Exploring Social Justice and Education in Panama

Program Overview

Adams, Bell, and Griffin (1997) define social justice as both a process and a goal. “The goal of social justice education is full and equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs. Social justice includes a vision of a society that is equitable and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure.”

This International Field Experience (EDN 592/455) will provide 3 weeks of daily experiences in selected primary/secondary schools and universities in Panama City, Panama and Chiriqui Province. UNCW students will (virtually) partner with secondary students from the Student Research Associates club at the International School of Panama to develop research questions focusing on social justice and education prior to the trip. Upon arrival, UNCW students will visit urban schools in the capital, talk with Peace Corps Volunteers and trainers that work in rural Panama, and facilitate small workshops at suburban schools in Chiriqui in order to answer their research questions regarding social justice and education in Panama.

Program Brochure


EDN 592/455: International Field Experience in Education (3 credit hours)
Summer II, 2017

The purpose of this course is to provide teacher candidates with: 1) active participation in a three-week field experience in collaboration with secondary students from the International School of Panama; 2) the opportunity to meet Panamanian students and teachers during an international field experience; and 3) negotiating an understanding of social justice and education in Panama.

Program Facts

  • Location: Panama
  • Tentative Program Dates: June 26 - July 14, 2017
  • Program Leader(s): Dr. C. Allen Lynn (lynna@uncw.eduand Dr. N. Eleni Pappamihiel (pappamihieln@uncw.edu)


Application Deadline: February 22, 2017

  • To apply, log in at: https://itsappserv02.uncw.edu/ intprogapp/ and select your program of choice
  • A $500 non-refundable deposit is due at time of application


Students are eligible to apply for this program if they meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Degree-seeking student
  • Good judicial standing
  • 2.50+ GPA at time of application
  • Permission of the instructor. Students will be required to submit an essay explaining their goals and objectives in participating in the study abroad offering.


Panama is a country on the isthmus that links Central and South America. The man-made Panama Canal cuts through its center, creating an essential shipping route between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. We will be visiting Panama City, followed by an excursion to the Chiriqui Province. Students will be traveling to various schools and universities during this time, as well as going on side excursions to tourist sites.

Program Activities & Features

  • The Panama Canal
  • Casco Viejo, Panama City
  • Zip lining
  • Rock climbing
  • Whitewater rafting
  • Island trip: snorkeling and hiking
  • Bird watching
  • Coffee tour plantation
  • Cangilones: mini-canyon
  • Horseback riding
  • Whale watching
  • Hiking: birding, waterfall
  • Sea kayaking
  • Volcan Baru sunrise hike

Estimated Program Fee: $1,694.38

Program Fee Includes:

  • Round-trip airfare from ILM to Panama
  • Panama Canal Tour
  • Coiba National Park entrance fee
  • Local transportation

Additional Costs: (not included in program fee):

  • Optional program activities/trips

Other Information

  • Federal and state financial aid may be applied toward this program. Even if you are normally ineligible for financial aid, you should submit a financial aid application (FAFSA). You may find that you are eligible for additional funding.
  • UNCW students may also apply for a UNCW Education Abroad Grant and additional study abroad scholarships. Grant applications and additional information are available at: www.uncw.edu/international/abroad/aid.htm