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UW, Bolivian Educators Agreement May Lead to International Internships

January 21, 2009

University of Wyoming College of Education students may soon have opportunities to experience classroom life in Bolivia.

Representatives from UW and Educadores para la Democracia recently signed a memorandum of agreement to fund internship opportunities in Bolivia. Other organizations joining the partnership are the Wyoming Partnership for Civic Engagement's Wyoming/Bolivia Partnership, and the Instituto Normal Superior Simon Bolivar.

The agreement identifies additional funding sources for collaborative activities, including internships, exchanges for faculty members, pre-service and in-service teachers, service learning opportunities, and research resulting from these activities. If the groups obtain funding for internships, more specific plans will be formed, says Secondary Education Department Chairperson Linda Hutchison.

"It gives us opportunities to partner with people in different ways," she says. "Students benefit from hearing alternative perspectives to the lives they lead. It also offers another way of thinking about education's role in democracy."

While the official links set up by the memorandum are new, the relationships are not. Through the Wyoming/Bolivia Partnership, Associate Professor of Secondary Education Carol Bryant and others made connections that have resulted in educator exchange visits to both sites, a visit by two Bolivian students to Laramie last spring and videoconferencing interactions among students facilitated by the U.S. embassy in La Paz.

During the recent Laramie visit, Bolivian educators met with students enrolled in math, social studies, English, science and modern languages education programs. They responded to questions developed by social studies education students on a range of topics related to the school experience in Bolivia. Modern language education students served as translators.

Posted on Wednesday, January 21, 2009

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