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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Workshop on Service Learning and Government Documents


Once again, Valeri Werpetinski has outdone herself. She is offering a workshop that I would never have thought of, yet makes so much sense: Using the Government Documents Library to Enhance Service-Learning Courses.

I'm excited to attend and learn new ideas for classroom activities using government documents. Of course, when we're dealing with Latino communities, government documents don't always give the full story, but I'm sure there is a lot of information that we can give students to help them see the issues within the Latino community through a broader perspective.

I do an activity with my students about housing, and I use census data about Illinois counties, including my home county--Clay County--a rural, agricultural county with 1% Hispanic population (according to the statistics). It's a good point of contrast for students to compare to Cook County and Champaign County. There is a lot of information about housing in this list of statistics, and one of the most important conclusions that we reach is the answer to this question: if a person makes the minimum wage i, is it realistic for them to be able to buy a home in X county?

I'm hoping to learn more ways to include government documents in my courses.

Ann

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