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Dear Future Teacher

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¡Hola desde Perú!

This summer marks the third College of Education faculty-led study abroad trip to Peru. Dr. Melissa Gibson and 11 of our students are studying and learning in Lima while also traveling the country. Their blogs are originally posted on Marquette Meets Peru, and we’re excited to share them with you!

By Hannah Denis

Marquette University’s College of Education offers two courses in Peru: Philosophy of Education and Critical Inquiry in Contemporary Education Issues. While both of these classes have seminar components, the majority of the learning is experiential through local guest lecturers, local NGOs and community projects, and field experiences.

peruI have now spent one week in Lima where I have had a tour of the historically rich city, played soccer with children at the MLK Sport School, visited local community projects and organizations and listened to guest speakers from SEA and Encuentros, two local organizations. Almost immediately, I notice two things that were surprising: the amount of traffic and the number of Chinese restaurants. The Peruvian people I have met are friendly and always greet me with “buenos días” or “buenas tardes.” My host grandma has been the most welcoming with her smile, words and actions.

Many people come to Peru to see Machu Picchu or eat/dine/experience the food in Lima. While I want to see Machu Picchu and taste the local cuisine, my main motivation in coming to Peru was to compare and contrast the Peruvian education system to the United States’ education system. In addition, one of my main interests is to explore and examine the social inequality within the Peruvian education system and within the Peruvian society as a whole. Already I have, I have learned that residents of poorer communities pay up to ten times as much for water than wealthier residents.

According to The Voluntourist’s Dilemma, voluntourism has been steadily growing and is now a multi billion dollar industry. Voluntourism is the combination of volunteering and tourism where people pay to volunteer on projects abroad such as building houses and working in an orphanage. While all of this sounds great, there are some negative sides to voluntourism. Many times, the money spent on travel would have been better spent as a donation and local construction workers are put out of business while a voluntourist works and often takes longer to build the house. Some orphanages have become like a business where children are susceptible to attachment disorders. However, not all volunteering is bad. Volunteers can have a great positive impact when they are invited to come or when they are addressing a need in the community that isn’t being met—for instance, doctors offering free corrective surgery. While in Peru for the next three weeks, it is important to make the distinction between tourism, volunteering and what we are doing. As part of Marquette and the College of Education, we are coming to Peru as scholars to examine the philosophy of education, the education system, racial relations, and inequality as a whole and ultimately take the knowledge we have gained back to the United States and apply it to our future careers. In order to do this successfully, we are organizing our time here through Ignatian Pedagogy. According to the Jesuit Education and Ignatian Pedagogy released September 2005, Ignatian Pedagogy is “a process by which teachers accompany learners in a lifelong pursuit of competence, conscience, and compassionate commitment.” There are five crucial components to Ignatian Pedagogy: context, experience, reflection, action and evaluation. We will be gaining our context through our seminars and readings. Experience will be gained through field activities at different schools and programs which will allow for a deeper and more accurate understanding of our academics. Our main field experience will be at La Inmaculada during our second week. Reflection will come during seminars and blog posts, as well as transportation time to and from scheduled activities. Reflection has helped me process what we have learned and seen so far in our time in Lima. Evaluation will be based on our weekly blog posts and final project. Throughout this process of Ignatian Pedagogy, the importance of personal interactions and human relationships will be stressed. Through Ignatian Pedagogy, we will learn, experience and deepen our knowledge of new and different perspectives to education.

Inequality is seen throughout the world in many different contexts and settings from housing, income, healthcare, gender to education. The gap between the haves and have nots is only continuing to widen and will continue to grow if left unaddressed. While in Peru, we are mainly focused on the inequality in education; however, it is extremely important to address inequality in general within Peru since they are interrelated and morally unjust. The inequality that is seen in the world today ultimately leads to the perpetuation of the cycle of poverty and oppression. While we may not personally be significantly affected by these inequalities, it is our duty as global citizens to not remain silent and promote and fight for change at home and abroad. During my first week in Lima, I have witnessed many inequalities. In Peru, social classes and neighborhoods are classified as A, B, C, D, E. A represents the elite and rich, while E denotes those living in extreme poverty without their basic needs being met. The biggest inequality that sticks with me began with the drive along the Pacific Ocean to Pamplona Alta and then the visit to Pamplona Alta. Pamplona Alta is a class E neighborhood. Paralleling Pamplona Alta is the “Wall of Shame,” which separates them from Surco, a class A neighborhood. The differences couldn’t be more stark. People in Pamplona Alta don’t have running water and the only accessible road is dirt and it only goes to the very beginning. Residents must climb muddy stairs up to their houses. On the other side of the wall in Surco there are gated communities with watered green lawns.

