This is one of the two core classes that are embedded in the Penn Model OAS program, a new initiative launched by LALS. In fact, this academically-based community service course (ABCS) is the signature course of the program engaging youth from the local public high schools.
In terms of the overall LALS curriculum and course offerings, students can take this for credit towards a minor or major at any time.
By the end of the course, students should:
• Develop a solid understanding of the challenges to democracy in the Americas with a greater, exploring what democracy means to the region.
• Become familiar with the history, role, workings, practices, successes and challenges of the Organization of American States.
• Gain a better understanding of literature on transformative education, probing and thinking critically about the question what it means to educate for a global democracy.
• Gain knowledge of the OAS’ four pillars – security, democracy, human rights, and development – and how they apply to the region and one country in particular.
• Acquire a deep and intricate understanding of a one country’s history, politics, and economics
• Develop a solid understanding of the roles and responsibilities of being a diplomat at the OAS, how to write and pass policy proposals, how to engage in dialogue and diplomacy with other countries, and how to problem-solve on a global level.
• Serve as mentors and teachers for high school students participating in the High School Model OAS program. In this capacity, students will learn how to design and executive an effective curriculum on important issues pertaining to Latin America.
o Be able to more fully examine their own experiences, knowledge, and interest in societal problems, via participation in class discussions, the Model OAS simulation, and critical reflection of the readings. From this exploration, students should be able to propose and create ways to bring theory into praxis on a problem of their choice.
o Be able to construct well thought-out arguments and express them in class, reflection papers, exam essays, and final presentation.
3 Short 3-4 page reflection papers on the ABCs component of the course (This may change to 2 (5-6 Page) reflection papers. In both students are required to cite and analyze class texts.
One longer research paper related to a class topic or theme, usually pertaining to the OAS and one of its pillars.
Careful design and delivery of an interactive lesson plan for the high school students.
Participation which includes active in-class participation providing thoughtful contributions on the readings as well as participation and mentoring of the high school students.
Students also have to engage in a short theory/praxis activity such as writing a letter to the editor, attending an event, etc. They are also required to submit questions and comments for guest speakers and to mentor the high school students beyond just carrying out a lesson plan on a topic.