Posts Tagged 'Marquette Meets Peru'

What is the Purpose of Education?

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 Lou Hasebroock

2019-01-15-10-44-55-1200x800This past week, my classmates and I had the privilege to go to a middle-class school to understand and maybe incorporate their ideas into our own lives. This school was ranked as a Class B, which is not nearly the top like Class A, but it is higher than most of the schools in Lima. This past week I had to take a step back to understand their way of teaching and how they wanted to impact children in the best way possible. I did quite a bit of observing, which gave me the opportunity to find the similarities and differences in these classrooms with the classrooms that I have worked in back in the United States. I believe there are many different routes a teacher can take to educate children on ‘what the purpose of education is.’ As children, education was traditional and structured where it reached the point where the routine we could complete in our sleep. As a child, I did not know any better and thought the boring lectures and unnecessary assessments were completely normal and I thought those routines would help me for my future. After studying classroom etiquette and pedagogy, my childhood classrooms were not proper ways to educate and help all children flourish within the classroom. In my opinion, the purpose of education is for someone to be introduced to new information, figure out ways to expand or reinforce said information, and then apply that information to their personal life whether that be inside or outside the classroom. This is a vague statement for ‘what is the purpose of education’, but like I stated previously, there is no correct structure to this posed question. There are many different methods that can be used to fit your style of classroom to help your students flourish in their own ways.

DIFFERENT SCHOOLS, SAME PEDAGOGY

On top of visiting and working as teacher assistants in La Inmaculada, we also had the opportunity to work in the Encuentros after school program called Casitas. We would act as another set of hands to assist the ones in charge. At my Casitas, it was mostly female students, and this was based in a lower income neighborhood. The program was another idea that was set up to help children stay out of trouble from the streets and create a better community of inclusion. These kids begin the program at a very young age and are presented with limited items, but their smiles and energy do not seem to notice what they do and do not have. This educational program compared to La Inmaculada is very clear if you were to compare them side by side. The resources accessible for each program are completely different and yes, there will be opportunities presented to those who go to the Class B school, but their ideas for the purpose for education are on similar pages. The children with different programs will have a completely opposite experience when it comes to education, but the underlining meaning for education is relatively similar. The few teachers that I worked with from both programs found ways to incorporate the life outside of a classroom and integrate those ideas to inside of the classroom. I noticed that the ideas of Jesuit pedagogy are implanted in these classrooms. It is stated that, “Jesuit education moves the learning experience beyond rote knowledge to the development of the more complex learning skills of understanding…” During my Casitas, this idea of education is present. At the end of the program we would sit in a circle for a period of reflection. The children would go around saying something they enjoyed from today, what they didn’t like, and what was something they were proud they accomplished. This period of reflection created an opportunity for the teacher in charge to step in and show each student how they are valid in the outside world and how they can use their talents to help the community in their own unique way, I found this exercise comforting to know that at such a young age the kids are learning to find what upsets them and they are working to create a better life. At La Inmaculada, the students are learning about the environment and finding eco-friendly ways to create a more sustainable life that they live in. Although these programs are on a different scale, their purpose of education is to create an impact and hope that the children take those lessons outside of the classroom to continue to become flourishing students.

