DEVS 380: Experiential Learning in Global Development

Course Outline

DEVS 380 offers students the unique opportunity to follow a course-based learning program on a specialised topic within global development studies while simultaneous pursuing an overlapping and closely coordinated experiential learning opportunity in the same field.

Courses taught under this rubric will be designed strategically to advance the benefits of simultaneous academic and experiential learning by:

  1. engaging academic literature and debates that have direct practical/professional relevance for the student’s experiential placement; and
  2. engaging students in cycles of reflection in which they both interpret their practical experience within the terms of academic debate while reflecting critically on the limitations of the former.

Spring 2023 Topic: Contemporary Food Systems/6.0 Units

This purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of food systems, both historic and present day in order to bring insight to the many facts and myths that compete for credibility in our minds, our media and in government policy.

This course is an experiential learning course that combines an in-class component with a practical volunteer or workplace opportunity. In class, students will learn about the two major contemporary agricultural paradigms - industrial agriculture and agroecology as well as the major elements that make up a farm – the land, the farmer, the crops and livestock – considering both the industrial and agroecological models. Attention will also be given to some of the major topics in food systems and agriculture such as trade restrictions, environmental sustainability, indigenous agriculture, food sovereignty and development approaches. The practical experience involves a minimum of 7 hours per week at a local farm, food security organization or other placement relevant to the course content. Students will use their placement to gain practical, hands on experience within the agri-cultural community from which they can reflect and integrate into their classroom learning and then apply in future career situations.


Janette Haase is a PhD student in the department of Global Development Studies. She has been active in Kingston’s alternative agriculture community for almost 40 years, first as a commercial organic market gardener and then developing and facilitating community and school garden projects. She has taught workshops on home vegetable gardening and in 2009 published her book From Seed to Table, A Practical Guide to Eating and Growing Green. She currently runs a small market garden on Wolfe Island that focusses on mentoring young farmers. Her current research is on agroecological and regenerative farming in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec.

For more information about enrolling in this course, please contact the Academic Programs Assistant in DEVS.