Dominican Republic Education

Academic CoursesDR - EDU

EDUC 390: Special Topics – Community Focused Teaching and Service Learning (6 hours - Undergraduate)

“The Transforming Practitioner,” the living link between the child and learning, is an educator who is changing internally through understanding, practicing, and reflecting such that, individually and collaboratively, he or she implements for all children appropriate and significant life-changing learning experiences that effectively provide for the needs of the whole child, actively engage students in the learning process, and promote life-long learning.  In this course, students will engage in a hands-on service learning project that is designed to develop the attributes that are associated with “The Transforming Practitioner”. This course is intended to prepare teacher candidates for entering culturally diverse classroom settings and engaging with the various stakeholders involved in the education of children.  Students will work in collaboration with teachers at our host school in the Dominican Republic to engage in professional development related to teaching integrated course content in a secondary setting.  After completing the professional development portion of the course, students will assist in hosting an AgSTEM focused summer enrichment camp for high school students attending our host school.  Mercer students will participate in group discussions, maintain a journal, and complete a reflection paper based on their experiences during this course.  The service learning aspect of this course will assist students with honing skills related to effective instructional practice and supports the service learning requirement for this degree program.  This course contributes to the fulfillment of Georgia Professional Standards Commission rule 505-3-17, Standard Vl (content knowledge to teach biological and physical sciences), Standard Xl (enhance critical thinking abilities), Standard Xll (facilitating independent thinking and decision-making in children), and rule 505-3-01(d), Standard ll (relationship of learning theories to development, and Standard lX (variety of teaching models).  Undergraduate students are not required to have a STEM content focus.

EMAT 688: Service Learning Capstone in STEM Teaching and Learning (5 hours - Graduate)

“The Transforming Practitioner,” the living link between the child and learning, is an educator who is changing internally through understanding, practicing, and reflecting such that, individually and collaboratively, he or she implements for all children appropriate and significant life-changing learning experiences that effectively provide for the needs of the whole child, actively engage students in the learning process, and promote life-long learning.  In this course, students will engage in a hands-on service learning project that is designed to develop the attributes that are associated with “The Transforming Practitioner”. This course is intended to prepare teacher candidates for entering culturally diverse classroom settings and engaging with the various stakeholders involved in the education of children.  Students will work in collaboration with teachers at our host school in the Dominican Republic to engage in professional development related to teaching AgSTEM in a secondary setting.  After completing the professional development portion of the course, students will assist in hosting an AgSTEM summer enrichment camp for high school students attending our host school.  Mercer students will also develop a personalized induction plan based on their professional practice that will prepare individuals for success in the classroom.  The service learning aspect of this course will assist students with honing skills related to effective instructional practice and supports the service learning requirement for this degree program.  This course contributes to the fulfillment of Georgia Professional Standards Commission rule 505-3-17, Standard Vl (content knowledge to teach biological and physical sciences), Standard Xl (enhance critical thinking abilities), Standard Xll (facilitating independent thinking and decision-making in children), and rule 505-3-01(d), Standard ll (relationship of learning theories to development, and Standard lX (variety of teaching models).

FacultyDR - EDU 2

Dr. Carl Davis, Assistant Professor of Education Leadership, Tift College of Education

Dr. H. Justin Ballenger, Assistant Professor of STEM Education, Tift College of Education

Program Highlights

Service Project Description:

The program's service-learning project will involve collaborating with teachers and administrators at our host school, Juan Pablo Duarte, and collaborating higher education partner, Universidad Central de Este, to engage in professional learning and host an AgSTEM Camp for students who attend the Juan Pablo Duarte.  Additionally, Mercer students will participate in community outreach activities facilitated by the Andrew J. Young Foundation and HATponics, Inc. to ensure that the food that will be produced by the aquaponics unit will be integrated into the local community in a sustainable manner.

The Consuelo community, which is located in a rural region of the Dominican Republic adjacent to the city of San Pedro is an area of the country with high rates of poverty. Many of the students who attend Juan Pablo Duarte are faced with food insecurity.  The advent of the aquaponics system at our host school will increase access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and high-quality protein for the residents of this community.  The aquaponics system installed by HATponics, Inc. allows communities to produce environmentally sustainable agriculture by cycling the nutrients and wastes within the system so that the system does not create any negative environmental impacts on the surrounding ecosystem.  This is especially important on islands such as the Dominican Republic where space for agriculture is limited and preserving natural habitat to protect native species is of great importance.

Additionally, our work with the educators and students at Juan Pablo Duarte will provide students the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge in the area of STEM education that will support their attainment of better educational and economic opportunities than they might otherwise be afforded.

This project will support two long-term goals :

  1. Help Juan Pablo Duarte develop an AgSTEM program so that it can eventually transition into a vocational school that teaches sustainable agriculture to students and the local community
  2. Develop a farming co-op that produces sustainable agriculture, provides supplemental nutrition for the surrounding community, and generate revenue to support AgSTEM education programming at Juan Pablo Duarte

DR - EDU 3

Contact Information

For more information, e-mail MercerOnMission@mercer.edu or call (478) 301-2992.