campus-community partnership with an international organization and for developing and implementing a global immersion project/program.  After conducting interviews and collecting feedback from Bonners in terms of their international engagement activities/experiences, I developed a set of Best Practices within the Bonner after critically analyzing my research.  In this Model of Engagement, you will find a process for partnership establishment, a guideline for choosing an issue area and project specification, a framework for creating academic and faculty connections, best practices on how to incorporate an educational component, guidelines for strategic planning and sustainability, a set basic standards for pre-and post-trip training, and strategies for campus-wide integration.  Through this Model for International Engagement, we ultimately hope to identify and promote a set of development goals and/or priorities for global engagement throughout the Bonner Global Village Network.


Click here to view the Bonner Global Engagement Framework (PDF).


This resource features best practices gathered from across the network for the following areas:

  • International Partner Management
  • Issue Area & Project Specification
  • Academic & Faculty Connections
  • Educational Components
  • Strategic Planning and Sustainability
  • Pre- & Post-Trip Training
  • Campus-Wide Integration


Soon, we'll be adding new areas such as:

  • Project & Community Values 
  • Integrating International Experiences into the Bonner Program
  • Assessment & Feedback 


"Build Yourself, Build Your Country" Curriculum (for Global Youth)

This resource has been created as a sample curriculum for use with youth during international service projects and programs, based on the Common Commitments of the Bonner Program. It has been tested with youth in Belize at the inaugural Bonner Global Conference in 2012. This version has been adapted for the Belizian context, but could be edited to suit other youth populations around the world. We hope this framework could provide an example for ways to engage with youth, a common population with whom Bonner serve internationally.


The "Build Yourself, Build Your Country" curriculum is designed to help youth (typically ages 8-18) explore their personal values and potential using the Bonner Common Commitments as a guide. Through these lessons and exercises, youth will learn more about themselves and one another and will be encouraged to consider their place in the broader community. The aim of these conversations is to help global youth identify their place in their communities as citizens, as contributors to the economy, and as activators of positive social change. With that knowledge, students will be equipped with the skills and ideas to develop social entrepreneurship platforms — thereby aligning their passion with profession and contributing to their communities and economies in intentional and positive ways.


The aim of the curriculum is to inspire youth across the globe to create meaningful lives and careers that align with their personal values and goals, as well as the positive growth of their communities. Our hope is for Bonner Programs to work through this curriculum on the ground in various countries, adapting it on a project-by-project basis according to other cultures, age groups, timeframes, and contexts — helping to merge our impact as a Network on youth across the globe and employing the very values and approaches that have helped our Network empower and support youth in the United States.


The curriculum below was adapted to Belizian youth ages 8-12 over the course of a 4 day summer camp. The curriculum, entitled "Build Yourself, Build Belize", can be adapted to suit other contexts.


PDF Links to Curriculum


Full Curriculum Summary & All Training Modules (40 page PDF)


Individual PDF Documents of the Curriculum: 

Curriculum Summary
An introduction to the curriculum, including information on its design, implementation, and authors.
1: Build Yourself, Build Belize This session will engage facilitators and participants in a series of icebreaker activities, as well as introduce the curriculum. 
2: International Perspective This session will enable participants to learn more about each others' cultures in a fun and interactive way, while also learning about the importance of cultural understanding and inclusion. 
3: Diversity This session will address diversity in the Belizian context. Participants will acknowledge that although international lines can be drawn across cultures, there can be diverse cultures within their own communities. 
4: Spiritual Exploration This session will apply the lessons learned from international perspective and diversity to consider the rights of all individuals in various contexts of social justice. 
5: Community Building This session will enable participants to consider the values that ground their conception of justice, particularly how it relates to the guiding principles for their own life — personally, professionally, and academically. 
6: Social Justice This session will encourage participants to consider their individual differences in the context of the larger community, drawing out common values and goals, and finding ways to work together for public good. 
7: Civic Engagement This session will enable participants to explore the various ways that they can contribute to their community — through civic engagement, service, social entrepreneurship, and other methods. 
8: Change Starts With Me An opportunity for students to express their learning about themselves and the roles that they can have in building their communities through a poster fair, exhibiting the lessons they learned throughout the curriculum, how they view themselves, and their vision for their community. 



Other Relevant Training Modules

Here are some other training modules not mentioned in the resources above that could be useful as you plan an international service immersion.


BHAGS: Setting Big Hairy Audacious Goals

This workshop can be a fun, imaginative way for a team to grapple with their work project and articulate its vision in new ways. BHAGS (pronounced "bee-hags") are Big Hairy Audacious Goals -- a term coined by authors Jerry Porras and James Collins in their book "Built to Last," which examines the qualities of successful visionary companies. They found that one factor that distinguished successful efforts from unsuccessful ones was the use of ambitious, even outrageous, goals to motivate people and focus them toward concrete accomplishments. While we in the student service arena are in the "business" of service and social change, the lesson and process captured by BHAGS can be fun and useful. By imagining and refining real BHAGS, a team can let loose their creative, motivating energies. BHAGS by definition are inspiring, "hit you in the gut" goals, and they can be helpful for any team's project, however big or small.


