Students from the Baylor School of Education will participate in two study-abroad experiences during Spring Break the week of March 4-10. Undergraduate teacher-education students will be visiting schools and experiencing culture in Mexico and Costa Rica.
For the second year, students are traveling to Queretaro, Mexico, as part of the Carpenter Embedded Global Classroom. The trip is part of a semester-long class, “Social Issues in Education.” The imbedded structure gives students the opportunity to integrate and orient the global experience within their overall Baylor academic experience.
School of Education assistant professor Dr. Lakia Scott is teaching the Social Issues class this semester and will accompany students on the trip, along with SOE senior lecturer and Director of Global Programs Rick Strot and Baylor University Chaplain Dr. Burt Burleson.
The aspiring teachers will visit both a public and private school in Queretaro. Julianne Voigts, a junior elementary education major who made the inaugural trip in 2017, said that it was important for her to learn about the culture and educational practices of Mexico.
“Especially teaching in Texas, we are so closely related,” she said. “Some of the local schools where we teach have more than 90 percent of the student population who come from a Latino background, mostly with families connected to Mexico. What better place is there to learn to identify with our future students?”
While in Mexico, the Baylor students will also spend time at Monterrey Tec University in Queretaro, where they will meet and interact with university students and learn about the higher education system in Mexico.
San Jose, Costa Rica:
Another group of about 20 will travel to San Jose, Costa Rica, on a Baylor Missions trip, led by SOE professors Dr. Trena Wilkerson and Dr. Randy Wood. The trip is open to all Baylor students of any major.
While in Costa Rica, SOE elementary education majors will work in the Santa Elena elementary school, and secondary education majors will work at a high school. Those students will plan classroom activities and present lessons to the students.
SOE junior Alexandria Knight, an elementary education major, is on the trip for the second year in a row. Last year, she had the opportunity to teach a lesson on shapes to second graders at Santa Elena.
“It was such an enriching experience to be immersed in the culture and teach students who didn’t even know English,” she said. “Now I have taken courses in ESL [English as a Second Language], so I think that will help me this year.” She said the Baylor students have planned lessons about Texas and U.S. history and culture.
The missions group, which takes educational items with them to donate to the schools, will also participate in a service project and will accompany Costa Rican students on a field trip. Baylor students will also interact with their counterparts at the University of Costa Rica, and Wood and Wilkerson will give lectures there.
If you would like to follow along on these exciting learning journeys, check out Baylor School of Education social media venues:
SOE sophomore Augie Strauch will be posting from Mexico on @baylorSOE Instagram account.
SOE junior Alexandria Knight will be posting from Costa Rica on @baylorSOE Twitter account.
For more news from Baylor School of Education, visit the Instant Impact home page.
ABOUT BAYLOR SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
Founded in 1919, Baylor School of Education ranks among the nation’s top 20 education schools located at private universities. The School’s research portfolio complements its long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring. Baylor’s undergraduate program in teacher education has earned national distinction for innovative partnerships with local schools that provide future teachers deep clinical preparation, while graduate programs culminating in both the Ed.D. and Ph.D. prepare outstanding leaders, teachers and clinicians through an intentional blend of theory and practice.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.