My sister emailed recently asking for clarification about what I’m actually going to DO in Africa, saying “…all I’ve focused on is that you’re going a long way a way for a long time.”
Well, here goes.
I’ll teach two classes at an undergraduate, liberal arts college in Ghana. My classes are currently scheduled to be Organizational Behavior (the structure, politics, and cultures of organizations), and Leadership. I’ve taught some version of these classes frequently in the U.S., but I have much to learn about how to apply the theory and concepts abroad. Like at home, the university operates on a semester system (I’ll be teaching for two semesters).
The students are primarily Ghanian. They are all majoring in either Business or Computer Science. And their courses are grounded in liberal arts thinking (which is new for Africa, so it makes an interesting place for me to learn about teaching and learning).
English is an official language (left over from British colonization). So as long as I speak slowly (difficult for me!) and listen carefully (the accent will become familiar soon), class can be a time for all of us to discover each others’ cultures through compare and contrast lessons.
I’ll live in a house, probably with another person or two, near by the campus. I’ll learn how to shop in the local market and how to prepare foods in my new setting. I learn how to use buses (“tro-tro’s”) and taxis to get around and to reach the people I hope to interview.
I’ll do some writing while there, and more reflecting and writing when I return home. Next year, I’ll integrate lessons from Africa into my classes at Southwestern. And no doubt I’ll integrate new ways of thinking into my own learning.
That’s a lot for one year.