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Special Forum on Theorizing the Basic Course


Working as an agent of social change calls for perseverance and determination. In our work as, and with, change agents all over the world we have seen many well-meaning people working to serve populations that are often hopeless about the future, demoralized, and/or seeking quick solutions that may not address the real issues or causes of problems. At our university we often see similar characteristics in students enrolled in the basic course. That population can be similarly hopeless about the future (at least in the course), de-motivated, and dreaming of escape through the attainment of a passing grade via the path of least resistance.

When the first author compares his previous work as a “change agent” in a Balkan country with his present teaching of the basic course, he realizes that the two have much in common. In many important ways, the basic course is social change.