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CEDER’s Darin Stockdill collaborates on teacher workshop “Global Intersections: Middle Eastern Diaspora and Religion in Latin America and the Caribbean”

September 12, 2019

The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS) and the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies (CMENAS) at the University of Michigan partnered with U-M Museum of Art to host a four-hour teacher workshop entitled, “Global Intersections: Middle Eastern Diaspora and Religion in Latin America and the Caribbean.” The workshop was the creation of Alana Rodriguez (LACS Academic Programs Manager), Jessica Hill Riggs (CMENAS Academic Programs Specialist), and Rima Hassouneh (CMENAS Outreach Coordinator), who wanted to organize a training experience that highlighted the historic and cultural linkages between the two geographic regions. Bridging the two regions in this teacher workshop was particularly innovative, as they typically receive separate attention in Michigan’s curricula.


To align the teaching of the new content with Michigan’s academic standards, CMENAS and LACS contracted the expertise of the Center for Education Design, Evaluation, and Research (CEDER). In the final session, its design coordinator, Dr. Darin Stockdill, explored pedagogical strategies for integrating the content into multiple-grade curricula. CEDER also produced for each teacher a 42-page packet of resources and “ready-to-go” middle- and high-school lessons based on historical case studies.

“This was one of the best examples of professional development I’ve had in my career,” wrote Barbara Gazda of Hartland High School the next morning. “[We] were given great content and then some ideas about how to teach it.” Referring to how the pieces of information fit together, another teacher remarked, “I loved learning how the different religions traveled, and what the push and pull factors were. Now I understand why my first ESL student was a Palestinian from Venezuela!!”

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Instructional and Program Design Coordinator, CEDER; Adjunct Lecturer in Educational Studies