Dordt College News

Dordt College faculty teach and learn abroad

June 21, 2013

This summer six Dordt College faculty members are traveling internationally on various teaching assignments and other projects.

“Any time a faculty member has an opportunity to engage in cross-cultural and global experiences, they are changed personally and professionally. And that change is passed along to the students they teach,” said Curtis Taylor, director of international students and off-campus programs.

Taylor explained that teaching in a foreign country allows faculty to examine their subject matter in new ways and to explore ideas in a global context. Because faculty members interact with and learn from people in other cultures, their own skills and knowledge are enhanced. “Everyone in the Dordt community benefits,” said Taylor.

Agriculture Professor Ron Vos, who has been embarking on international teaching and research excursions for 20 years, agrees: “Doing international work is important. It allows one to experience other cultures thus giving insight to one’s own culture. It also allows us to see that the kingdom of God is much bigger than our own country.”

Vos will travel to Northrise University in Ndola, Zambia. His primary work is community development, teaching an agricultural foundations seminar, developing agriculture curriculum, and building the relationship between Dordt and Northrise.

Dordt College President Erik Hoekstra will spend a week in the Netherlands and one in South Korea where he will attend conferences and give speeches, including the keynote speech at the 6th International Christian University Academic Conference in Kyeongju, South Korea.

English Professor Bill Elgersma spent two weeks of May in South Korea where he interviewed professors and students and observed classes at three universities that send exchange students to Dordt. The experience helped him get a better sense of the students’ education and why they are interested in an American English education.

Theology Professor Jay Shim also will travel to South Korea. He is researching and writing a book and developing a Christian teaching curriculum. He is also representing the Christian Reformed Churches of North America at a conference and will lead a Bible school program at a Christian school.

Dean for Research and Scholarship John Kok will be in Cuba teaching Christian philosophy to leaders of the CRC and to a group of Evangelical University of the Americas (UNELA) Salvation Army students.

Director of Library Services Sheryl Taylor will travel to Costa Rica where she will serve as a consultant on library matters at the Evangelical University of the Americas (UNELA).

Education Professor Kathleen VanTol spent two weeks of May in Nicaragua visiting schools, consulting on student concerns, and leading workshops on how to include students with special needs into the classroom. She also worked with churches addressing how to include those with special needs.

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