LIBA 410 Study in Guatemala/SPAN 450/SWRK 275
Briar Cliff University
Heather Craig-Oldsen, Associate Professor of Social Work
Carlos Vargas-Salgado, Assistant Professor of Spanish / Heather’s contact information:
Office Heelan 320, Phone 279.5489
Carlos Vargas-Salgado’s contact information:
Office THTR 209, Phone 279-1638
Global Foundation: This foundation presents an integrative study of contemporary global realities focusing on the increasingly interdependent relationships that are developing within the human community. Through this foundation students will:
- Demonstrate understanding of the global context within which an individual lives his or her life
- Gain insight into their own culture by respecting the cultures of others
- Increase their understanding of significant global issues which are uniting and dividing the people of today’s world
- Understand the ethical and moral implications of globalization
- Analyze the characteristics, development and implications of a topic which is global in scope, and integrate information and ideas on the topic from two or more disciplines
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is an interdisciplinary study of contemporary global realities focusing on the increasingly interdependent economic, ecological, political, social, technological, religious and cultural relationships that are developing within the human community; emphasis is placed on issues of justice and peace. Members of the class will examine issues within this domain through the lens of culture, especially that of Central America.
The course begins with pre-travel reading assignments, research, and classroom discussion on the Briar Cliff campus, followed by two weeks in Guatemala, including
- intensive and individualized Spanish language study at the student’s competency level (beginning to advanced)
- a service learning project with a Guatemalan social service agency (including building a house in three days)
- exploration of social and economic justice issues through agency visits, interviews, and background reading
Week One (January 3 & 4) – POWER RESEARCH: Students will spend two days with professors from two disciplines, preparing for the global foundation study in Guatemala by completing research and participating in class discussions which emerge from the recommended pre-course reading of I, Rigoberta Menchú– An Indian Woman in Guatemala and The Rigoberta Menchú Controversy. Every student will complete a preliminary draft of a ten-page research paper by the end of the second day. All students will submit final papers upon return from Guatemala. (Deadline to be negotiated.)
Week Two (January 5– 11) – FOCUSING ON CULTURE AND LANGUAGE: The first week of the course is reserved for intensive one-on-one Spanish study. Each student will work individually with a Guatemalan language instructor who will develop a learning plan based upon the student’s level of Spanish expertise (beginner to advanced). Instruction is provided in a comfortable setting at a language school for six hours a day. Breaks include food and beverages and an hour at noon to return to the host family for lunch. The curriculum includes field trips to study aspects of the culture and language in Antigua and the surrounding area.
Weekend Multicultural Studies (January 12 – 13) – FOCUSING ON INDIGENOUS CULTURES: The weekend between week one and week two is reserved for group travel and study of indigenous culturesaround Lake Atitlán and Chicicastenango. The excursion includes exploring and shopping at Guatemala’s largest “mercado” (market).
Week Three (January 14 – 19) - FOCUSING ON GLOBAL SERVICE AND JUSTICE: A volunteer service learning experience with the Asociación Nuestros Ahijados (ANA), also known as the God’s Child Project, gives students an opportunity to work directly with children and families and to explore issues of social and economic justice in Guatemala. One of the service projects will be the construction of a house with a poor family. The house will be fully constructed in three days. Students will also explore cultural, educational, health, economic,and social justice issues through hands-on service work, volunteering in social service agencies, visiting a fair trade farm, and daily debriefing of learning experiences from a global perspective.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES–As a result of successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
- Apply critical thinking skills and analyze the characteristics, development, and implications of a selected topic which is global in scope, and which integrates information and ideas from two or more disciplines.
- This learning objective will be demonstrated through an analytical research projectdescribing multicultural social and economic justice issues that impact indigenous Guatemalans, Ladinos (Spanish speaking Guatemalans), and others.
- Reflect on the ethical and moral implications of processes affecting global society, including the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination and the strategies of change that advance social and economic justice.
- This learning objective will be demonstrated by the student’sunderstanding of Guatemala’s social problems and analysis/description of how an individual in Guatemala might (or does) respond with strategies of change.
- Demonstrate an increased understanding of global issues which unite and divide the people of the world, as well as identify significant components of cultures different from their own and understand reasons why cultures differ.
- This learning objective will be demonstrated through a written analysis of the values, traditions, and customs of Guatemala citizens (indigenous people, Ladinos, etc.) and their interactions/interrelationships with international systems, as well as improvements in Spanish language skills.
- Demonstrate an increased awareness of the global context within which an individual lives his or her life.
- This learning objective will be demonstrated through the student’s written and verbal analyses of a specific current or historical Guatemalan social or economic policy that emerges from a global context.
