Service Learning Strategies in Latin American Politics

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Community-based experiences for college students have been increasingly utilized in higher education courses over the last ten years. In the discipline of Political Science, such experiences have been especially relevant as they focus on civic participation, which is directly related to the pedagogy of Political Science. The author has begun utilizing such approaches in the teaching of Latin American Politics. This paper will overview the existing literature (including syllabi as well as professional publications) and will discuss the author’s experiences (including particular service learning opportunities and the linkage between those activities and the students’ academic curriculum). For students in the United States, the study of Latin American Politics presents more obstacles to the application of community-based learning than in the case of U.S. Politics. Specifically, issues of accessibility, language, and others are an advantage within the U.S. context (or in the context of anyone’s own nation). On the other hand, issues of civic involvement and participation are challenging in comparative politics. The author will examine efforts to address those obstacles. The American Political Science Association states that service learning should stress the development of students’ participation and leadership on their campuses, in their communities, and in the larger society. This paper will explore the next level of community service in terms of different cultures, societies, and nation-states.

Keywords: Service Learning, Latin American Politics, Active Learning, Community-Based Experiences, Civic Participation
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Service Learning Strategies in Latin American Politics

Prof. Dale Story

Professor of Political Science, Department of Political Science, University of Texas at Arlington
Arlington, Texas, USA

Dale Story is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Texas at Arlington. His area of specialization is Latin American Politics, with particular attention to public-private sector relations across the region and regime change in Mexico in particular. He has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in these areas, as well as in Research Methods and Comparative Politics. Among his major publications are The Mexican Ruling Party (Praeger Publishers) and Industry, the State, and Public Policy in Mexico (University of Texas Press). He has published a total of four books, Additional 20 articles, 11 book reviews, and 24 professional papers on Mexican and Latin American Politics. In support of his research, he has received grants from U.S. Department of Education (Fulbright Research), the Hoover Institution, the Mellon Foundation, and the NEH. Among his contributions to the profession and to the academic community, Professor Story has been a Contributing Editor for the Library of Congress’ Handbook of Latin American Studies, has served as the President of the International Studies Association-Southwest, and Panel Chair of Department of Education Fulbright Dissertation Reviews. At the University level, he has been a Department Chair, an Interim Dean, and an Assistant Provost.

Ref: L09P1229