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Education in the Americas: Philosophy & Critical lssues (Peru) 

education in the americas - 1 This study abroad experience will combine educational field studies in Peru with traditional seminar meetings in order to link theory, research, and practice. Students will work comparatively between the contexts they are encountering in Peru, which serve a wide range of communities, and the contexts they may know intimately in the US. Specific topics addressed will include [1] the social context of schools; [2] theorizing and distributing educational aims; [3] educational (in)equity, neoliberalism, and school reform; [4] race, class, and language; and [5] approaches to educational change. Students will develop their own philosophy of education, and they will write a comparative analysis paper for a public audience about a critical educational issue in Peru and the US. 

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In Lima, students will spend one week on UARM's campus for language and culture classes and visiting different educational contexts in Lima, including in the La Victoria and Pamplona neighborhoods. We will repeatedly work with Jesuit social programs in the working-class neighborhood of El Agustino, and we will also have three in-depth classroom experiences that each last up to one week: at an elite private school in Lima; at a middle-class, Jesuit-run public school in Lima; and at a low-income, state-run public school in Cusco.

Tentative Itinerary:Copy of PROPOSED Program Schedule- marquette 2018 (002).xlsx

Be The Difference
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This six-credit program (taught by EDPL faculty members Melissa Gibson & Jeff LaBelle) is a comparative study of education in the Americas. Through the combination of two education foundations courses -- Philosophy of Education (EDUC 4540) and Critical Inquiry in Contemporary Education Issues (EDUC 4240) -- we will [1] explore the philosophical underpinnings of varied educational approaches in the US and Peru; and [2] examine issues of inequity (e.g., race, class, gender, language) as played out in educational systems in Peru and the US. Because the course is comparative in nature, we will be using this immersive experience in Peruvian schools to ‘make the familiar strange,’ as sociologists try to do, in order to gain a new perspective on US schooling. Ultimately, we are concerned with the key issues, policies, and practices that are part of global debate about what constitutes a high quality and equitable education in the twenty-first century.


Homestays will be arranged by Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya.


Short-term Program Tuition (Marquette rates) *   $4,260.00 
GeoBlue International Health Insurance *   $76.00
Airfare   $1200.00 
Passport/Visa   $135.00 
Program Fee   $2,325**
Other: $20
Total: $8,016.00

**The program fee includes housing, most meals, all in-country transportation (including airfare to Cusco), all entrance fees to cultural and historic sites that are part of the program and access to the Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya (UARM).


Lima is the much transformed capital of Peru. Sitting atop desert cliffs at the edge of the Pacific Ocean and extending inland for miles, Lima is a city of contrasts. This city of 8.5 million (in a sprawling metro area of nearly 10 million) is at the heart of Peruvian cosmopolitanism, but it also lives and breathes the nation’s legacy of colonialism and social inequality. For the tourist, Lima will be remarkable for its globally renowned fusion cuisine, its distinctive art and style, its dramatic coastline location, and its gentle maritime climate. Neighborhoods like Miraflores, Barranco, and San Isidro will beckon with Limeño delights such as gourmet gelatos, city surfing, street murals, or shabby chic boutiques. But dig a little deeper, as we will do in this study abroad program, and one is confronted with the collision of a rigidly stratified society, packed into a desert metropolis where water and natural resources are scarce. The city center, with its colonial and Incan architecture, will situate us historically, while the city’s impoverished slums will stand as a testament to Peruvian--and global--poverty. Lima is complex, contradictory, stunning, and delicious. It is, in many ways, emblematic of the challenges of ‘development’ in postcolonial Latin America.

Sacred Valley
The department of Cusco and its Sacred Valley is where indigenous and modern Peru collide. Cusco itself, a small city of 350,000, was the capital of the Incan Empire, and visitors are reminded of this around every corner of the cobblestoned city. Tourists flock to backyard llama photo opportunities and Andean craft sellers, and more meaningfully, at sights like Qorikancha, the Spanish Convento Santo Domingo built atop the Incan Temple of the Sun. From the heights of Cusco, which sits at over 11,000 feet in the Andes Mountains, the Río Urubamba Valley (also known as the Sacred Valley) is just a short drive through Andean hillsides (and still high at over 9,000 ft.). The Sacred Valley has long been at the heart of Incan civilization. Today, it attracts visitors with its well preserved Incan ruins, indigenous craft markets, and Incan towns. Ollantaytambo, where we will stay, is Peru’s oldest, continuously inhabited Incan community. In the Sacred Valley, in addition to taking in the breathtaking geography, we’ll wrestle with notions of sustainability, indigeneity, and equity as Peru’s native and mestizo communities strive for economic and cultural self-determination. Of course, no trip to Cusco or the Sacred Valley is complete without visiting Machu Picchu, the ‘lost’ city of the Incas that was re-discovered by U.S. Hiram Bingham historian in 1911. 

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This program is currently not accepting applications.