Schoolteachers head to Cuba for summer institute

March 19, 2014 8:45 AM

Jamie Logan

Havana is the site of the Cuban Culture and Society Summer K-12 Teacher Institute, offered by the Stone Center for Latin American Studies from June 21 to July 5. Participants — who may be current teachers, pre-service teachers or librarians serving in a school or public library — will explore the sights and sounds of the island nation.


K-12 teachers will explore Cuba this summer through a two-week study abroad program offered by the Stone Center for Latin American Studies. (Photo from the Stone Center)

“It’s a unique opportunity for educators to experience Cuba,” says Denise Woltering Vargas, manager of educational and community programs for the Stone Center at Tulane University. 

The Stone Center has designed a program to engage teachers of any subject with Latin America.  The course will allow teachers and librarians to meet Cuban scholars, visit plantations, explore the site of the Bay of Pigs invasion and learn about architectural preservation in Cuba. Participants will develop lesson plans to be used in their own classrooms or in a library program.

“We’re not spending too much time in the classroom,” said Vargas. “We plan to bring teachers to afterschool and art programs to learn how arts are integrated into the Cuban education system.”

Vargas anticipates that teachers will gain a new understanding of the historical connections between Louisiana and Cuba.

The course Cuban Culture & Society (LAST 3130) will be taught by Latin American studies professor of practice Annie Gibson

“It will be a learning lab for teachers to delve further into what they are already teaching,” said Vargas.

The itinerary will be modified to best fit those selected, and all participants will receive a grade, three credit hours and a certificate upon conclusion of the course.

The cost of the program is $3,900. Complete applications (application form, copy of sample lesson plan, copy of passport and two recommendation letters) and a $150 deposit are due by March 28. Knowledge of the Spanish language is not required.

Jamie Logan is a first-year Newcomb-Tulane College student.

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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000