This section of the comprehensive account of the action research and pedagogical reform of the CASA-Sevilla study-abroad programme concerns the introduction of community-engaged learning as a way to complement classroom instruction. Some experiential elements were already part of the programme’s previous design (homestays, cultural visits), but they needed to be structured into the curriculum, with clear learning goals and evaluation criteria. In addition, to palliate the obstacles students experienced when trying to establish connections with the local society, service-learning in community organisations was introduced into the core ‘Beyond Stereotypes’ course. This section describes the strategies that were designed to encourage active learning in the homestays, the cultural visits and the participation in community organisations, and the role these elements play in the new programme.
Eva Infante Mora, Luisa Álvarez-Ossorio Piñero, and Bartolomé Miranda Díaz
Eva Infante Mora, Davydd Greenwood, Melina Ivanchikova, Carmen Castilla-Vázquez, Rafael Cid-Rodríguez, Bartolomé Miranda Díaz, and Gustavo A. Flores-Macías
This section of the account of the action research and thorough reform of the CASA-Sevilla study abroad programme describes how the courses in the fields of anthropology, history and art / art history were changed. It explains why a pedagogical reform was needed, the choices faculty members made and the difficulties they faced. Transitioning to an active pedagogy has not been an easy path for faculty. The accounts show how they integrated independent intercultural research into their classes and how they reacted to their new roles as intercultural mentors. It also includes a description of the faculty member-in-residence’s role in the programme and reflections on the reform by the faculty member who served as Cornell representative in CASA-Sevilla during the 2016–2017 academic year.
Action research reform of a US study abroad programme in Seville, Spain
Eva Infante Mora and Davydd J. Greenwood
CASA-Sevilla is a study abroad programme for US university students with an advanced level of Spanish. In recent years, new patterns of social behaviour among students (mainly the use of technology and low-cost flights) aggravated their difficulties in establishing contacts with the local society, which often resulted in the perpetuation of stereotypes. The programme goals of cultural immersion and language improvement were therefore at risk. Through an action research and a participatory organisational development process, CASA-Sevilla stakeholders carried out a profound reform of the programme, based on the principles of active pedagogy, mentoring and community-engaged learning. This section illustrates this reform process, with its highlights and shadows.