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ERIC Number: EJ810500
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-0309-8265
Clear the Mind of Pre-Conceived Ideas and Get Your Hands Dirty! An Approach to Field-Based Courses: The SLUSE-Southern Africa Experience
Hill, Trevor R.; Traynor, Catherine H.; Birch-Thomsen, Torben; De Neergaard, Andreas; Bob, Urmilla; Manyatsi, Absalom M.; Sebego, Reuben J.
Journal of Geography in Higher Education, v32 n3 p441-457 Sep 2008
This paper explores an approach to problem-oriented, interdisciplinary field-based courses devised by university consortia in southern Africa and Denmark. The SLUSE (Sustainable Land Use and Natural Resource Management) model has been applied on six three-week field courses within southern Africa and trained over 200 students. Student groups composed of individuals from different academic disciplines that investigated problems specifically devised to integrate social and natural science approaches set the stage for an interdisciplinary approach. The field locations are in rural areas that have a legacy of marginalization, poverty and reliance on natural resources for at least part of their livelihoods thus allowing for environmental and natural resource issues to be investigated. Course evaluations show that students feel they gain invaluable exposure to the innovative field-based learning environment created by the SLUSE approach. The main benefit perceived by hosting local communities was an increase in their self-esteem and to harness the knowledge and experience gained from the courses to further enrich their own communities. On reflection, the students value the opportunity to work cross-culturally, and trying new techniques on "real" issues. To many students the personal challenges they face adjusting to the demands of the field course are as important as the academic outputs. (Contains 1 figure, 6 tables and 4 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Denmark; South Africa