Costa Rica Reflection

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Costa Rica is not only one small yet beautiful country that holds 5% of the world’s biodiversity; its education system also ranked 32nd in world and first in Latin America (Education). From learning about the local flora and fauna to customs such as bambas, education was at the forefront of every one of our activities. Throughout this trip, I grew more confident in my translating skills and realized that a few changes to my teaching practice can result in more effective, student-centered learning. This trip has made me realize how valuable being bilingual is. Since I grew up in a predominantly Hispanic community, I never realized how difficult it is for people to be fluent in a new language. Many people in our group could listen and make sense of the language, some people could read Spanish, but few people could speak Spanish. Being one of…show more content…
In Finca Don Juan, our guide explicitly promoted place-based learning, a method of experiential education. The educational center uses its environment to teach concepts in mathematics, geography, and agriculture. Similarly but implicitly, Ecotec taught us about conservation, deforestation, biodiversity, climate change, commercialization of crocodiles and butterflies, and Costa Rica’s education system. In Sky Trek’s zip line circuit, our group learned to zip line by basis of trial and error. The instructions were shown in the captions of four images, modeled by a guide, attempted by everyone in the group, and our guides would give us pointers at the end of each zip line to make smoother landings. The elementary students learned about how weight and surface area of the wings affect the flight of a helicopter by being prompted the question, “How can you make your design better?” Lastly, the secondary school students learned through project-based learning about the effect of soap on the fat layer of
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