STRUCTURE OF EDUCATION

When it comes to structure of a classroom, I do not believe that education should be different for privileged youth and marginalized youth. Yes, resources will be scarce for the lower income communities, but from my experiences in both programs I have seen many examples on how people teach different levels of children. When painting the image of two separate classrooms, many people have the instinct to turn away from those who have limited resources and will immediately judge the worst intentions. Painting the picture of La Inmaculada, there are a great amount of basketball courts, soccer fields, probably five different levels of classrooms for primary and secondary students. Their resources are abundant and they are learning to speak English in every classroom. These students are pushed out of their comfort zones to learn and understand the language and culture of the communities throughout Peru. For the Casitas program, the classroom is just one room. It is a brick room that has a dark and sad feeling attached. The children have chairs and a few run-down board games and other toys to use in their free time. These kids speak just their native language. Although these children are on opposite ends of the spectrum, they should not have their education restricted because they do not have access to the same resources. I believe the idea of power plays a role in these contexts because the funding is dedicated to the higher elites than those who need more help on providing stable buildings for students to even be placed in. The power behind education is what prevents the restrictions in the first place in society. The power tends to lead to money, and those without money usually correlates with a lack of power. This system has always been unfair, especially if there are brilliant students who come from a lower income neighborhood. Their education is being restricted when they cannot afford to attend a school with more resources. Education has always been a tricky subject to talk about, and equality is what we learn to strive for in our societies and constantly placing a barrier between wealth and education will not help students reach their full potential if they live their life with a label.

CONNECTIONS OF EDUCATION

Throughout all the different classrooms and programs, I have been in, I always found myself comparing my own experiences in the United States, to the work I have experienced here in Peru. The classrooms here were constantly incorporating outside information that would intertwine with their basic level classes such as Science, Math, or English. At La Inmaculada, the students had access to a miniature zoo on their campus. This provided them the opportunity to be outside and physically analyze the animals and their behaviors, they also had access to a hiking trail up the mountain where the students could look at the different bugs and plants and their lifestyles. I did not have this opportunity, nor have I ever heard of someone have access to a zoo at their primary and secondary school. Often, we did take field trips, but that was once a year and we were not able to get as much information out of the experience. Other connections I have seen is the creation of understanding other people’s feelings, language, or culture. Growing up, we learned many historical cultures, but we never truly experienced or immersed ourselves in other neighborhoods or communities that have a different culture than us. Here, the students have that opportunity which can create a deeper understanding for the children at a young age. Something that I have learned during the Casitas program is that no matter how little of resources that are accounted for, you still make the most of what you have and incorporate more imaginary scenarios so the children can begin that creative side at such a young age. In the Engaged Pedagogy article, it narrates that, “This is one of the joys of education as the practice of freedom, for it allows students to assume responsibility for their choices.” These children showed me how to have fun and enjoy the little things that surround me. I learned how to create a more inclusive classroom for all students at a low income and high income school and how to overall create a better life for any student I may work with in the future.

 

How Education Has a Varying Purpose

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 Emily McGlennen

There is no singular purpose to education. The objective of an effective education varies based on geographical location, economic status, and available resources; however, defining an effective education is also complex. Some would say a valuable education rests on the shoulders of the educators and their ability to cater to the academic needs of the students, yet it can also be argued the development of the entire student is just as important as solely developing an academically intelligent individual. According to John Dewey in Experience and Education, there should be a strong attention to human flourishing. Many schools are caught up in the standard methods of teaching but sticking with the status quo hinders a student’s ability to truly flourish.

1_aeSxpIw6uq2plazsEGw89QWhile in Lima this past week, we have seen varying methods of teaching in schools. Each day this past week we went to La Inmaculada in Santiago de Surco, Lima, as well as to Casitas in El Agustino, Lima. La Inmaculada focuses on flourishing by helping students achieve academic excellence through a private education, bilingual courses, and the encouragement to go onto university after graduation. The school has implemented technological courses, so students can learn topics on different platforms and through a more hands-on method. Additionally, students were encouraged to work on projects in groups to develop teambuilding and cooperation skills. While shadowing a class taught in English, the teacher asked the students to work in groups and write down the ways their school is environmentally friendly and in what ways the school could improve. The groups wasted no time in effectively determining better practices to protect the environment including the installation of solar panels, low-flow toilets, and creating more campaigns on campus. It is amazing to see students coming up with ideas of how to improve the school’s impact on the environment. The students wrote up their proposals in concise reports and submitted them to Father Oscar, a highly influential figure at La Inmaculada.

