2007 Teaching and Learning Symposium

2:30-4:30 p.m., April 24, 2007
HUB West Ballroom

Session Description


Exploring Mountains Beyond Mountains: Teaching about Global Health Inequities

Alka Arora, Center for Curriculum Transformation


In 2006, the University of Washington piloted a Common Book program, using Tracy Kidder’s Mountains Beyound Mountains, as a way to engage the campus community in productive dialogue about issues of global health, inequalities, and social service. To help highlight issues of diversity in the book, the Center for Curriculum Transformation convened a seminar of sixteen faculty members, graduate students, and undergraduates to develop a guide to studying and teaching the text. This interdisciplinary group developed pedagogical strategies for raising issues of identity, inequality and social justice as they related to Mountains. Seminar members developed papers on topics as wide ranging as medical anthropology, postcolonialism, and identity politics; each paper introduced the topic at hand, related it to the Common Book, and posed study questions. We posted these papers on the Center for Curriculum Transformation website, and developed a booklet that served as a road map to the project and website. These booklets were disseminated to students across campus.

Our poster session will explain how we came to identify the need for the study guide, how the teaching notes were developed, and the impact that our work had on the UW community.



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