In the summer of 2018, Learning Innovation supported an innovative approach to global education. Together with the Global Education Office and two faculty leaders, we brought a group of Duke students to Berlin for a program combining thinking and doing.
The students took two courses on migration and refugee issues, taught by Prof. Erdağ Göknar of Duke and Prof. Banu Gökarıksel of UNC-Chapel Hill, the co-directors of Duke in the Middle East in Europe. The morning coursework offered core knowledge and methodological frameworks from literature, politics, sociology and demography. Then, each afternoon, the students traveled to the offices of Kiron, a non-profit organization that provides digital higher education (including online Duke courses) for refugee learners. At Kiron, the students did hands-on projects in marketing, technology, learning design and fundraising. This learning-by-doing complemented the coursework and enabled the students to interrogate the intellectual frameworks with direct experiences on the ground.
Study abroad experiences too often lack an authentic connection to the people and places where students travel. At the same time, service learning too often lacks context and a rigorous methodological framing. By merging study abroad and service learning into a single, thoughtfully-designed program, the “Berlin model” solves these problems.
Students (from Duke or other institutions) can apply to participate in the Duke in the Middle East in Europe program this summer.