TEXTS: The following two texts are recommended reading before class begins on January 3. The Menchú text is easy to read and provides an excellent description of experiences common to many Indian communities in Latin America today. Menchú won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 for this autobiography. The Arias text provides chapters that very clearly present the varied perspectives on the controversy which was created by the publication of David Stoll’s book,Rigoberta Menchu and the Story of All Poor Guatemalans. The Arias text includes contributions and responses from David Stoll, on the Menchú book. The short chapter format makes this book very readable.
- Menchu, Rigoberta. (1984) I Rigoberta Menchu– An Indian Woman in Guatemala.New York, NY: Verso (Spanish edition for students taking SPAN 450)
- Arias, Arturo (2001) The Rigoberta Menchú Controversy. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
OTHER RECOMMENDED READINGS:
- Coatsworth, J.H., Nuccio, R.A. & Kinzer, S. (1982) Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
- Hannan, Monica. (2007) The Dream Maker (ISBN: 1-893757-59-8) – available used through amazon.com and also on God’s Child Project web site
- Stoll, David (1999) Rigoberta Menchu and the Story of All Poor Guatemalans. Boulder, CO: Westview Press
DESCRIPTION OF ASSIGNMENTS
- Develop a 10 to 12 page paper, uploaded to Angel by January 21 (or other negotiated deadline). The paper will include key points demonstrating the four learning objectives of the course (above and included in the grading rubric). Daily research debriefings will be conducted with classmates and faculty oncampus January 3 and 4, as well as in Guatemala.
- While in Guatemala develop a daily journal of reactions to experiences in Guatemala, including a focus on personal growth and development of multicultural knowledge. Use the journal in daily debriefings.
- Visit five organizations or groupssuch as hospitals, churches, schools, foster care organizations, foster homes, food and clothing distribution centers, mother’s groups, etc. Include reactions in your journal.
ASSESSMENTOFREQUIREMENTS OF THIS COURSE: Assessment will be based upon grading rubrics and the following requirements:
- Discussion of background information on Guatemala, ANA, and social/economic justice issues in Guatemala.
- Presentation of one 10 – 12 page APA style research paper utilizing a minimum ofsix credible sources (books and/or peer reviewed journals and interviews in Guatemala).
- Active, culturally responsive participation in travel, study and service learning in Guatemala (See the rubric for examples of “culturally responsive demeanor”.)
- Daily journaling.
Daily discussion of journal that includes thoughts about culture, social
policies, oppression, discrimination, and organization/agency visits 40
Culturally responsivedemeanor (self and instructor assessment) 40
GRADING SCALE ON WRITTEN WORK AS OUTLINED ABOVE:A = 94 – 100 percent
A- = 90 – 93 percent
B+ = 87 – 89 percent
B = 84 – 86 percent
B- = 80 – 83 percent
C+ = 77 – 79 percent / C = 74 – 76 percent
C- = 70 – 73 percent
D+ = 67 – 69 percent
D = 60 – 66 percent
F = 59 or less
Important Web Sites:
- God’s Child Project : and
Rubrics for Culturally Responsive Demeanor
GUATEMALA SERVICE AND STUDY COURSE
Up to 40 points may be earned for culturally responsive demeanor during the entirety of the course. Students will assess themselves and be assessed on the following:
- is respectful of every person during the journey (listens to others, does not speak negatively of “strange” customs or habits of fellow students or Guatemalans, avoids talking directly with children or touching them without first getting permission from their parents, etc.)
- exercises patience with inconveniences that will definitely be part of the experience (crowded vehicles, waiting, etc.)
- respects the cultural norms listed in the course handbook (appropriate clothing, etc.)
- avoids loud talking in any public places
- asks questions that will lead to understanding and personal/professional growth
- absolutely avoids intoxication (Intoxication or use of illegal drugs during this course will result in an automatic F for the course and is likely to result in the student’s return to the United States, at the student’s own expense.)
- is consistently prepared to present documents (passport, travel itinerary, etc.) to airline staff and immigration officials. Documents are maintained in a safe, secure manner during the trip
- packs appropriately for the trip, within the guidelines outlined in the course handbook
- learns about the local currency (quetzal) and manages personal finances during the trip
- is careful about health and safety during the visit (avoids eating from street vendors, drinks only bottled water, avoids physical contact with children at the Dreamer Center other than “side” hugs, avoids ever talking with children outside the Dreamer Center without permission from parents or caregivers, follows eating suggestions offered in the course handbook)
- completes project and meets course deadlines, and is on time or early for all scheduled activities (airport departures, Spanish classes, meetings at God’s Child Project, etc.)
Student’s self-grade:______Instructor’s grade:______Final grade:______
Rubrics for Daily Debriefings
GUATEMALA SERVICE AND STUDY COURSE
Up to 40 points may be earned for planned and active participation during the daily debriefings while in Guatemala. Students will assess themselves and be assessed on the following:
- Writes daily in a journal and includes thoughts about culture, social policies, oppression, discrimination, and organizational visits.
- Participates actively in daily debriefings by asking classmates about their experiences and sharing significant observations and insights.
