Canadian Studies and Values Education: a Teaching Experience in Cuban Universities, a talk by Professor Manuel Velázquez León
A presentation of class experiences dealing with Canadian studies. Most of the reflections obtained come from debates with several generations of university students about poems, short stories or historical events involving Canadian culture. For more than thirty years, Professor León has been teaching studies of English-speaking cultures, including courses on the history and literature of Canada. It became obvious to Professor León that those cultural studies not only helped develop certain professional abilities and provided information about cultural or historical events, but also contributed to the values education of students. These experiences were summarized in a new syllabus for Cuban universities and fresh textbooks for students. The theoretical underpinnings of the project were systematized into a book for teachers (Beyond Poetry, 2008), a doctoral thesis, and several scientific papers published or presented in international symposia. A fundamental source to the values education of Professor León's students has been the work of Canadian scholars like MISC Founding Director Professor Desmond Morton and writers like Margaret Atwood, Dorothy Livesay, Leonard Cohen, Patrick Lane, Elizabeth Brewster, Gwendolyn MacEwewen, Emily Carr, and Roch Carrier, amongst many others. Essential goals of the presentation are to describe and summarize the fruits of these experiences of Canadian studies and to honour some of the Canadian scholars and writers who have contributed to the successful development of this teaching endeavour.
A MISC Canada and the Americas event. 12 p.m.