Centro Offers Online Educational Products

Centro has several valuable educational resources, including complete courses and other teaching material, that are available online to provide low-cost or free creative resources that enliven teaching and learning experiences. They are fingertip-accessible to educators, students, researchers and the general public.

Centro’s goal is for website visitors to use these as educational tools in their own classrooms and communities to engage young students in everything from Puerto Rican U.S. history to understanding and promoting cultural competence in various professions.

Dr. Luis O. Reyes, director of education at Centro, said, “We expect the OpenCourseWare Initiative to attract an increasing number of visitors and users to the Centro website and its online information resources, including faculty, researchers, educators, students and the general public. Our primary goal is to increase awareness of the field of Puerto Rican studies.”

For educators, Reyes said, OpenCourseWare can be used to get ideas for teaching about topics related to the Puerto Rican experience. OpenCourseWare is a web-based electronic publishing initiative that makes available online core teaching materials, such as lecture notes, syllabi, bibliographies, literature reviews, curriculum guides, study notes, videos and sound materials related to the Puerto Rican experience in this country.

Centro has made two such courses available. The first, History and Culture of Puerto Ricans in New York City, is an in-service professional course for teachers. The second, Teaching U.S. Puerto Rican History, is content-based teaching material. Both are designed for high school teachers of history, social studies, English and Spanish.

Before it was made available on line History and Culture of Puerto Ricans in New York City, the in-service professional-credit course, had met fifteen times, taught by Dr. Vanessa Pérez-Rosario. Online it is now an always-available resource that covers topics such as the factors that led to migration of Puerto Ricans to New York City, the development of the Puerto Rican community here and the evolution of Puerto Rican culture in New York City. It also includes information on textbooks, other resources for further reading and strategies that teachers can use in their classrooms. Participants are asked to keep a journal in which they reflect on the readings assigned in class and developed a mini unit on Puerto Ricans in New York City. The course is aligned with the New York City Department of Education High School Standards.

You can watch video of the course, which covers a variety of topics including history, politics, culture, and art online. The link for this course is http://centropr.hunter.cuny.edu/education/puerto-rican-studies/history-and-culture-puerto-ricans-new-york-city.

The Teaching U.S. Puerto Rican History course includes a comprehensive overview of the Puerto Rican experience in the United States, with topics such as Puerto Rico’s relationship with the United States, migration and U.S. policies, politics and community organizing. This course is also appropriate for college-level professors and students. It comprises an essay by Dr. Virginia Sánchez Korrol presented in seven parts.

The course includes teacher resources for suggested readings as well as online sources such as Centro’s Library and Archives. The link for this course is http://centropr.hunter.cuny.edu/education/puerto-rican-studies/teaching-us-puerto-rican-history.

The Centro Cultural Competence Bibliographic Database (CCCBD) is another resource that is available online. This collection is made up of published and soon-to-be published works related to cultural competency in four academic fields: public health, social work, urban affairs and education. The CCCBD contains over 800 references to books, journal articles, book chapters, dissertations and other academic papers regarding cultural competence. This electronic bibliographic database has basic citation information, abstracts and indices by author and subject area. The vast majority of works archived have been published in other locations previously, but there is also a growing number of new manuscripts works listed, many of which supplement research reported in publications. The link is http://centropr.hunter.cuny.edu/education/cultural-competence/centro-cultural-competence-bibliographic-database

Cultural competence refers to an ability to interact effectively with a diverse population particularly in the context of human resources, nonprofit organizations and government agencies whose employees work with people of different cultural, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

In the education section, Centro has produced an annotated bibliography containing more than 30 references related to cultural competency in education; a research brief that provides a synthesis of the major trends; and a video which provides documentation of Professor Yvonne De Gaetano's course on multicultural education in Hunter's School of Education. For more information, http://centropr.hunter.cuny.edu/education/cultural-competence/cultural-competence-education.

