Growing Tolerance Through International Arts Education
An October 2005 Pew survey determined that 42 percent of Americans, an increase from 30% in December 2002, think that the United States should “mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own.” In this domestic context, helping students to understand international relations and to respect and appreciate other peoples and cultures takes on a special urgency. This paper describes pre-travel undergraduate studies of history, politics, culture, and specifically the arts of Ghana and details the one-month study tour schedule of mornings engaging in community service, afternoons participating in the creation of art in Ghanaian form and style such as batiking, beadmaking, drummaking and carving, and evenings observing drum and dance groups and listening to traditional storytellers and lecturers on Ghanaian life. This intensive, hands-on, experiential course promotes attitude change for increased tolerance and cultural understanding.
Keywords: International Arts Education, Ghana, Service-Learning, Rural Development, Teaching and Learning Tolerance
Dr. D. Rose Elder
Associate Professor and Area Coordinator, Humanities and Social Sciences, Arts, Sciences, and Business, Ohio State University-ATI