Buddhist healthcare in philadelphia: An ethnographic experiment in student-centered, engaged, and inclusive pedagogy

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Abstract

This essay describes the Jivaka Project, a pedagogical experiment undertaken at a public liberal arts college outside of Philadelphia. A multi-year ethnographic survey of Buddhist healthcare in the greater metropolitan area, this project has come to constitute a major part of my general education course on American Buddhism. As I argue, this project serves as a model for student-centered, engaged, and inclusive approaches to pedagogy. It is particularly notable for centering the intercultural competency of international and first-generation Asian American students. I discuss how this project was inspired by a bilingual Chinese American student; how it developed into a large-scale effort involving about a hundred students in ethnographic research in Philadelphia’s Asian American neighborhoods; how it was a transformational educational experience for a diverse group of participating students; and how in the process it pushed my pedagogy in a more relevant and personally fulfilling direction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number420
JournalReligions
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Religious studies

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