In May 2018, the Department of English’s Edgar Singleton, director of the First-Year Writing Program, travelled to Ghana.
Singleton joined program leaders, D Elder and Nathan Crook, and eleven students from Ohio State’s Agricultural Technical Institute whose goal was to trade information on agricultural systems and discuss new forms of environmental technology and efficiency with local farmers. Utilizing three objects found nearly anywhere—a barrel, a plastic tube and compost—ATI students were able to construct an energy-creating, low-cost, low-environmental impact system that the local farmers were able to reproduce themselves.
Additionally, Ohio State students were able to learn more about the act of educating through a program in which they visited and subsequently taught various subjects at a local school. Singleton taught writing for four weeks at the Volta Rising Star Academy. Students kept writing journals and had many lively conversations about the connections and differenes between Ghana and the United States.
The Ghanaian people were not the only learning group; in fact, the Ohio State students’ wealth of knowledge grew significantly, not just in their agricultural research, which was their main focus, but in history, art, music, communications, language, natural resources, science, food and politics. The group also learned from leaders of local, village and national government, all of which are important within the scope of daily life in Ghana. The two most important takeaways, highlighted by Singleton, were that there are innumerable educational opportunities that arise when multiple groups reach out to each other to mutually learn.
(Above) Eddie Singleton and Bright Dey, of Ghana Education Services, show off coffee beans in the village of Ziavi in the Volta Region of Ghana. The village is known for coffee growing, and the Ohio State team worked that day with students and teachers in Ziavi to develop coffee
marketing ideas as part of a move toward Project-Based Learning in the schools.
(Above) A vendor at the market in Ho, Ghana, admires her photo while selling vegetables, fruit, dry goods and smoked fish. The open market, which stretches for blocks and takes place every four days, is important to the livelihood of local farmers, and it is where
most local residents purchase food and other items.
(Above) Eddie Singleton stands in front of the Wli Waterfalls in the Volta Region of Ghana. Ohio State students and faculty traveled to see this natural wonder during the Ghana Research and Education Abroad program in May 2018. Clinging to the cliffs above the falls are
thousands of large fruit bats.