Maricopa Educators ‘Hunt’ For Knowledge In Mexico

Published: Friday, July 27, 2018 - 12:23pm
Updated: Monday, July 30, 2018 - 9:28am
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Lili Kang
Maricopa academics have visited historical sites in Mexico, such as the Teotihuacán pyramids.

MEXICO CITY- A group of teachers from the Maricopa County Community College District are in central Mexico collecting information for their classes and research projects. They are visiting Mexico’s capitol and the state of Guanajuato as part of a faculty exchange program.

One of them is a professor researching the Spanish colonial ties between Arizona and cities south of the border: Michael Strong, a sustainability and geography teacher in Glendale.

“My project is really to take a look at the ways that Mexico and Arizona are very similar," Strong said. "We have a very long, shared history.”

He is comparing landscapes in Mexico with those in Arizona, and has found close architectural ties between buildings in central Phoenix and Tucson with those in Mexico.

“The building structures, the style, the plazas, the streets, the building materials themselves ... it’s nice to reinforce what I thought would be true when I actually come and see those things,” Strong said.

Like his colleagues, Strong wants to inspire his students through his findings.

“They like that personal connection, and so when I can share that personal connection with them, it brings the world to the classroom,” the professor said. “I’m a geographer by training and I think that the best way to learn about another location is not to open a book, not to go to an online, but to actually go and experience it.”

The Maricopa educators will also meet with academics from the University of Guanajuato.

KJZZ is licensed to the Maricopa County Community College District.

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