Dr Karen Murcia explores the nature of privilege and social responsibility as she reflects on the Tanzania Young Ambassadors Program.
Service-learning is included as an integral component of many students’ educational experience both in Australia and internationally. Many such programs are a vehicle for ‘helping others’ outside the economies of exchange. Community service both locally and internationally can provide experiential learning about cultural values and norms while enabling young people to hear and immerse into multiple perspectives of citizenship. In this talk I will share my personal experience, reflections and learning as an educator, researcher and co-founder of the Australian Tanzania Young Ambassadors school program. As a participant researcher in this ethnographic study, I explored my understanding of privilege and being Australian; then questioning the concept of social responsibility and in the words of Martin Luther King (1967) the power of education in shaping young people’s ‘blue-print for life’. By joining this speaker’s series, my aim is to provoke reflection on the works of Isaac Julien and the life of Frederick Douglass and question, how can we support our youth to be empowered and recognise their personal realm of influence, as ambassadors for social responsibility.
Dr Karen Murcia is an Associate Professor in Education at Curtin University. Her research is primarily in STEM (Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology) education and she is recognized internationally for her expertise in children’s creativity and learning with digital technologies. She is a Chief Investigator with the National ARC Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child. Through her international education experiences, she has developed a strong understanding of diplomacy and intercultural sensitivity. Dr Murcia has led the design, delivery and evaluation of international education programs and collaborative research in Malaysia, Tanzania, China (Chongqing, Linyi and Laiwu), UK (Sheffield) and the US, specifically collaborating with researchers at the University of South Florida.