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COURSE NUMBER: SSCI 330
COURSE TITLE: Quest Mexico
NAME OF INSTRUCTOR: Jonathan Nicolai-deKoning
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3(4 days pre-field lectures/seminars; 3 weeks on field; 3 days post-field seminar)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: The Quest Mexico program takes place over 10 days in Mexico and covers a wide range of topics including peace and justice activism, globalization, Liberation theology, Mexican history, indigenous spirituality, immigration and refugee issues and community development strategies. Relying heavily on the pedagogy of Paulo Friere, the program places a premium on student discovery through lectures, readings, film, interviews, community visits, personal encounters with refugees, migrant workers, justice activists, community development practitioners as well as group learning activities, with additional time set aside for group discussion, debriefing, and reflection.

Same as PHES 330.

Prerequisites: ECON 203 or PHES 201
COURSE READINGS:
  • The Jaguar’s Children by John Vaillant
  • Course Reader (To be provided)
MARK DISTRIBUTION IN PERCENT:
Reading Jounal 20%
Journal 25%
Book review 25%
Participation 30%
100%
COURSE OBJECTIVES: Upon completion of this course you should 
  • a. Have an understanding of the implications of globalization on ordinary Mexican citizens. 
  • b. Gain an understanding of the main ideas of liberation theology and understand how these have arisen in the context of poverty in the Global South.
  • c. Understand the challenges of justice advocacy in the Mexican context
  • d. Gain a rudimentary understanding of Mexican history
  • e. Recognise the importance and challenge of a holistic community development response to poverty and related issues.
  • f. Gain a deeper awareness of and appreciation for the resiliency of Mexican citizens in the context of hardship and disadvantage. 
  • g. have a more strongly developed sense of personal vocation and calling to be a justice advocate and agent of change in the world. 
COURSE OUTLINE: The Quest Mexico program takes place over 10 days and covers a wide range of topics including Liberation theology, peace and justice activism, globalization, Mexican history, indigenous spirituality, immigration and refugee issues and community development strategies.  Relying heavily in the pedagogy of Paulo Freire, Quest Mexico places a premium on student discovery, as explained in this program description: 

“Quest Mexico believes that true education liberates students from the oppression of existing  authorities. For us, the art of teaching is not the transfer of ideas from teacher to student, but the creation of moments in which students make their own discoveries. We assist this discovery by arranging encounters, presenting our students with people, situations, and stories which challenge previously held assumptions about work, about poverty, about consumption, about faith, about joy. Through these encounters participants become authors of their own lives, critically examining their previously held assumptions and rewriting their futures with a new commitment to just living.” (taken from Quest website)

Program delivery includes lectures, readings, film, interviews, community visits, personal encounters with refugees, migrant workers, justice activists, community development practitioners as well as group learning activities. Additional time is set aside for group discussion, debriefing and reflection.


Required texts, assignments, and grade distributions may vary from one offering of this course to the next. Please consult the course instructor for up to date details.

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