In public health, Centro has produced an annotated bibliography containing 14 references related to cultural competence; a research brief that provides a synthesis of the major trends in the area; a Master's of Public Health Cultural Competence Individual Assessment survey for students conducting fieldwork, so that they may assess their own cultural competence; a Master's of Public Health Cultural Competence Organizational Assessment survey for students conducting fieldwork; A Cultural Competence Module for use in the classroom, which focuses on how individuals can develop their own cultural competence and how public health work can be approached from a culturally sensitive perspective; a video of Professor Diana Romero presenting major concepts from the module with accompanying PowerPoint slides; the "Considering Cultural Competence in the Context of Public Health: Selected Readings and Exercises" workbook on cultural competence in public health; and the Development of Cultural Competence Tools for Graduate Education in Public Health research poster that graphically presents the Public Health Cultural Competency (PHCC) project: background and objectives, the methods used, and the results and next steps of the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE)- funded project. For more information, http://centropr.hunter.cuny.edu/education/cultural-competence/cultural-competence-public-health.

In social work, there is an annotated bibliography compiled by Manny González, PhD and Alberto Guerrero, MSW containing over 25 references related to cultural competence in several major subfields of social work, and a second annotated bibliography focusing on issues of mental health within the Latino/Puerto Rican community; a research brief that provides a synthesis of the major trends in the area of cultural competence in social work; and a graduate seminar on cultural competence in addressing the mental health of Puerto Rican/Latinas by Dr. Iris Zavala Martinez. For more information, http://centropr.hunter.cuny.edu/education/cultural-competence/cultural-competence-social-work.

Urban planning contains a report, “Cultural Competence in Urban Affairs and Planning,” by Dr. Tom Angotti, Marly Pierre-Louis, Dr. Laxmi Ramasubramanian, Dr. Sigmund Shipp, and edited by Angela Tovar; a bibliographic database containing over 60 references to a wide range of books and articles related to cultural competence in the field of Urban Affairs and Planning; "Taller Boricua: A Lesson in the Importance of Cultural Understanding," a 21-minute video created by a group of graduate students in Professor Sigmund Shipp's Diversity in the City course in Hunter College's Urban Planning Department; and El Puente: Inspiring and Nurturing Leadership for Peace and Justice, a 36-slide PowerPoint presentation with accompanying notes and embedded video clips about El Puente, a community human rights institution located in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn aimed at promoting leadership for peace and justice through the engagement of members (youth and adults) in the arts, education, scientific research, wellness and environmental action. For more information, http://centropr.hunter.cuny.edu/education/cultural-competence/cultural-competence-urban-planning

In addition, Centro has links to several digital education-related projects that Centro has sponsored, contributed a significant number of documents to or collaborated in designing. This is a resource Centro is offering to help visitors link to and access digital primary sources from various Puerto Rican/Hispanic/Latino projects.

One such collaboration is The Electronic Schoolhouse, a bilingual educational resource developed by the New York State Archives, the Archives Partnership Trust, and Time Warner that focuses on using historical records as learning tools in elementary, middle and secondary education. The Electronic Schoolhouse examines the Latino experience in New York through photographs, letters, broadsides, flyers and more, dating from 1861 to the present. Introductory videos explain how teachers can use such primary sources in their classrooms and the kinds of institutions that care for these one-of-a-kind materials. Nine institutions from around the state contributed their documents to the project to bring a Latino perspective to events on the local, state and national levels. Classroom teachers developed the content to correlate with the New York State Learning Standards. http://www.archives.nysed.gov/projects/escuela/index.shtml

Another resource is Latinas in History, an interactive project co-developed by Sánchez Korrol, Vicki L. Ruiz and Carlos A. Cruz. The project consists of a CD Rom and website that offer students and teachers an innovative approach to learning about the role of Mexican-American, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central and South American women in U.S. history. Based on current research, the website incorporates resources and linkages to primary and secondary sources that tell stories about writers, labor leaders, entrepreneurs, activists, healers, educators, artists and others who shaped America’s past and present. http://depthome.brooklyn.cuny.edu/latinashistory/

For more general information on Centro’s education programs, call Dr. Luis O. Reyes at luisoreyes@aol.com or visit http://centropr.hunter.cuny.edu/education.

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