• Latino USALatino USA syllabus


    Term Length: This is a full year course

    Location and Meeting Times: Room122; every day, ninth period (40 mins.)

    Instructor: Myrna Santos

    Instructor’s Contact Information (phone and email):  914-737- 0201; msantos@peekskillschools.org

    Office Hours (Extra Help Hours): I’m available during call back every day from 2:45 to 3:00 and after school by appointment.

    Prerequisites: Spanish 4 or higher

    Required Textbooks: Latino Politics (Lisa Garcia Bedolla)

    Course Description/ Overview/ Objectives:


    This course is an intensive examination of Latina/o American society. Major Latina/o groups (e.g., Puerto Ricans, Mexican-Americans, Cubans, Dominicans) will be studied with emphasis on interaction between these groups and mainstream society, culture, and value change in contact situations, and efforts to deal with prejudice and discrimination. Therefore, the goal of this course is to critically examine the Latino population by exploring their history of conquest and immigration and the construction of the pan-ethnic Latino identity category. Class lectures, discussions, and assignments are geared towards helping students develop a critical understanding of the primary issues related toward the experiences of Latinos in the

    United States. Course readings are drawn from various disciplines and fields, including anthropology,sociology, history, and cultural studies; all of which are augmented with various films, documentaries, and A/V clips. 


    1. Knowledge and understanding of the historical roots, contemporary manifestations, and potential future courses of important challenges students may encounter as they move into the world beyond the university;
    2. Familiarity with these challenges in areas such as cultural diversity and pluralism, science and technology, social interaction, ethics, global citizenship, and/or others; 
    3. An integrated understanding of how challenges often affect individuals and societies simultaneously in many of these areas;
    4. An appreciation for interdisciplinary approaches to understanding contemporary and future challenges.

    Grading Scheme: 

    This course is A – E graded and there are no s/u (pass/fail) options (This statement must be in your


    Method by which grades will be determined:

    i.e., (25% Homework, 25% Oral Participation, 15% Projects, 10% Tests, 25% Final Exam)

    Film & Report: This class has been designed to include a variety of films from various sources in order to enrich your educational experience and make the readings more approachable and real. Several of them have been produced within the past couple of years in an attempt to craft an experience that relates to our contemporary as well as our current state of political, cultural and social affairs in the United States. The majority of them are approximately 60 minutes. You will watch the film and then use VoiceThread to post your answer in no more than 2 minutes addressing at least one of the following:


    1. a) What did you learn from the materials that impacted you and why? Be as specific as possible.


    b)How did ‘the material’ relate to the readings? How did it (or not) contribute to your understanding of the readings?