Since the philosophy of the Community Development Program is linked to the integration of theoretical and practical education, field visits to community initiatives, development organizations and local communities constitute a central aspect of this program. According to our experience in applying this philosophy in teaching courses, we have noted that this contributes to strengthening students’ theoretical understanding, expanding students’ knowledge of societal issues through direct interaction with the community, in addition to strengthening the program’s network of relationships with the community.
Within the framework of the course “Introduction to Community Development: Theory and Practice”, which is taught by Dr. Imad Sayrafi, there were both guest speakers and field visits. Guest speakers associated with various development initiatives were hosted in the course, in addition to two field visits to two organizations, Dalia Association and the Inash Al-Usra Society. The field visits for this course took place on 1/6/2022. Work has been done to develop interview questions related to a theoretical framework and theoretical texts that were discussed in the class, and were applied through the field visits, in order for students to write the final paper for the course. During the visits, the students were briefed on the institutions’ experiences in community work, and the most prominent challenges they face.
Within the framework of the course “Community-led Rural Development: Experiences from the Field”, taught by Dr. Tahrir Al-Araj. Researcher Abdul-Salihi was hosted as a guest speakers to discuss cooperatives, in addition to a field visit to Safa in the Ramallah area on 5/6/2022 and a visit to cooperatives there, which are the Ard al Ya’s and Rumana cooperatives. There, the students were briefed on the experiences of cooperatives in agricultural production and the challenges associated with the cooperative sector. This was to complement theoretical readings in the course so that the students can develop a position paper.