In 2007, Tufts launched a unique experiential learning program focused on gold mining in the country of Ghana. Supported by a grant from Tisch College and sponsored by the Africa in the New World interdisciplinary minor, the Ghana Gold program seeks to introduce undergraduates to issues confronting the West African nation by examining political, historical, cultural, socio-economic, and environmental issues surrounding Ghana’s gold mining industry. Issues are framed within the larger context of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the ways in which such policies have been constructed, deconstructed, contested and negotiated over time. Currently in its third year, the Ghana Gold program consists of a study tour in January followed by an undergraduate colloquium in the spring term.
For the past two years, Ghana Gold students have worked with instructional design specialists in UIT Academic Technology (AT) to articulate and preserve aspects of their learning experience through the creation of electronic portfolios. Using an open source application developed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, students are asked to reflect upon their experiential learning during the study tour, connect the study tour to theory and literature on corporate social responsibility, select artifacts that demonstrate accomplishment of their learning objectives, and discuss how their experience relates to their own evolving views on CSR and active citizenship.
The 2009 cohort of Ghana Gold students, many of whom such as Judy Fitzpatrick were freshmen, did an exceptional job of reflecting upon their experiences in Ghana and articulating how they saw these experiences in relation to their future academic, personal and professional goals. The full set of 2009 Ghana Gold student portfolios can be found in the KEEP Toolkit environment or by clicking here.