• civic engagement;
  • course design;
  • transformative pedagogy;
  • consumerism;
  • global citizenship


The course “Empowering Youth for Global Citizenship” seeks to equip students to teach global citizenship by engaging them in practices of ascetic withdrawal from consumer habits and active engagement in the public sphere. These goals underlie the design of the assignments, but should have also shaped the relationship between the assignments themselves. This article addresses the issue of course design in the service of empowering students for engagement in the public sphere by reflecting upon the course assignments, with emphasis on a project that worked well, and the implications this has for its relationship to the other course assignments, including one that missed the mark. The exploration of this misalignment between the learning goals and actual outcomes of the different assignments brings to light the unique role of learning communities of accountability and acceptance in deepening the impact of assignments aimed at personal transformation, as well as the rich dynamic that can come from coordinating course assignments to bring “head, heart, and hands” together.