AC213 is the new Gateway Course for Latina/o Studies.
In the Spring of 2004, Professor María Montoya and Professor María Cotera received a grant from the Gilbert Whittaker Fund for the Improvement of Teaching to redesign the Gateway Course for Latina/o Studies. In the past, Introduction to Latina/o Studies was taught by a single instructor and usually offered a disciplinary assessment of Latina/o Studies that largely corresponded to the instructor's field of expertise: If the instructor's specialty was literary studies, then the reading list generally consisted of literary works; if the instructor was trained in the social sciences, then the reading list generally conformed to the major works in that field. Sensing that this pedagogical
model greatly diminished the breadth of scholarship on Latina/o communities and put entirely too much emphasis on a singular disciplinary approach,
Dr. Montoya and Dr. Cotera proposed a new interdisciplinary course that would more adequately reflect the diversity of the field and promote new ways of thinking about teaching and learning. AC213 Introduction to Latina/o Studies will offer a unique experience for class participants, one that will teach them more about Latina/o culture and introduce them to key faculty in Latina/o Studies. In Fall 2009, Professor Anthony Mora continued this tradition when he took over teaching AC213.
AC213 takes a collaborative approach to teaching and learning. The basic shape of the course was designed collaboratively with Latina/o faculty working in a variety of scholarly fields. AC213 is organized around a series of guest lectures given by faculty at the University of Michigan and beyond. To provide a structured approach to these lectures, the course has been divided into individual learning Units each of which explores an aspect of the Latina/o experience and features one or more guest speakers.
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The assignment structure for AC213 is designed to encourage and accommodate a variety of learning styles, creative abilities, and interests. Over the course of the semester, students will complete a series of assignments that contribute to a final project due at the end of the term. Students have a number of options for their final project: they can work collaboratively on a web-based project, work in small groups on an activism project, or volunteer with a community service organization and write a reflection paper.
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