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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Proposal to Teach a Short, Short Class on Spanish and Social Entrepreneurship in a High School

by Ann Abbott 

My daughter is a sophomore at University High School in Urbana, and every year they have Agora Days:
"Another example of creative freedom is Agora Days, a four-day school week in late February when students, parents, faculty, alumni and friends of the school can teach hour-long classes about a wide range of topics. Students are required to take a number of academic-oriented classes, but classes based on playing sports and watching films or TV series also exist. Students have the same eight-hour schedule on each of the four days. Agora Days has been a Uni tradition since 1977." (From the Wikipedia page about Uni High.)

This year I decided to put together a proposal. Let's see what high school students think about social entrepreneurship and languages. Do you think the proposal will be accepted? Do you think students will be interested in the topic? Do you think I should have gone with something like "Socially-Conscious Latin American Musicians"?

Here's my proposal:

Spanish and Social Entrepreneurship

Are you interested in doing work that solves some of society's most pressing problems? Do you love languages and cultures? This class is an introduction to social entrepreneurship (nonprofits using business practices to create social value) with a particular focus on programs that are linguistically and culturally appropriate. We will study the business concepts of income generation, opportunity recognition, branding and social media marketing. Then we will do engaging activities using examples from the Spanish-speaking world but that can be applied to any language and culture. This is based on a UI course I teach called SPAN 332 "Spanish & Entrepreneurship: Languages, Cultures & Communities."

Day 1. Define social entrepreneurship; explain income-generation; analyze examples from the Spanish-speaking world.
Day 2. Present about locally-defined problems and autochthonous solutions. Do related activities using examples from Ashoka Fellows.
Day 3. Discuss branding. Analyze the branding strategies of Homeboy Industries.
Day 4. Outline the basics of social media marketing. Do a case study based on Radio Ambulante.

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