A Different Approach to Educating Future Educators

“Educational Consciousness” can be defined in many different ways but at the University of California, Riverside, this undergraduate course focuses on helping students learn to articulate their educational journey, empowering students to understand what they have to offer, and pushing students to be effective educators for their community.

Associate Dean of the UCR Undergraduate Education Programs and Associate Professor of Educational Policy Analysis and Leadership: Education, Society and Culture, Dr. Louie F. Rodriguez, focuses the curriculum for this course on his own personal lived experiences and gets students to share their own in every class. This class often provides a space of reflection for students. Dr. Rodriguez makes it a point that students connect to the curriculum, get involved on campus and in the community.

“I came from a community college where I was involved, then I’m now here at UCR but I’ve been shy because I’m still new. This EDU 042 course has helped me learn to step out of my comfort zone once again and inspired me to be more involved in the Riverside and UCR community like I once was very involved back home in Northern California,” said Dulce Martinez, Public Policy Major at UCR.

Dr. Rodriguez emphasized,“Educational journeys have the potential to humanize institutional spaces if educators are willing to listen, share and engage. I want students to recognize that education is not something we passively inherent but we must actively engage in what it could be; we must build with it, and we must struggle with it. Telling our educational journey allow students to become history makers. I want students to become models of excellence for their families, communities, and society. Our students come from a legacy of hemispheric excellence.” Dr. Louie Rodriguez’s publications

The approach Dr. Rodriguez has taken as a professor has made me look at the way I teach things. This reflection has helped me revisit my planning before I host workshops and trainings with youth. It’s also made me want to change my major and join the education program here at UCR. I highly suggest to all educators and anyone who has the honor to help shape the minds of young people, reconsider your approach so that your students’ knowledge from their experiences is always validated and incorporated into the curriculum.

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Rocio Aguayo

Rocio Aguayo

Rocio Aguayo is a young community oriented aspiring educator who has worked as a mentor with Inland Congregations United for Change (ICUC), a tutor with Youth Action Project at local high schools and now a youth leader with CAPS in San Bernardino, CA. She previously took pictures and wrote opinion pieces for the El Chicano Newspaper in the Inland Empire and was yearbook editor-in-chief at Arroyo Valley High School.

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