Friday, November 6, 2009

Me 'n Che, man! We're tight!

That's right! I've been granted permission by the US government to do research in Cuba! So, for eight days, over the week of the arguably capitalist holiday of Thanksgiving, I will be observing and researching teaching practices in one of the last Marxist strongholds. It's been an iffy process at times, getting all the documents put through, but its all finally approved and tickets have been purchased.

My research is going to center around how Cuban teachers choose to teach students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Cuba has the highest achieving primary level students in Latin America, and I want to know more about why this is when they have faced so many material disadvantages.

I've chosen to travel through Miami, FL, even though I could have gone through somewhere even warmer (like Cancun, Mexico) but I want to document what it is like to go through the US Customs and Border Control directly before and after being in our estranged neighbor nation.

I'm busy researching socialism, socialist education, children's cognitive development, compensatory teaching methods, etc. A big issue will be how to define disadvantage...material, health, intellectual, cultural, lingual, nutritional, etc. etc. Hopefully this research will be able to be combined with research in Honduras (and maybe Brazil?) and DC Public Schools to become my Masters thesis.

I promise to keep you all apprised and to post pictures and impressions of a land so many North Americans aren't allowed to visit.

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