Students Learn Diversity Through Culture Course
By: DiversityWorking Press
Date Posted: November 01, 2015
News Source: The Blade
Young students in Waite High School, Toledo (OH), where nearly 26 percent of students are Hispanic, are learning about diversity through their culture course on Hispanic history and heritage, according to a news report by The Blade.
The culture course, runs for one semester and covers lessons on pre-Columban societies to present day, with aspects of history, politics, language, and culture, according Josh Flores, a Waite Spanish teacher who is teaching the course. In addition, he said, he will touch on current issues in the Latino community such as immigration.
Teaching the course without a ready-made curriculum, Mr. Flores finds inspiration for his lessons from varied sources. For the lesson on Mayan writing, students watched a video in which an expert demonstrated how to write his name in Mayan characters.
Mr. Flores first taught the course at Scott High School, then introduced it to Waite High School. The fall-semester class is filled with seventh and eighth graders from Waite’s feeder schools for Early High School Opportunity, Toledo Public Schools’ accelerated program for younger students to get high school credit. The Hispanic culture class will be offered to high school students at Waite in the spring, The Blade reported.
Students have been enthusiastic about the lessons in the course saying they wanted to learn more about their heritage. The report quotes one student. “Most of my family is Mexican and I wanted to learn about it,” said Halannah Ramirez, a seventh grader at Oakdale Elementary who said her father was excited she was taking the class.
The course will also be introducing students to the Spanish language because as Mr. Flores said “The majority of the Latino population in Toledo is Mexican, but we have students from Nicaragua, Cuba, the Dominican Republic. We have Puerto Rican students,” Mr. Flores said. “I think it’s really important that students understand that there is diverse culture underneath the Latino umbrella.”
Indeed, the course is an interesting way to expose young students to diversity. “If this course can help them open up their eyes a little bit. ... It’s important to have something spark that interest to acknowledge other cultures. I think this course is a perfect gateway.”
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Read the full article at The Blade
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