Our Approach

Build capacity…not dependency

As a value-driven organization, Dragons is invested in offering authentic and transformative programming that enriches both our participants and our community partners abroad. When considering what makes for a successful partnership, we strive to both support and challenge the thinking and practices of our partners. We begin by offering concrete tools and processes for growth and development. But our ultimate goal is to “lead from behind” serving as a resource, community, and support network for faculty who are designing and implementing their own visions for global programming.  With over eight years of partnership work under our belt, there are a few strategies that we consistently employ in our approach.

Our Experience shows…

  • Long-term relationships (locally and globally) will foster deeper learning

    Excellent faculty may come and go, but key partnerships with local and international organizations and institutions can last decades—offering students and faculty access to powerful cross-cultural programming opportunities for years to come.

  • Global education requires experiential learning

    In order to get students to a place of deeper self-awareness, global engagement, and leadership, off-campus programming must be carefully crafted to present situations in which students are challenged to lead, invited to connect, and given space to reflect.

  • Faculty should be empowered to lead

    Effective cross-cultural facilitation requires a unique skillset that overlaps with, but is very different from, the classroom teaching environment and practice. Dragons provides experiential training and development for faculty, as well as opportunities to share best practices and to be mentored in the field.

  • Existing programming can be improved with new strategies

    Dragons will augment current program by working with faculty and administrators to include new experiences focused on exploring topics of poverty, race, power, economics, development, and environment within your current travel itinerary or course-work.

  • Global education happens in and out of the classroom

    It isn’t all about student travel. As a partnership progresses, teachers often are more confident employing pedagogical techniques and curricular content from their global education work, into the daily practice of classroom teaching.

  • Everyone should have access to global education

    We work with our partners to represent the power of global education and campaign for financial support to create equal access. Global programming should not strengthen educational inequalities, but rather work to dismantle them. We offer presentations and live conversations with anyone in your community, as well as tax exempt status potential donors.

  • A student’s locus of control

    Students enrolled in a Dragons partnership program should be prepared to make decisions and exercise leadership skills. We work closely with our partners to develop admissions processes that appropriately reflect the challenges and expectations of students, while soliciting student interests, goals, and expectations for the course.

  • Go slow to go fast

    We are invested in the long-term success of our partners. Experience has shown that the partnership process becomes more fruitful with time and investment. Dragons works with your school to create time for reflection and work to combine effective feedback and communication systems that will in turn provide a stronger foundation for nimble, responsive growth and rapid improvement in the long-term.

  • Travel opportunities should be integrated into on-campus curriculum

    Academic and experiential learning are complementary and interdependent. We are excited to work with your teachers and administration to identify and develop opportunities to employ thematic and academic learning pre-departure and after return. Dragons provides in-person and digital guest speakers, and pre-departure thematic curriculum to support teachers and students.

The Partnership Process