Baylor School of Ed students travel to Mexico as part of Baylor’s first ’embedded classroom’
When you’re training future leaders for worldwide service, the ability to immerse students in a culture different from their own is clearly a valuable thing. That’s why many Baylor School of Education (SOE) students are spending their spring breaks this week in Queretaro, Mexico — as part of the university’s first “embedded classroom.”
What, you might ask, is an embedded classroom? Think of it as a study abroad trip planned directly into a class as a part of that semester’s curriculum. And here’s the kicker: It comes at no additional cost to these SOE students, thanks to a generous gift from a Baylor professor and his wife. Flights, lodging, food — everything about the trip is covered.
The Baylor prof who made it possible is Don Carpenter, BBA ’81, who now teaches accounting in Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business. But before that, Carpenter served as chief accounting officer for Waste Management Inc., one of the largest companies of its kind in the U.S. He and his wife, Janette, established the Carpenter Embedded Global Classroom to remove the barrier of cost so SOE students can study abroad — inspired in part by their own kids. Paige (BSEd ’11, MSEd ’12) and Evan, (BSEd ’12) Carpenter are both SOE grads, and their experience spurred the Carpenters to try to expand opportunities for other students.
“As a teacher, you are often put into environments where you are serving students from different cultural backgrounds, or who are impoverished and disadvantaged for reasons not of their own making,” says Don Carpenter. “Through experiences in global classrooms, Baylor students can develop understanding and empathy to help them as they teach and influence students of their own throughout their careers.”
More than a dozen students are on the inaugural trip, and the SOE plans to expand the number of trips and available slots in the future. Students this week are visiting schools at various levels in Queretaro, even creating and teaching lessons — a learning experience for both teacher and student. After spring break, they’ll return to campus to put what they’ve learned into focus and consider how it can shape their own interactions with students.
Sic ’em, Baylor education students!