Power is one of the main sources that drives inequality throughout the world. Along with the Ignatian Pedagogy, power was highlighted in our academic readings and was one of the main topics in seminar. The definition of power insinuates inequality. Power is talked about in all aspects of the academic arena and in society today; however, it is never talked about in education. Concept of Power for Education, looks at the relationship of power within education. It is explained that wherever there is a relationship between two people there is power. Power can be seen in all different types and forms depending on the situation. There are many binaries that can take place when looking at power: unjust/just, systemic/individual and humanizing/dehumanizing. While the four constructs of power (force, fiction, finance, fealty) take place within the education system, I believe that finance is the most overt sense of power. When power becomes vastly unjust and systemic, this ultimately leads to inequality across all spectrums of human life. The dynamics of power and the system inequality is not just in Peru. It is seen in different countries throughout the world, especially the United States. For example, in the United States the gap between the rich and poor continues to grow and the gaps in education of children from rich and poor neighborhoods are of great magnitude and reinforces the cycle of poverty.

I look forward to my next blog in writing about my field experience in La Inmaculada and comparing it to previous service learning experience in Milwaukee Public Schools.

The Many Sides of Peru

This summer marks the third College of Education faculty-led study abroad trip to Peru. Dr. Melissa Gibson and 11 of our students are studying and learning in Lima while also traveling the country. Their blogs are originally posted on Marquette Meets Peru, and we’re excited to share them with you!

By Mary Kate Jezuit

It is hard to believe that we have already been in Peru for a week. This week has been very eye-opening and has made me excited to continue with the program. I have realized what I want to get out of my time in Peru and how I want to approach our experiences here. I have learned a lot about Peruvian culture, but also about the inequalities and various faces of Lima, and Peru in general.

The theme of this first week for me has been acclimation, but also centering myself through reflection. Visits, tours and lectures were overwhelming in the moment, as I found myself trying to take in every last detail. It is more important, however, to think back on the things that stand out and stay with me hours after I leave. Those are the things that are inspiring curiosity within me and that I can elaborate and reflect more on. Through seminars, long bus rides, my own journaling and these blog posts I hope to be able to process what I have experienced and think of questions I have and connections to things I am familiar with in the United States. Through reflection, I have come to realize that my goal for this program is to be present and take full advantage of everything I can learn and experience here, but to also use down time to think more deeply about what I have seen and what it can mean in the systematic context of education and on a personal level.

City_of_Lima,_PeruFrom our introductory lecture at UARM on the first day, I got a sense of why Peru was an ideal location for our studies of education. I was surprised to hear how the geographical diversity of Peru contributed to the education system and the socio-economic classes of Peru. Education and other resources are far more accessible and well-resourced in Lima, for the most part. In the Jungle and the Highlands, communities are usually poverty-ridden and high-quality education is scarce, so only the very best students continue to a college education, in Lima. The development of pueblos jovenes, however, has changed the dynamic of education and social class in Peru. Many people moved from the Highlands and the Jungle to these pueblos jovenes, located in the hills of Lima, for better opportunities for employment, claiming land and starting again with almost nothing. Overtime, these pueblos jovenes become more developed, but it is still hard to access education, or the residents cannot afford it.

Visiting one of the newest pueblos jovenes, Pamplona Alta, made me realize how difficult it can be for their residents to access water and the rest of Lima. This was probably the most powerful experience I have had in Lima thus far. It was a long journey, but it showed the stark contrast between the wealthy areas and the pueblos jovenes, separated by the Wall of Shame. I was surprised at how quickly the scenery changed from extravagant homes on the ocean to small homes with metal roofs. In the United States, I feel like it is more common for there to be a greater separation between classes. The Wall of Shame sends a very obvious message that there are certain people who the wealthier side of the wall does not only not want to associate with, but also to not be able to have the resources or potential for economic mobility. This is a blatant display of power that reminded me of what we read in Nyberg’s “A Concept of Power.”

