14C New Student Edition - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 6, 2000
Experiential courses give students new perspective
By Eddie Ahn
and Jeannie Baumann
Daily Staff Reporters
Juliana Kua, an LSA freshman
from Singapore, took a crash course
in American history and culture
through a spring break tour of the
Civil Rights movement in the deep
"It was an eye-opener to Ameri-
can culture," Kua said. "I learned so
much I never would have been able
to learn in a classroom." Kua's
spring break experience also
brought her one credit closer to
graduation. The trip was an experi-
ential course offered by the Lloyd
Hall Scholars Program called "Get
on the Bus."
"I wanted them to experience the
Civil Rights Movement and get an
idea of what it was like to be there,"
said LHSP Instructor Joe Gonzalez,
who taught the course. ie said the
12 students traveled through cities
such as Atlanta, Birmingham and
Montgomery, Ala., experiencing
everything from a speech by Coretta
Scott King to run-ins with Ku Klux
Taking students out of the class-
room environment, the University is
offering nearly 70 experiential
classes for the Fall 2000 academic
term. "Books are good. Classrooms
are good. But so is experience -
experience is important," Gonzalez
LSA freshman Patricia Welsh
said the class provided unforget-
table memories. Welsh describes her
most memorable experience on the
trip as "walking from the Dexter
Church up to the Martin Luther
King Memorial, and when we got
there we all held hands and sang
'We Shall Overcome."'
The psychology.and sociology
departments offer several experien-
tial courses. Some of the classes
offered provide students a learning
experience through mentorships.
Psychology 307, "Directed Expe-
riences with Children," allows stu-
dents to work with children from 18
months through kindergarten at two
University children's centers.
"Students start to recognize all of
the layers of learning that are going
on that sometimes on the surface
may seem very basic and very sim-
ple," said University Children's
Centers Director Karey Leach, who
teaches Psychology 307.
The course combines hands-on
experience teaching pre-schoolers
and a lecture format. It requires a
few written assignments and no
midterm or final.
"The textbooks of the class are
the children. The coursepack is
really the way to provide overarch-
ing aspects of child education,"
Leach said. LSA freshman Christina
Urbanowicz's Psychology 211
course in criminal justice placed her
in a mentoring situation at the
Maxey W. J. Boys Training School
in Whitmore Lake.
"It makes me feel good to do
something to influence (the boys),"
Through experiential classes, stu-
dents learn to apply academic theo-
ries to practical applications.
Mabel Rodriquez teaches a two-
part course on migrant outreach.
.During the spring term, students
"academically analyze" migrant
workers in the Michigan.
In the summer term, the students
will visit migrant campus through-
out southeastern Michigan and edu-
cate migrant workers about pesti-
cide, educational opportunities and
health issues--- all in Spanish.
"They will have a first-hand
experience of the living conditions,
while battling the same linguistics
issues that the workers have to
face," she said.
Stella Raudenbush, executive
director for the Michigan K-12 Ser.
vice-Learning Center, teaches Educa-
tion 317, "Leadership: multicultural,
cross-disciplinary and intergenera-
tional perspectives," which combines
lecture, class discussions and work-
ing in senior centers.
She said the class gives students a
deeper understanding of what lead-
"You really learn best by doing,"
Raudenbush said. "The whole pur-
pose of an education is to under-
stand ourselves as human beings.
What else is there?"
Classroom notetakers for hearing impaired
students. Use MAC or IBM laptop provided by
Services for Students with Disabilities. Must
type 80 words per minute. $12.00/hour.