UTEP Education Students Participate in Annual Yale Institute

Three graduate students from UTEP’s College of Education studied the daily life of ancient urban civilizations from Africa and the Middle East, the design and architecture of their communities, and the solutions they developed for daily issues during the annual Programs in International Educational Resources (PIER) at Yale University.

Martha Juarez and Michael Lewis, doctoral students in the Teaching, Learning and Culture program, and Angelica Lozoya, a master’s student in Curriculum and Instruction, were among the K-16 educators at the PIER institute in New Haven, Connecticut. This year’s theme was “Ancient Cities, Modern Inquiries: Contemporary Debates Focusing on Africa and the Middle East.” This is the second straight year that students from The University of Texas at El Paso have participated.

Scholars, researchers, policy advisers and field practitioners from around the country presented different classroom methods that can be used to share curriculum for students at different academic levels.

Juarez, a high school science teacher, called the program “a unique interdisciplinary opportunity” that was filled with expert presentations of facts, theories and histories of the scientific breakthroughs that helped shape ancient and modern cities. Among the topics were the physics of the first mechanical devices and tools, and the biology of animal husbandry and agriculture.

She appreciated working with the curriculum and instructional specialist who helped her design a course that used the primary resources provided by the speakers.

“The social and political climates of the times shaped not only the design of cities but the future of societies, the direction of science innovation, and the development of education,” Juarez said. “As an educational researcher, it is important to look outside our discipline to find the connections and inspiration to improve educational research and education for all. This program was an opportunity to do just that and more.”

Timothy G. Cashman, Ph.D., associate professor of teacher education and UTEP’s representative in the Yale partnership, said that the PIER director praised the UTEP cohort for providing “valuable contributions” to the institute.