Make The Connection

Travel-Learning Course, ‘Building Economic Justice from Below: Society, Politics, and Social Movements’

October 2, 2014 – by Katie Nunner '15

Learn how OWU’s Course Connections, Travel-Learning Courses, Theory-to-Practice Grants, and other programs prepare students for global citizenship and leadership and help them…Make the Connection.

Ohio Wesleyan students spent 12 days in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as part of a Sociology-Anthropology course that examined ‘Building Economic Justice from Below: Society, Politics, and Social Movements. (Photo courtesy of Raina Graham ’16)

Raina Graham ’16

Name: Raina Graham ’16
Major: Economics Management
Minors: Politics and Government and Philosophy
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio

Experience: Travel-Learning Course: “Building Economic Justice from Below: Society, Politics, and Social Movements,” Buenos Aires, Argentina, May 2014

Lesson Learned: “I was able to complete an interdisciplinary study of economics, social justice, and politics. It exposed me to alternative ways of viewing our society and challenged the way in which I thought about economics through the medium of an upper-level Sociology-Anthropology course.

“Having the travel component to this course drew all of our class theories together while continuing to open new avenues of exploration and thought. As an economics major interested in alternate economic models, this course taught me that around the world individuals have created tangible solutions to economic downfalls through cooperatives, which eradicate the hierarchy within a company and replace it with a democratic system where individuals have a say, as the workers are the owners.

“I learned there are aspects of learning that cannot be seen in the classroom. I learned this as we sat as a group around a woman who fought for her job for over six months, as she camped in a nearby park refusing to give up on the job she had held for years. Seeing and meeting the people and areas of Argentina that we had discussed in class cemented the theories we had worked through the entire semester of social movements and their role in society.

“Education is not something that has to be done through one medium such as a classroom but rather is an opportunity to grow and learn while experiencing. …

“Hands-on opportunities were one of the primary reasons I chose Ohio Wesleyan University and having the opportunity to be in this Travel-Learning Course proved to be a great opportunity to counter-assess what I learned in the classroom to what I experienced in the factories and on the farms we visited.

“I learned that we were not just seeing what we had learned, but we were continuing to learn from and with those we met as we continued our discussions from the classroom abroad. There is never a single solution just as there is never a single way to learn.

“Experiences like this matter as they expose us as students to different ideas across cultures and regions. It allows us as scholars to not only obtain knowledge but also share our knowledge as we learn from and with individuals we encounter during our travels.”