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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/11470/417

Title: Exploring American Culture : Educational Resources and One Classroom Approach
Other Titles: アメリカ文化の探検 : 教材と一つの実践例
Authors: Underwood, William J.
Issue Date: 28-Feb-2002
Publisher: 福岡女学院大学人文学部
Abstract: The Spring 2001 semester marked the instructor's first opportunity to conduct the "American Culture" course for fourth-year students. This paper provides an overview of that course, ranging from textbook selection to course content and the final exam. Historical and geographical approaches to the subject matter were primarily employed, although current events were also incorporated. Supplemental materials included print and video resources from the Fukuoka American Center, Internet-generated audio resources from the Voice of America, and the multimedia Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia. The dominant influence of immigration, past and present, on the cultural diversity of the U.S. and the American character was a central course theme. The Ehime Maru incident, Hawaiian history and native culture, the Japanese American experience, and California's unique cultural milieu were among the other topical areas examined. The distinctive values, attitudes and beliefs that continue to shape American thinking and behavior were explored, along with the concept of the "American Dream" that underpins U.S. culture's enduring global appeal. At the same time, a focus on independent critical thinking encouraged students to actively make comparisons involving their own Japanese culture and individual experiences, thereby providing a multicultural context. Based on instructor observation and student feedback (examples of which are provided), this course appeared to meet its objectives. Future improvements are being planned.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/11470/417
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