As a learner, I am someone who benefits from learning from others. Often in our history class we read articles, and then discuss them in class. Throughout the immigration unit, we would read articles, and then discuss them in class. While I learned from all of our class discussions, I learned the most through our DPLA project. I researched the Bracero Program, which was a program introduced during WWII bringing in labor workers from Mexico to help support the farming economy that was lacking in domestic workers due to the war. The argument surrounding this program was that the farms that workers were working for were not providing proper labor conditions, working long hours in the hot sun doing menial labor work. The main argument was that the labor standards for domestic workers were not being met for these Mexican workers, but the Mexican workers were still regular human beings just as the domestic workers that were previously working for the farms. Farms also tried to use bracero workers rather than domestic workers because the labor was much cheaper, but that was not the purpose of the program. As time went on it was clear that the certain farms were taking advantage of this program. There were many pieces of literature attempting to expose the government for implementing a program that was not completely thought out. While the bracero program was what I choose as my own personal research, not everyone in the class also researched this topic.
For this project, each of our classmates were able to choose from previously chosen topics on which they would like to research, analyze, and then bring all of the work together to try and create an accurate and thorough event explanation. Along with creating the event explanation we also had a class discussion about our research. Everyone contributed the knowledge they had gained from creating the event explanation into our discussion which was based on questions asked by our teacher, Ms. Smith, on overall topics about immigration. From this discussion I learned about other people’s research and analysis, and also create my own analysis based on the information they contributed to the discussion. We have many discussions in our class, but this one was by far my favorite of the unit. Almost everyone contributed, and the entire class got really involved in the complicated issues of immigration.
In my last blog post I discussed about how complex immigration is, and about how there is not really a common knowledge basis for immigration because of its complexity. While I still believe that to be true, the complexity of immigration makes it even more enjoyable to learn about. It creates lively class discussions, and creates the opportunity to be able to keep learning more and more about immigration. Due to the complexity of this topic, in order to understand you must be able to listen to others perspectives on it and build that into your deeper understanding, and that is what I was able to do in this unit with the help of my peers.