The objective of OGP101 is to provide students with the conceptual tools and learning experiences to overcome their stereotypes of unfamiliar communities, develop the competencies to live and work amongst them, and be able to reflect on their own conducts as consequences of being Singaporeans. This is achieved through combining the core teachings of social research methods with that of cultural anthropology, to cultivate amongst students, the habit of treating human thoughts, emotions, and behaviours as consequences of their environments rather than expressions of innate immutable traits. Holding this course with ETB10x offers students a blend of team-based experiential learning, e-learning, classroom activities, and participation in field trips during which they could not only apply the social sciences in real-world contexts, but also practise self-directed and experiential learning.Students would first be introduced to the basic social scientific framework, i.e. the hermeneutics circle, via pre-trip e-learning that showcases how the larger forces of colonialism, modernisation, and globalisation has shaped traditional practices. They would then be exposed to basic social research methods of gathering and organising data, which would be deployed during the field trip.The assignments would require students to conduct research about the external forces shaping the destination, interact with the communities in order to gather data, and employ social scientific perspectives to make sense of the data. During pre-trip self-study sessions, students would first have to conduct research on media stereotypes of the city and its residents. During the trip, they would then have to seek out those stereotyped phenomena by interacting with the members of the communities and documenting the meanings behind such practices, using methods like participant observation and interviews. The data gathered would then be interpreted and explained by relating it to the dominant structures that shaped those practices.At the end of the course, students would not only acquire a basic understanding of the social sciences but also develop an open-minded attitude towards all unfamiliar groups of people. Most importantly, they would develop the habit of empathising with the others and reflecting on how the Singaporean society has similarly shaped how they have become what they are.
Credit Units: 2.5
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