Third Annual Study Tour to Rosario, Argentina

This August marked the third year of the Rutgers Graduate School of Education’s (GSE) annual study tour to Rosario, Argentina under the guidance of DrNydia Flores of the GSE, and Dr. Graciela Tomassini, of the Universidad del Centro Educativo Latinoamericano (UCEL). Nine GSE and undergraduate students, Dr. Flores, and Part-Time lecturer Jessica Hunsdon, traveled to Argentina on a two-week tour that engaged them in rigorous graduate-level courses and introduced them to a marginalized school setting. The group documented their travels and educational observations throughout the tour via group and personal blogs.

The program’s objective is to provide students with an understanding of Argentinean society and the role language and education play in this society. The travelers participated in teaching activities in La Paz Elementary School (K-7) as part of their service-learning course and stayed in the homes of Argentinian families. The service-learning component of the course enabled students to become familiarized with teaching children of low-income status, learn about the teaching practices, and employ Spanish as a medium of instruction. The family stays were critical to increasing students’ knowledge of Spanish and Argentinian culture.

La Paz Elementary School is under the supervision of Professor María Fernanda González. This year’s instructional theme was related to home and community violence (Violence, Abuse, and Secrets), and the materials students took on the trip engaged this content. At La Paz, students were primarily responsible for assisting teachers in teaching and raising awareness about issues related to this year’s theme. The students also learned how to respond to sudden events, after a gas explosion occurred in an apartment building, resulting in more then 12 dead, one being a teacher from La Paz Elementary School.

The participants were required to attend four seminars hosted by UCEL and co-taught by Dr. Flores and Dr. Graciela Tomassini about Cultural Expressions: El Tango, Language and Historical Memory, Rosarino Spanish, and Argentinean Icons: El Gaucho.

Learn more about the program on the Rutgers in Rosario: Summer '13 Group Blog

View photos from the trip here