La Inmaculada caters to students who are far more privileged than students on the other side of the Wall of Shame, which separates Santiago de Surco and Pamplona Alta. Pamplona Alta is home to some of the poorest people in Lima, yet the neighboring district educates some of the most well-off residents. The Casitas in El Agustino have a very different experience. They stand as after school programs for under privileged students of the area and are tucked in the nooks and crannies of the neighborhood. There are a few scattered about which allows easier access for the kids, but each casita spends their time with students differently. The first one I attended had no structure and I would not consider an afterschool program. The kids ran freely about the small brick room playing games and screaming at one another until we were able to calm some of them with a Disney puzzle. These students do not have the privilege of a proper classroom nor the attention of the teacher to assist them with studies like the students at La Inmaculada. Privilege means access. The Casitas kids are not taught English and are not talked to about the possibility of excelling in school and the potential it has to lead to university and a higher paying job. When the more privileged students of La Inmaculada are being told the world is their oyster while the kids in the Casitas Program are enrolled to be kept out of trouble, there exists a sort of marginalization of the youth. Rather than encouraging students to see the potential in themselves so they can achieve whatever they set their minds to, the Casitas kids are there to be kept out of trouble that could be found on the streets of El Agustino.

I agree with the author of Educating the Spirit of Activism, Quentin Wheeler-Bell. He explains the importance of developing the whole person through a holistic education, thus ensuring the growth of the student mind, body, and spirit. Wheeler-Bell also explains the necessity of self-actualization because without it, one’s full potential is not being recognized so as a result the student will fail to excel and push themselves toward a higher goal. There is also the questioned raised of putting the power to learn in the hands of the students. This can be great thing because it allows for a more tailored educational experience, yet how much power can truly be given to a young child who may rather sit back and do nothing? Power is a means of transforming the educational system, but the system cannot be altered unless organizers are willing to listen to the needs and demands of students and teachers.

By having these experiences this past week, I have been reminded a lot about my personal education at a Montessori school. Mind, body, and spirit are some of the main focuses of the curriculum because these variables were understood to be key factors in the development of kids. Certainly, academics are important, but so is social, moral, and behavioral development which I benefitted from greatly. Compared to the kids attending the Casitas Program, I was privileged in my elementary education because the pillars of Montessori were a part of my everyday schooling. I am very grateful to have gone to a school that values the development of the whole person as well as being supportive and encouraging that anything in my future was possible. These values are definitely ones I will carry with me in my professional career and in my personal life. I am appreciative of my experience at the Casitas Program and La Inmaculada because it reminded me of the importance of seeing the whole person.

 

The Same Number of Students

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 Brooke McArdle

When the question about the importance of education is posed, I feel that the answer for many is often confining. Many times I feel that the social construct and ideas about education are too influenced by stereotypes and stigmas surrounding gender, race, socioeconomic status, et cetera. One thing I’ve taken away from my experiences this week is that the answer, while completely individualized for each person, could be broadly described as “progress.”progress

The idea of progress from education looks very different, as we have seen, across different contexts. For instance, we spent last week at La Inmaculada, a Jesuit school, where progress was directly tied to the tenets of Ignatian Pedagogy. For example, the idea of whole person education through service was one of the components of the mission statement that Father Oscar emphasized. He, and Javier later, discussed the service learning experiences that all students participate in at La Inmaculada. He described the relational aspect of this type of service learning, not necessarily the idea of doing physical work or service to benefit those who are less fortunate. Instead, the service learning program relies on and works to build meaningful relationships between the La Inmaculada students and students from surrounding areas. In the article “Educating the Spirit of Activism: A ‘Critical’ Civic Education” written by Quentin Wheeler-Bell, the author describes the problems with what he calls “isolated activism,” or the passive, private acts of affecting change while distancing oneself from social movements on the larger scale. Isolated activism is exemplified by volunteering and donating in a privatized way. Conversely, Wheeler-Bell outlines the spirit of activism, which is, in a sense, an enlightened view about injustice and social justice. He notes the importance of conscious action and understanding injustice on order to cultivate a spirit of activism. Consequently, to act on an injustice and affect social change, students need to be aware of injustices, their causes, and potential problems in cultivating change. I think this idea of the spirit of activism relates to the Jesuit Pedagogy and the idea at La Inmaculada that service is much more than the volunteering and inconsequential acts of physical labor; instead, it involves a relational component that better enables students from both contexts to understand the injustices that surround them in a more robust way. This is one, among many, of the ways that I see La Inmaculada and the Jesuit mission emulating the idea of progress stemming from education.