Student’s self-grade:______Instructor’s grade:______Final grade:______
LIBA 410 Guatemala Project
Social and Economic Justice in Guatemala
(120 possible points)Expectations / For and A paper… / For a C paper / D or F
Apply critical thinking skills and analyze the characteristics, development, and implications of a selected topic which is global in scope, and which integrates multicultural social and economic justice issues that impact indigenous Guatemalans, Ladinos (Spanish speaking Guatemalans), and others.
(20 possible points) / The paper critically analyzes multicultural social and economic justice issues that impact indigenous Guatemalans, Ladinos (Spanish speaking Guatemalans), and others.
The paper includes five well-documented requirements of effective analytical research:
(1) Thesis–The student’s argument is based on cited evidence and clearly states the “why” of the research.
(2) Analysis–There are clear explanations of reasons or possible causes of the social and economic justice and/or injustice issues.
(3) Research & Support–The thesis is supported and cited with credible evidence.
(4) Consideration of Alternatives– The paper includes clear explanations of alternative or divergent ideas related to social and economic justice and/or injustice issues.
(5) Implications – The paper clearly states the ramifications, e.g. political, economic, social, cultural, etc…of the student’s thesis or argument.
(18 - 20 points) / The paper critically analyzes multicultural social and economic justice issues that impact indigenous Guatemalans, Ladinos (Spanish speaking Guatemalans), and others.
The paper includes all five elements, with no more than three of the elements addressed superficially.
(12 - 14) / More than three elements missing; no critical analysis of multicultural social and economic justice issues.
(0 - 11)
Reflection on the ethical and moral implications of processes affecting global society, including the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination and the strategies of change that advance social and economic justice.
(20 possible points) / The analysis includes a cogent and detailed understanding of Guatemala’s social problems andanalysis of how an individual or group in Guatemala or elsewhere might (or does) respond with strategies of change to impact oppression and discrimination.
(18 - 20 points) / The analysis includes a basic description (rather than analysis) of Guatemala’s social problems anddescription of how an individual or group in Guatemala or elsewhere might (or does) respond with strategies of change to impact oppression and discrimination.
(12 - 14) / No or minimal reflection on moral and ethical implications and processes.
(0 - 11)
Demonstration of an increased awareness of the global context within which an individual lives his or her life.
(20 possible points) / The paper contains an excellent analysis of two or more specific current or historical Guatemalan social or economic policies that emerge from a global context.
(18 - 20 points) / The student adequately describes at least one current or historical Guatemalan social or economic policy that emerges from a global context.
(12 – 14) / No or minimal description of global context.
(0 - 11)
Demonstration of an increased understanding of global issues which unite and divide the people of the world, as well as identification of significant components of at least two Guatemalan cultures and explanation of why these cultures differ.
(20 possible points) / The paper includes a clear, engaging, and research-based description of at least two Guatemalan cultures, focusing on social policies, oppression and discrimination that affect social and economic justice for children and families.
The description reflects a clear understanding of and respect of the positive value of diversity though an analysis of the values, traditions, and customs of Guatemala citizens (indigenous people, Ladinos, etc.) and their interactions/interrelationships with international systems.
(18 - 20 points) / A basic research-based description of two Guatemalan cultures and the interactions with international systems.
(12 -14) / No description of cultures
(0 - 11)
(20 possible points)
Plagiarism results in an immediate failure. / The paper is grammatically correct according to “The Little Brown Handbook” and APA style manual (6th edition).
The paper is 10-12 pages in length (12 point font with 1 inch margins); numbered pages; written in third person; APA style citations; a minimum of ten sources are dovetailed throughout paper; no section comes from a single source; insightful and balanced incorporation of ideas from at least ten sources.
The paper provides clear definitionsofall major concepts.
(18 - 20 points) / Five to seven grammatical or spelling errorsand otherwise meets the basic writing requirements of a well written paper.
(12 - 14) / More than ten significant grammatical and/or spelling errors; fewer than ten sources; no attempt to use APA style
(0 - 13)
(20 possible points) / Student meets the January 21 or other negotiated deadline.
First draft is submitted online by 4:30 on Friday, January 4.
Student participates in all daily research and debriefing discussions.
(18 - 20 points) / Preliminary draft is submitted by January 4 deadline and student misses no more than one research discussion.
(12 - 14) / Preliminary paper is submitted after January 4 deadline.
Student fails to meet negotiated deadline for final paper.
(0 - 13)
Cost information for Study in Guatemala 2013Airfare –Approximate from Omaha / 650.00
Registration ANA –Travel and international health insurance / 160.00
Language school, meals, travel, weekend trip, & family lodging / 1190.00
Administrative fee – Briar Cliff / 150.00
TOTAL (ESTIMATED) / 2150.00
Weekend meals & souvenirs are extra
The total course fee without tuition, weekend meals, and souvenirs is $2,150.00.