Part of the: World Bank & Sexual Violence Research Initiative Project: ‘Combatting Sexual Violence in Kyrgyzstan through Innovative Education and Information Technology (Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia)’
Dr Elena Kim, Dr Elena Molchanova, Aigerim Bakubatova, and Dr Frank G. Karioris
One of the core elements of the project is the education and curricular component. As noted in the previous update, we have been working on building a Gender Studies curriculum for roughly a year now. Working with the faculty from around the university, we designed an innovative and exciting Minor in Gender Studies that will assist students at AUCA in learning the fundamentals about Gender Studies.
Students at AUCA have been able to take a number of classes that address gender issues for a number of years now, from ‘Sociology of Gender’ to ‘Women in International Relations’. That said, there was no overarching curricular goals or learning outcomes driving these classes, or providing for the broad understanding of the topic. With the academic Minor and Concentration, the university is able to ensure that this structure is in place and is durable and consistent.
These programs put the project on track to accomplish its education related goals of increasing student awareness and knowledge regarding gender issues, broadly considered, and in putting forward a curriculum based on the project’s research. As we move forward with these updates, the curricular initiatives will be a running theme, documenting the various ways that the Center is providing students with a substantive education in gender issues.
Once the team heard that we had been awarded the grant, we immediately began working on the course component of the project. During Fall 2017 we are offering the class, titled ‘Gender, Ethics, and the Politics of Violence’, to both undergraduate and masters students. The class is intended to introduce students to both fundamental concepts in the study of gender and sexual violence while also providing them the necessary skills to do ethical research on these topics.
Our goal with the course is to provide students both a core set of knowledges while also creating qualified practitioners who are able to go out and do research on this topic – whether that be sociological, psychological, or related to public policy. In this way we are seeking to allow students to self-direct their learning to a degree, focusing on their particular fields of interest.
The class is taught by the entire faculty team of the project, providing students with a wide set of skills, knowledges, and backgrounds. In the coming update we will begin discussing the syllabus itself and how the class has started.