Nyberg discusses how power exists anytime there is a relationship between two individuals as well as the four forms it takes. This example of the Wall of Shame reminded me of the fiction form of power, where the party with more power is able to create the narrative of the people they have power over. The people with more power were obviously the ones who built the wall, which begs the question of where their power came from and who consented to this power. This is obviously a loaded question, with no clear answer, but the general answer is usually along the lines of power being associated with economic wealth. In this situation, the people of the pueblos jovenes may seem next to powerless; however, they are able to exercise power through creative means. The residents of Pamplona Alta installed fog catchers to repurpose the water from the fog for their own use. They also are able to begin to exercise their own power by opening up stores and installing dry toilets for themselves, which symbolize upward mobility and progress. Though these neighborhoods may be poor monetarily, they are rich in so many other things, which was quite striking to me. From walking around for a few minutes and meeting some of the residents, it was obvious that they were family-oriented, driven and positive people. The community shared a close bond and there were signs of innovation and progress everywhere. A teacher of mine would always discourage us from using language like “poor/bad” to describe low-income neighborhoods because it diminishes the assets that these communities already have. I kept being reminded of this when visiting both Pamplona Alta and El Augustino and through our discussions of looking at what strengths a community has as opposed to all the things that need to be fixed. Seeing these assets first-hand gave context for this idea and I could not agree with it more.

All that I have experienced this week, brings up a topic we discussed quite frequently: Why are we here? It is true that we are neither tourists nor simply volunteers. We are here to learn. Volunteering has a connotation of serving somewhere for a certain amount of time and then leaving and returning to your normal life. Learning means that we are taking what we see and do in schools and communities in Peru back to the United States and using it to inform our studies at Marquette and professional lives. We are studying both the pedagogy we encounter in Peru and how it comes into play in the context of vast socio-economic inequalities. This idea is central to the way I will approach future experiences and will ensure that I am truly learning.

Dear Future Teacher

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New to Peru

This summer marks the third College of Education faculty-led study abroad trip to Peru. Dr. Melissa Gibson and 11 of our students are studying and learning in Lima while also traveling the country. Their blogs are originally posted on Marquette Meets Peru, and we’re excited to share them with you!

By Gabriela Oliveras-Bonaparte

Buenas Tardes de Peru,

Those that are reading this may know that I am in Peru for a month through the education program at Marquette University. What you may not know is what exactly I am doing while I am here. In what feels like the shortest week of my life, I have been wondering the same thing. We read a piece called “The Voluntourist’s Dilemma,” which talks about the dangers in going somewhere for one or two weeks and working on some sort of project like building a school. The issue with this is that often when people do this they are not properly trained and are taking away work from locals who are more qualified. Also, more often than not these voluntourists do not think about the future like, for example, who would be staffing these schools. Fortunately, I know for a fact that this is not what we are here to do. This past week I have gotten to know the city in which I am staying, played sports such as soccer and other games for the international day for the right to play which was this past Saturday the 25th. We have also listened to many stories from various community members. I have come to the conclusion that I am here to learn as much as I can from the people I will be working with and meeting. I am also here to reflect on my experiences and connect them to what I already know and dig deeper to find a greater understanding.

g

Pamplona Alta, a pueblo joven

Coming on this trip, I think I have a bit of a different perspective than my peers because of my Puerto Rican background. Not only do I compare and contrast Peru with the United States but I also do so with Puerto Rico, which is a territory of the United States. Since Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, we depend a lot on the States for aid and protection when we need it. But since we are not recognized as a state, we do not really get a say when it comes to the United States government. I never really put two and two together to realize Puerto Rico is not the only place that depends on the United States for things. Here in Peru I was having a conversation with one of the students from the University with which we are partnered on this trip. This student was asking me about my opinions on the U.S. governments and how I felt about certain political issues. Finally I asked how they knew so much about a country that felt so far away. This student informed me that Peru depends a lot on the States for certain kinds of aid. I never realized how much the United States impacts other countries but it has been interesting to see what kinds of things the people of Peru do when depending on one another.