Our visit yesterday to Tupac Amaru, a public school in Villa Maria del Triunfo, I think also demonstrated the purpose of education as progress, but in a different way because of the socioeconomic context, in addition to the other contexts, of the students. What we learned from our tour was that one of the primary reasons for education at Tupac Amaru is to provide students with the life skills needed to contribute to their family and society. The chapter written by Harry Brighouse, entitled “Moral and Political Aims of Education,” discusses a variety of aims for education. One aim that I think connects well to the context of Tupac Amaru is contributory effectiveness. Brighouse describes contributory effectiveness as enabling students to use their talents to become contributing members of an economy and society. Therefore, this aim emphasizes not only self-reliance but cooperation and how they are codependent on each other, meaning that communal flourishing is dependent on individual talent but also collective participation. Tupac Amaru was focused on preparing students for the trades. For example, their curriculum was structured similarly to a technical school, with paths in sewing, woodworking, cosmetology, metalworking, and cooking. From early on, the students get to have a variety of experiences in different trades, but as they progress, they begin to specialize. This specialization is meant to prepare them to be contributing members of society, where they can utilize practical skills to support themselves, their families, and their community. This, while different from the education context we saw at La Inmaculada, is also a form of progress, though tailored specifically to the socioeconomic status and needs of the community in which the students live.

At Tupac Amaru, I noticed that the trades seemed to be implicitly gendered. While boys and girls were present in all of the trade classrooms we visited, I saw that trades deemed traditionally female by society had more girls and vice versa. Although the students get to choose their trade and path, I wonder how much power and influence they personally have in this decision. In the Brighouse article, he describes the constraints of education, namely parental and child-centered. For example, I wonder how much a girl’s decision is influenced by their parents’ preferences and expectations. Additionally, I would add another category of constraints to the ones that Brighouse poses, notably, societal constraints. Undoubtedly, traditional views for what trades girls and boys should pursue infiltrate the minds of students everywhere, not just in Villa Maria del Triunfo and not just in Peru. Therefore, I was curious about where majority of the influence for girls’ and boys’ decisions comes from and how much agency is present for the students versus what is implicitly or explicitly imposed upon them.

In addition to La Inmaculada and Tupac Amaru, we have also spent time at PEA (Programa Educacion Alternativa) and Casitas in El Agustino. PEA is a secondary alternative education program for those ages 16–40 who have not completed, but want to complete, their secondary education. The students come three times a week from 6:30–10:30 p.m. to learn. The purpose of PEA is to allow students, who may not have fit into a traditional educational context, to have the ability to complete their education. Additionally, once finished with the accelerated program, it opens doors for the students to attend technical schools and obtain a better job. Casitas is an after school program for children with the purpose of keeping the students off the streets and engaged in positive activities that steer them away from violence and drugs. Therefore, both of these contexts also can be seen in the framework of progress. PEA is an alternative program with the hope of providing students with access to progress, not only in their individual learning, but also afterwards. While Casitas may not appear to aim for progress like traditional schooling with a set curriculum, the idea of having a place for children to go after school guides the students to engage with positive activities and practices, thus keeping them from slipping.

