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Mexico Cultural Exchange Program at TheUniversity of Maine

University of Maine

Promising Approaches

  • (5) Encourage student participation in leadership as well as campus and community governance.
  • (7) Encourage and support interactions across cultural differences.

Overview

The program provides UMaine students with the opportunity to experience the Mexican University life, develop cultural survival skills, and develop an appreciation for cultural differences.

Students travel with the Associate Dean of Students to a Mexican university during spring break where they tour the campus, attend cultural events, and interact with Mexican students, faculty, and staff.   They work as a team and as individuals in their interactions.  All have opportunities to communicate across cultural differences and to reflect on the cultural, social, historical, and political issues that are raised by their interactions, especially their conversations with the Mexican university students about current events and issues between our countries, and about how their educational experience is structured.  A group of students from Mexico has visited Maine in return, interacting with UMaine students in classes and students forums, as well as informally.

Special Features

Civic Learning Goals

  • Civic knowledge:  Recognize the variety of characteristics and actions of effective, participating citizens; identify and describe the community in which they live; discuss and explore the variety of ways an individual can help solve social problems; knowledge about community affairs, political issues, and the processes by which citizens effect change; knowledge of social movements and strategies for change; grasp and appreciate history and the fundamental processes of American democracy; understand American history and the history of democracy; learn about Mexican education and history and their interactions with Americans.
  • Civic skills:  Apply information to effective efforts to help solve social problems; further develop and use critical thinking skills and ethical reasoning to make informed and responsible decisions; work cooperatively with others and develop effective teambuilding practices; effectively advocate individual and shared interests; public speaking; contacting public officials;  active listening/perspective taking; competencies in achieving group goals; examine structural causes of social problems and seek solutions; pursue an array of cultural, social, political, and religious interests and beliefs; understanding north American and white privilege.
  • Civic values/attitudes:  Willingness to enter dialogue with others about different points of view and to understand diverse perspectives; tolerant of ambiguity; resist simplistic answers to complex questions; respect what we have in common as Americans; recognize and respect the different backgrounds of Americans; develop a sense of personal efficacy; understand that rights and freedoms require accepting civic responsibilities; an affective or emotional attachment to the community; a feeling that one matters, as a voice and a stakeholder in public affairs; social trust; respect for individual and group identities; concern for the greater good; readiness to contribute personally to civic and political action; seeing themselves as members of a public community and recognizing that the community is a group of people who belong to each other because they share both a heritage and a hope; recognizing that Americans and our neighbors both need to dismantle white privilege and press forward to realize America’s democratic and egalitarian ideals.

Contact Information

Angel Martinez Loredo
Associate Dean of Students
The University of Maine
5748 Memorial Union
Loredo@maine.edu

Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools: Education for Democracy