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Art Education Student Participates in “South Africa: Perspectives on Democracy”

Perspectives on DemocracyEncountering lions, rhino and giraffes this summer will be a common experience for Katelyn Amendolara, a senior art/art education major from Canfield, Ohio. But that is what it will take to bring teacher training to a remote village near Kruger National Park in South Africa.

Katelyn will be part of a group of area teachers, ONU students and faculty to explore the emerging democracy in South Africa July 18–August 14. During the four-week program, participants will learn about the culture, political history, language and literature of South Africa with an emphasis on the Mpumalanga Province, where several ONU Center for Teacher Education faculty have been involved in outreach activities for the past three years.

Dr. Sandra Crosser, professor of education in Ohio Northern University’s Center for Teacher Education, was awarded a Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program grant to fund a short-term curriculum development project titled “South Africa: Perspectives on Democracy.” Provided by the U.S. Department of Education, the grant totals $88,440.

“The concept of democracy will be the thread that is woven through the entire fabric of the experience,” Dr. Crosser said. “South Africa is ripe for this type of study, as its emergent democracy status provides parallels permitting deeper understanding of our own and other democracies, both emerging and mature, across the globe.”

The end product will be the creation of curriculum packages for use at different levels of education. The grant covers 55.5 percent of the total project cost. ONU’s in-kind and direct costs related to the project are $58,679, and the total participant fees are $12,441, which make up the remaining 44.5 percent of the cost.

The Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad Program provides grants to support overseas projects in training, research, and curriculum development in modern foreign languages and area studies for teachers, students, and faculty engaged in a common endeavor. The ONU short-term seminar is designed to help integrate international studies into an institution’s or school system’s general curriculum. Seminars normally are five to six weeks in length and focus on a particular aspect of area studies, such as the culture of the area or a portion of the culture.

There are approximately 1200 students in the high school and primary school at Lephisi Village. In previous visits to the schools, the principals indicated a need for food for the children, training in technology, training in child development, teacher professional development, books, and a microscope. With the help of Ohio Northern University, Rotary International, and our local communities, ONU is making good on a promise to fulfill those needs, one child, one teacher at a time.

The 2010–11 academic year marks the 50th anniversary of the art major at Ohio Northern University. Growing from a single-discipline school, the department offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts with concentrations in two-dimensions, three-dimensions and art therapy. The department of A&D holds memberships in national organizations such as the National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is also recognized in the second edition of “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” as one of the best creative programs nationwide. For additional information about the department of art & design or the University’s 2010-11 Arts Exhibition Season, contact the department at 419.772.2160.