My experiences in Peru so far have shown me that educational contexts may look different but tend to center around universal goals for their students. The contexts we’ve observed have helped me to understand the different purposes of education specific to varying contexts. While I’ve paid particular attention to the idea of student progress, there are many others as well. All of these different experiences have definitely made me question educational equality and the purpose of education. At La Inmaculada, I felt myself quickly assimilating to the overt display and prevalence of wealth, as I did at Roosevelt today. Whereas at Tupac Amaru, I was struck by the government’s inability to fund basic necessities for the students. One example of this difference was that at both Tupac Amaru and Roosevelt, each school has about 1,800 students. The available resources for students at each school differed dramatically. Size of the campus, extracurriculars, curriculum, and opportunities for students each fit the contexts of the community in which the schools served, but disproportionately enabled students of a higher socioeconomic status to have ample opportunity to succeed and pursue autonomy in their own education; conversely, students at Tupac Amaru had limited options to pursue a trade from which the community could universally benefit from. To me, it was frustrating to see how schools with the same number of students are better equipped or not to provide for their students in different ways. Additionally, it made me wonder about how the idea of progress connects and is affected by the lack of resources and educational inequality.

The Purpose of Education is…

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 Isabella D’Agostino

educationThe purpose of education is to shape and prepare you for the real world. Unfortunately, in our society, and especially in the society of Lima, Peru, the purpose of education is prosperity.

When talking to many different students from Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya, my first day in Lima, they explicitly told me that their families wanted them to go off and get a good education so they can earn a degree, get a job, and come home with the means to benefit their society and come home with money for their family. That mentality is very prevalent in communities that we have encountered with, such as El Agustino and the public school IE Tupac Amaru.

We spend a lot of our time in El Agustino in their Casitas program and their PEA program, and these programs have opened my eyes on how people view education when it is strictly means for them to make money for their families. The Casitas program is an after school program meant to keep children off the streets while their parents work. On the other side of the spectrum, PEA is an alternative school meant for students, from ages 16–40 years old, who do not fit into the traditional educational system. Both programs enhance the ideal that education provides you with money, but they do that in many different ways.

Casitas is a way for students to stay in school while their parents are working, and ultimately provides them with protection from violence and trouble. The program itself is formed in a social way rather than a traditional “do your homework” program, but nevertheless, it keeps the students occupied and keeps them on track to focus on school and to ultimately be able to graduate and earn money. The PEA program provides students a second chance of earning a high school diploma, and provides them with the means to get a job after graduation. You can get a job without a high school diploma, but PEA provides students with the opportunity to get a higher paying job, and a stepping stone to getting a technical degree if wanted.

The public school, IE Tupac Amaru, provides the same mentality, that education is a way to obtain money. Most of the classes that are provided at the school are trade classes. There is sewing, cosmetology, metalwork, woodshop, etc., and they are meant to teach their students viable careers for after school. The students choose at a very young age what they would like to learn, and then continue with it until they graduate. In first and second grade they are assigned a workshop, and in third grade they pick one for the remainder of their studies. Students still learn traditional subjects, such as math and science, but they are taught in ways that are interesting to them. For example, in a metalworking class, math would be incorporated into their lessons. The Moral and Political Aims of Education article by Harry Brighouse states that the aims goal, flourishing, provides sufficient evidence that by teaching the students trades, it gives them extremely valuable lessons that leads them to live thriving lives.

I have so far only talked about how one part of Lima views education. In the wealthier areas, education is viewed as privilege rather than as a means of earning money. At La Inmaculada and Roosevelt, students are given the ability to pursue more than trade jobs at school. They have the ability to take art classes, dance classes, music classes, and those classes indeed need wealth in order to happen.