First things first, I want to share some things I have observed during the time I have been here. We were fortunate enough to visit Pamplona Alta, which is said to be a pueblo joven (young town); this is where some of the poorest people live near the city. These towns are created usually by people migrating from the jungle trying to get closer to the city for better educational opportunities for their children and better health care. While visiting this pueblo I was very impressed with the amount of innovation I saw, such as people building their homes out of scrap metal. Although things like electricity and water pumps are more scarce than in the city, the people of Pamplona Alta seemed to have high spirits, or at least the people with whom we interacted. Our first visit was with an older woman who had a little tienda (store) with some basic snacks and fresh fruits. She originally worked long days in construction, which was rare for a woman, but then decided to open a shop close to home to protect her two daughters during the day. Her graciousness and openness to tell us her story was something that I admired and am thankful for. Next, we visited a casitas program near the store. Casitas (which translates to little house) is an after school program. Our visit to Casitas was very brief, but in the short time we were there you could just feel all the love, joy and excitement that was in the room. We were greeted by hugs and smiles from several children from the program as I am sure they were happy to have a distraction from doing their homework. Even though we were only there for maybe five minutes they wanted to show off their English skills so one boy said to me, “Libro es book, si?” Their eagerness to learn seemed so pure. Even though these people had very little material-wise, they seemed rich in so many different ways.

In terms of power, I tried to analyze this community and how power is inflicted on them and ways they are able to take back power. According to Nyberg, “A Concept of Powe,” there are 4 types of power: force, fiction, finance, and fealty. I believe one type of power to be inflected on pueblo jovenes is force and finance. In terms of force, there are literal walls built separating these communities from more affluent areas which are put there to prevent them from infiltrating. Also it is apparent that the poor stay poor so I would believe something as well known as the poverty cycle might reflect what I would say is force in terms of power. The government seems to want to have little to do with these communities except to keep them away and on the outskirts of the city. Although force is being acted upon pueblo jovenes, we know that this type of power is not sustainable, which we have seen before with terrorist groups in Peru like the Shining Path who killed in efforts to try and get the government to recognize their needs. So if this type of power is not sustainable, I wonder what lies ahead for these pueblo jovenes and the city of Lima in general.

Getting to Know Our Students: Meet Hannah Lubar

This summer, we are continuing our series getting to know our students! You can get to know more of our students and our faculty/ staff on previous posts. Read on to meet Hannah Lubar, one of our Student Affairs in Higher Education graduate students!

IMG_2913Hi and thanks for your interest in getting to know me! I’m going into my second and final year as a graduate student in the Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE!) program, working as a Graduate Assistant in the Business Career Center. I’m also a proud alumna of the College of Ed.

I grew up in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, but including my undergraduate years at Marquette, I’ve lived in Milwaukee for around nine years now. After getting my Bachelor’s Degree, I knew I wanted to stick around Milwaukee, and I taught high school English in the city for four years.

I come from a family of educators: my dad is a middle school music teacher, and my mom and sister both teach special education in the Chicago area. I’ve also got two very cool brothers and an incredibly loveable nephew and niece. I met my kind and hilarious husband, Eric, at MU.  He and his sister both just graduated with their master’s degrees from MU, so you can say the three of us are big fans of our school and of Milwaukee (and very blessed).

Major highlights of my educational experience include being part of the Dorothy Day Social Justice Living Learning Community and then my time teaching, which gave me invaluable memories, experience, and relationships. Both my extracurricular time at Marquette in undergrad and my time teaching high school sparked my interest in higher education support services as well as community engagement.

This upcoming academic year, I’m excited to explore new areas of higher education at UW-Milwaukee through my summer and fall practica.  I really appreciate how the SAHE program helps us foster connections with other institutions and gain new perspectives.  It’s something that drew me to the program. Additionally, I chose Marquette – the second time – because of its Jesuit values and commitment to others, and because I felt that my undergraduate teacher training from the College was truly quality.

Outside of education, I enjoy biking, rock climbing, trying new restaurants, watching Parks and Rec reruns, going to concerts/shows around Milwaukee, being in community with my church, gardening, and yoga. I think it’s important to make time for rest and personal interests so that we can be our best selves in our work – so I’m always trying to work on all of the above!

Dear Future Teacher

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