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Perspectives in International and Community Development

Course Code: CFCS 3900
Faculty: Child, Family & Community Studies
Department: Child, Family & Community Studies
Credits: 3.0
Semester: Flexible delivery ranging over 2-15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture
Typically Offered: Fall
course overview

This course is designed to prepare students who have an interest in participating in international learning experiences in developing countries. Students will develop an understanding of the language, history, culture and religious practices of a number of developing countries. Attention will be given to the effects of personal values and beliefs and the power of privilege when engaging in international experiences. The principles of sustainability and do no harm will be used as the cornerstones for understanding community development in other countries.

Course Content

  • Presenting ourselves as learners to the host country prevents imposing our values and solutions
  • The principle of “do no harm” to clients, host country, agencies, the college and future students insures that we consider the present and future impact of our professional and private behaviour
  • A global education enhances our capacity to understand and respond to the world views of the multicultural Canadian mosaic
  • Physical, emotional and intellectual preparation are essential for recognizing and dealing with the risks and realities of an international practicum experience
  • Geography, political structure and religious practices affect healthcare, education and social practices.

Methods of Instruction

  • Lectures
  • Group work
  • Experiential classroom activities
  • Guest speakers
  • Audio-visual presentations

Means of Assessment

  • Written reflections
  • Exams
  • Case study
  • Group presentations

This is a letter graded course

Learning Outcomes

  1. Articulate an understanding of the history and geography of Developing Countries (Landlocked, Least Developed, and Small Island States), its effects on the political system and religious and cultural practices.
  2. Describe the effects of oppression and colonialism on the power structure within the society.
  3. Think critically about the effects of religious beliefs and cultural practices on:
    • Women and children
    • Sexual orientation
    • Healthcare practices
    • Education
    • Disability issues.
  4. Examine how religious beliefs and cultural practice serve to support or negate service provision in the areas of health and education on:
    • Women and children
    • Health care practices
    • Disability issues.
  5. Articulate the importance of developing a global understanding:
    • Deconstruct the limitations of a Eurocentric focused education
    • Describe how human lives are shaped by the interactions between local and global forces
    • Discuss how in Canada there is a need to understand multiple perspectives or world views on family structure, the privilege of education and social supports.
  6. Discuss the power of privilege as it applies to:
    • Education
    • Life options.
  7. Explore the historical, political and cultural context of international work and the ramifications of this context on:
    • Service deliver
    • The role of women and children
    • Education
    • The power of privilege
    • Disability issues.

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.