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Teaching and Learning Grants: The Faces of Welfare

Elon’s Program for Ethnographic Research and Community Studies (PERCS) and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology are offering ANT386 Faces of Welfare. Fall 2012 marks the start of Project PERC’s second iteration, and The Faces of Welfare serves as the gateway course for a three-year, collaborative research opportunity for students. As a service-learning course students will ground their introduction to collaborative ethnographic research through recording the stories Alamance County residents tell about public assistance.

During the course students will collaborate with community partners to collect and analyze data for the production of resources jointly developed by the community partners and the research team. Students will ultimately engage in the necessary research and fieldwork to produce a project that is both collaborative and suitable for public audiences. Funds for recording equipment and other materials necessary in recording narratives were received through a $4,950 CATL Teaching and Learning Grant to Associate Professor Tom Mould.

The Faces of Welfare class enables students to experience multi-disciplinary learning by having a primary instructor as well as guest instructors from a field outside of anthropology or from a local organization. While the course allows for students to develop skills in conducting ethnographic research and an understanding of the region’s historical and current relationship to public aid, it is also designed to allow students to create their own code of ethics during research.  Students will leave the course with the opportunity to continue developing the research projects initiated.

CATL’s Teaching and Learning Grants support innovative teaching and learning projects. Grants generally provide resources for start-up and one-time expenses, rather than paying for ongoing operational costs. Applications from individual full-time teaching faculty and from teams at Elon are welcome. Applications are reviewed by a faculty committee each fall and spring semester. More information can be found on CATL’s Grants webpage.


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