La Inmaculada and Roosevelt both have very high tuitions, and with those come an expectation for their students to thrive in not only math and science, but in foreign languages, arts, and sports. The expectation to thrive is pushed by the learning of English at a young age, and the stigma of wealth on the schools often forms a power structure within the different educational systems. Wealth is a form of power, and if only the wealthy are going to elite schools to learn things other than trades, they are going to be the ones who have more ability to work at higher paying jobs, while the trade students will be the ones who work for lower paying jobs to get by. A Concept of Power For Education by David Nyberg explains that it is not the students’ fault that they are born into a society that pushes wealth as power, but it is in their power to choose whether to use their power to benefit the educational system as a whole. La Inmaculada and Roosevelt both have programs that bring students into other communities to see how the societies are there, but it is useless unless the students fully open up to the other community and not only benefit themselves, but the people they are partnered with.

Money and power have huge impacts on how the educational systems in Lima are divided, but for right now, nothing is going to change until the idea that inherited money is your only way to make more money changes. Privileged students are the ones who have the ability to go to private schools and learn abstract things, while the non-privileged students are constricted to learn things that just would provide them with money.

Educational equality, the view that everyone should have good education, is 100% not prevalent in Peru, and that dictates what the real purpose of education is. Prosperity is the end goal, and to be honest, I am confused how we got away from the original end goal of preparing students for the real world. The educational opportunities of each school are so different, but they are close in distance, and it kills me to see the clear divide from privileged education to non-privileged education.

If I have learned one thing from my first two weeks in Peru, it is that education should not be structured differently for privileged youth than for marginalized youth, but that is not going to change until the power structure of wealth in education changes.

Care for the Souls of All Students

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 Ashley Dorlack

 

The purpose of education is to create an equal humanity of one’s self flourishing; to care about each student within your class beyond the classroom by showing each student that they matter, regardless of their background. As a future educator, I have firsthand witnessed the importance of building a positive relationship with students, and I truly believe that these relationships are at the core of education. In order to discuss educational philosophy, regardless of one’s ideas of discipline, policy, autonomy, or otherwise, no classroom will be successful with the absence of genuine relationships in which each student feels fully accepted and valued. This “flourishing” creates a sense of community and equal humanity, which can then be fostered within the classroom. If a classroom does not first promote flourishing of ALL students, by no means will it ever be able to focus on activism, humility or diversity; all of these important issues stem from caring for others, which should be at the forefront of every classroom. Regardless of whether a child lives in Pamplona Alta or Santiago de Surco, each child deserves to know that THEY MATTER.

This week, we spent the majority of our time at La Inmaculada, a private school in Santiago de Surco. This school was one of the nicest campuses I’ve ever seen- from over 10 gyms and countless sports fields/courts to having their own ZOO at the school (yes you read that right), I was very overwhelmed. (Check out this to see the school: https://youtu.be/CZt0iIJPOtc) While I enjoyed my time teaching there so much, I could not help but think about Pamplona Alta, the site we visited last week. Lima’s “wall of shame,” which is exactly what it sounds like- built by the wealthy community to keep “young towns” like Pamplona Alta secluded both physically and economically- sits directly on the campus as a constant reminder of privilege. La Inmaculada does wonders, however, promoting community between both sides of the wall, not in the form of handouts or “volunteerism,” but just by becoming peers with children in their communities and equaling their common humanity. There is still more work to be done.

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One of the many fields at La Inmaculada.

We also spent time at our Casitas this week, which is an after school program in El Augustino, and played soccer at our Casitas with MLK. I was lucky to attend the same Casitas each time I went this past week, which allowed me to build bonds with the children and to fully immerse myself in their program. On the surface, our Casitas looks like a different world compared to La Inmaculada; covered in dirt, limited resources, and children from all different backgrounds with a different story. Yet, these children were laughing and playing and so genuinely happy to see us, and the Casitas program structures educational experiences to encourage students to reach their full potential. While the Casitas and MLK program is different than a traditional education classroom, I believe that all educational contexts promote human flourishing through a child-centered education. All educational contexts do their best to provide an enriching education, through differing means and perspectives, to promote growth of each student. While all contexts view what is “best” or “necessary” for the students differently, all contexts do their best to know that each student is cared for at the core of their being.

