Mission Statement and Learning Outcomes
Our Mission Statement
The contemporary world is shaped by complex economic, political and cultural forces that connect diverse human societies with one another every more deeply. Yet these same forces may also lead to increasing cultural uniformity, inequality and violent conflict. In response to this situation peoples around the world express diverse desires for justice, diversity, prosperity and peace – in often-divergent visions of a shared future.
In Global Studies students engage questions about how economically and politically powerful groups influence the way we understand the world’s problems and what to do about them. We embrace students’ passion for building a better world, while also helping them develop critical thinking tools. These tools allow them to undertake world-building endeavors while also being aware of their own culturally and historically situated perspectives.
The program teaches academic and practical skills relevant to public, private and non-profit sectors. These skills include research, problem-solving and analysis, teamwork, and written and oral communication. The training that Global Studies students acquire at Laurier enables them to pursue further study in a wide range of fields, and provides a stepping-stone to careers in Canada and abroad.
Upon completion of an undergraduate Global Studies degree, students should be able to:
- Identify and explain multiple perspectives and lenses by which to examine key local, national and global issues, and to work towards nuanced understandings of these issues.
- Design and develop individual and group presentations using multiple media.
- Display some knowledge in each of the three streams of the Global Studies curriculum, while developing a solid grasp of the key concepts, issues and analytical approaches in at least one of the streams.
- Identify and evaluate the key methodologies employed in the historical and contemporary study of global issues, and employ appropriate methodological tools to conduct research into particular problems and questions in Global Studies.
- Convey complex ideas both orally and in writing using genres and approaches suitable to a variety of audiences.
- Demonstrate an understanding that relationships between self and others are infused with power, and of the role of transformational kinds of social and political action in creating a shared world based on the values of respect, justice and equality.
- Develop and display an awareness of the similarities and differences in cultural, social, and political life around the world and the role of globalization in generating processes of encounter, exchange, hybridity and homogenization with respect to these spheres of life.
- Develop an awareness of how our own social, economic, political and religious contexts influence our global outlook.
- Apply the skills of dialogue and critique to not only assess ideas, arguments, and theories, but also to take part in and facilitate cross-cultural discussions.
- Recognize when the findings of academic research or the exposure to new ideas and worldviews make it necessary to revise one’s initial assumptions or preconceptions about self and world.
- Develop and display a critical appreciation of the meanings of social and environmental justice at home and/or abroad, as well as an understanding of the kinds of practices that can promote it.
- Demonstrate an ability to engage positively with the world around them, while displaying a mindfulness of the limits of one’s own knowledge and agency.