The wrap-up session for the inaugural meeting of the Ecological Learning Collaboratory was not your typical academic exercise.
In a sunlit room at Carl Becker House, 16 people danced to songs in Swahili (from Tanzania), Tumbuka (from Malawi), and Tamil (from southern India). As each song ended, the group erupted in shouts and raucous laughter.
After five days of meetings at Cornell and around Ithaca, the songs were a reminder of the participants’ roots in places far away. But the smiles and hugs suggested that people steeped in different realities can find plenty to share with one another.