South Africa Field Study

Exploring the nexus of education, social justice and human rights, and development in South Africa July 4-30, 2014

South Africa has undergone vast change since its first democratic elections in 1994. A diverse country with 11 national languages and numerous ethnic groups, it continues to struggle with the legacy of apartheid and has a long road to travel before achieving equality for all, especially in terms of educational opportunities and social justice.

This South Africa field study course provides a community-based research learning approach to understanding and evaluating the progress made by a variety of social justice and human rights education initiatives and organizations. Students will apply this analysis and understanding of human relations in education, including a critical awareness of their own roles as actors in a social context, to their experience, learning and research.

The first week will be based in and around Johannesburg, Soweto and Mpumalanga to provide students with a context of the sociocultural, political, historical, and geographic realities of South Africa.

The remaining weeks will be based in Free State, including the QwaQwa region and Bloemfontein, at the University of the Free State. UFS chancellor Dr. Jonathan Jansen is considered to be one of the top academics and change agents in South Africa.  This experiential learning phase combines class sessions led by academics and community leaders in South Africa with community-based placements in schools, community agencies or NGOs. Students will interact with local students and community members and reflect daily on their experiences.