Building a Personal Network

This training introduces the concept of building personal networks, which is a foundation for helping individuals become cognizant about how the relationships they develop through their work in various communities is also building a potentially lifelong network. The workshop is designed to guide participants to distinguish different communities in their lives and what personal resources they have in each of these communities. In addition, participants will be asked to look critically at these networks and assess whether or not they align with personal goals.


Building Coalitions

Often, student leaders, community organizers, and professionals encounter issues on their campus or in their community that are difficult to address with one organization or club alone. Collaborative efforts or coalition support can prove helpful in addressing such issues. In practice, coalition building can be a challenging task to accomplish, but is often worth the effort. It demands the ability to analyze contexts and issues, identify allies and supporters, and negotiate unity among individuals, groups and organizations with different goals. This workshop provides some guidance for coalition building. Through a series of group exercises and demonstrations, participants practice ways to analyze campus issues, build coalitions, and create shared goals and objectives.


Citizenship: Rights, Responsibilities and Struggles (International Perspective)

This workshop is designed to engage participants in thinking about how they and others tend to define citizenship -- in theory and in practice. It aims to spur dialogue across some commonly held beliefs about what it means to be an active citizens in the United States. It also aims to help people think critically about the way in which conceptions and rights of citizenship had changed historically, including through the amendments to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (which are included in the workshop as handouts, along with a provocative article upon which the exercise is based). Finally, this session helps participants to consider connections between our legal and political rights and forms of citizen action.


Community Building Challenge Course

Challenge courses can be used as team and community building activities because they help to define a program’s identity and to create teamwork and unity between students. These challenge course activities are designed to help students learn to work with one another, beginning relationships necessary for the growth of your Bonner Program. A continued exploration of community building can be achieved through weekly gatherings to discuss and reflect on Bonners’ experiences. Democracy Reflection through the book “Enemy of the People”

This reflection looks critically at democracy through the eyes of Henrik Ibesen’s play “An Enemy of the People” as retorted by Arthur Miller (author of “Death of a Salesman” and “The Crucible”.) We have attempted to apply his questions to America and contemporary and historical situations. This reflection is not a condemnation of democracy or a support for alternative governmental styles. It is a criticism, and as such should inspire us to think about things we often take for granted. 


Four Corners: Building Appreciation for Diverse Ideas and Dialogue

Four Corners engages people in a semi-structured dialogue around a set of statements intended to provoke critical thinking and sharing. By doing so, participants have the chance to reflect on and articulate their own viewpoints. It also provides a structure for participants to learn, through dialogue, about viewpoints that may differ from their own. This activity fosters communication, listening, and leadership skills. By using statements that are designed to be intentionally ambiguous and effective at dividing the group by different perspectives, this activity helps participants to dialogue. This workshop can work well for a variety of settings and purposes, most often to focus on issues of cultural background, political viewpoint, values, race, class, gender, religion, and other issues. It promotes active listening and articulate community building skills.


Gender 1: Building Gender Awareness

In our society today, communities are made up of people with a wide range of ideas and orientations, even about issues as fundamental as gender. Anyone engaging in his/her community may be challenged by ideas and orientations that they have not considered. Among these ideas, differing ideas about gender can be very challenging, especially if a person hasn't thought about the issues of growing up male or female and how gender expectations affect day-to-day working relationships. This workshop invites students to think and dialogue on what gender is and on their own attitudes toward it.


Gender 2: Deepening Gender Awareness

The roles associated with gender influence each aspect of our lives. Our gender can affect everything from the clothes we wear to how we talk. As a continuation of An Introduction to Gender Dialogue, this workshop provides a structured setting in which participants can explore and discuss their own reflections about how gender has influenced their own behavior and interactions within the society at large. Through this sharing and dialogue, participants deepen their own self-awareness, as well as abilities for interpersonal relationships and working in a way that is aware of issues and biases.


Shared Vision

This shared visioning exercise provides a useful framework for a team to consider and develop a coherent, shared set of conceptualizations, goals, and values for a given project or work. By providing an opportunity for each team member to articulate and shape hopes and expectations for a project, a shared vision helps create a culture that values the full and effective participation of all of its members, regardless of personal identity, experience, or background. This workshop, drawn from The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook (Jossey Bass 1994) fits well with a personal visioning session of some kind. This workshop alone is NOT enough to develop shared vision amongst a group, but it can be provide a great starting point. The ideas articulated during this exercise can ideally be used to form the basis of a group's mission statement, set of goals, guideposts and team values. 


Personal Vision: Articulating One

As individuals engaged in community service, activism, politics, and other realms, we strive to create inclusive communities on and off of our campuses. These are communities that value full and effective participation of all its members, regardless of varied personal identities, experiences, or backgrounds of their members. Communities such as these cannot be built without trust and self-awareness. Defining who we are and what we want to be in the world is essential if we are to help others as effectively as we might. This workshop, drawn from The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook (Jossey Bass, 1994) is an inspiring and useful place to begin. It provides a simple framework to allow people to reflect on and consider their personal visions. In addition, it can be modified in many creative ways (such as artistic, dramatic, etc.) for people who would like to "represent" their visions in forms other than written/spoken words. This activity works best in conjunction with the second exercise found in the curriculum, "Creating Shared Vision."




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