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The “wall of shame” seen from La Inmaculada’s campus. (On the left side of the photo)

Education, regardless of social class, should be equitable and provide all youth with equal opportunity for success. Privilege itself is a position within a hierarchical structure; it is inherently socially and contextually dependent. This puts the privileged individuals in a position of power that complexly changes through contexts and situations. Privilege must be recognized and be at the forefront of any privileged school, as without this recognition, inequitable and unjust systems will continue without question. Such complacency and comfort must be challenged in order for an equitable educational system to ensue and for community to be successful. If we chose to educate differently, privilege is further perpetuated and automatically creates a distinct divide between privileged and marginalized youth. By educating differently, this idea of “the other” as being a separate group that is less than one’s own is created, thus enforcing class divisions and continuing the broken system of classist ideals. And while I do believe that the educational aims and context must be equitable across social and class lines, the means by which this education is achieved is inherently different. In schools that have privileged students, like La Inmaculada, more resources, funding and support is provided to the school community that allows for opportunity and experience that otherwise could not be achieved. Since they have the resources and support, both monetary and emotional, to deny them of such opportunity is inequitable, thus contradictory to the educational system. However, it is the duty of these schools to provide such meaningful experiences to enhance their activism and care for humanity, regardless of socioeconomic status. This experience cannot be demeaning to the marginalized populations, however; if a school only focuses on the economic aspects, privilege is only enforced. This experience should be utilized to teach students to acknowledge their privilege, provide personal reflection to help students grapple with what their privilege entails, and show the importance of the value for a whole individual, regardless of their background. When experience is tied to education, personal growth is achieved even on the molecular level; we are changed through experience! For example, La Inmaculada has student projects in which students partner with students from neighborhoods like El Agustino, creating a mutual relationship that promotes collaboration and genuine peer relationships. This experience of working alongside those who are less advantaged provides eye-opening educating moments that can be carried through every aspect of their lives. Each child has a unique perspective, experience, and talents that are equally beneficial regardless of socioeconomic status, and through education, each student must be cared for deeply and beyond a school setting. This care for the whole of the person, deeply rooted in Ignatian Pedagogy, must be rooted in every educational setting to ensure success. Both privileged and marginalized youth deserve to have an education that enforces their importance as a person and allows them to flourish through activism beyond the classroom, meaningful peer and authority relationships to demonstrate an equal humanity, and self actualization.

Here in Peru, education is similar to my own educational experience in the United States. It differs drastically from town to town, just like back home, and different experiences, more qualified teachers, and ample resources and funding is provided to schools if they are in a certain district, while literally down the street, a school may have nothing. This is similar to the infamous “Marquette Bubble” that we live in at home. Yet, teachers care deeply about their students and simply want to help them succeed both inside and outside of school. My educational experience here on this trip is similar to service learning and field experience at Marquette. It has allowed for hands-on, minds-on practice to extend my learning beyond the classroom. Thus far, this trip has transformed my pedagogical approach to teaching in ways that I never thought possible. Through experiencing schooling here firsthand, I have been shown the importance of hands on experiences and how it aids in teaching. This taught me the importance of engineering experiences to challenge my student’s thoughts to promote activism, critical thinking, personalized learning, and learning beyond the classroom confides. Schooling is not simply about learning content through a teacher; it is a system that allows us to craft experiences that enable children to flourish. By humanizing schooling, we respect who our students are at their core and through solid relationships, we are able to provide meaningful education for each of our students. Care beyond academics promotes personal growth and allows for student flourishing. A holistic education, or alignment of the mind, body and soul, provides the full, adequate care for our students, but also makes us as educators vulnerable, since we are human ourselves. This humanization of a system that is in place to keep the status quo creates opportunity for mobility and the idea that they are more than a system; they are human and equally able and deserving to a just education.

 

¡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.


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