3:00-4:30 p.m., April 25, 2006
The Common Book Project
Christine Ingebritsen, Office of Undergraduate Education
The common book was chosen by a committee led by Christine Ingebritsen, acting dean of undergraduate education. Subtitled The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World, the book tells the true story of a Harvard Medical School professor's efforts to bring the tools of modern medicine to people around the world. Its choice reflects the desire to inspire students to become scholars and active participants in shaping an equitable global society.
Having a common book provides an occasion to teach incoming students about important diversity and social justice themes. Mountains Beyond Mountains provides an opportunity to reflect on different perspectives related to global health inequities, including postcolonialism, structural inequalities, social justice, claims of international morality, etc. In building learning communities around the book, we can also explore new models of social and intellectual engagement and pedagogical practices.
This year’s Common Book introduces the idea of the impact that one person may have in the solution of problems, whether they are global or local. This initiative supports faculty and staff to help students connect their academic learning with experiences in the local community, to provide global learning opportunities, or to engage students in addressing problems that challenge current knowledge. Experiential learning – e.g. service learning, research projects, study abroad – helps students to deepen their understandings, skills, and abilities by practicing and extending their learning in new situations. As a result, students may: