For two semesters in the academic year 2017-2018 I have had the privilege of working in the West Bank/Palestine as a Fulbright Scholar, with financial support from the US government and my home university in Florida. I have worked as a librarian at two universities: one is a Palestinian state university and the other is a private Catholic university.
Methodology: The goal of my work was to promote research and critical thinking, as vehicles to encourage university students to become mature individuals and citizens. As education reaches across borders and around the world, I present some observations and examples from my academic year in Palestine, and then draw conclusions from that experience. Examples range from light-hearted and humorous incidents to structural and cultural limitations on globalization of education.
- Education has to be personal to be successful. While the subject matter may be translated, learning is a solitary activity and represents an individual transformation.
- Person-to-person experience, or being an eye-witness, can reshape our attitudes and outlook.
- There is often more than one way to accomplish a task, and a different way from the one we always use may be just as efficient.
- Learning to function in a global society improves when one suspends judgments and examines the efficiency and efficacy of outcomes. Does the process work? Does the solution work? Which solution is best for the particular definition of the problem one wants to solve?
- Not all efforts are successful.
- A sense of humor is a valuable skill. It can transform a failed outcome into a positive learning experience, which is a success for the participants.
Poster presented at the 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference (INTED) on March, 2018 in Valencia, Spain
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/claudia_dold/82/