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The student news site of Centennial High School - Frisco, Texas

Cen10 News

The student news site of Centennial High School - Frisco, Texas

Cen10 News

A closer look at the Mexican-American Studies and African-American Studies classes

Darren Hu
Mrs.Rosenfeld, African American Studies, Mexican American Studies, AP Government Teacher

We’ve all learned about the impact African-Americans and Mexican-Americans have had on our history through US history classes, however, did you know that FISD offers two classes specifically designed to learn more about the impact of these people?


Mrs. Rosenfeld is the teacher of the African-American Studies, Mexican-American Studies, and AP Government class. The African-American Studies and Mexican-American Studies classes are very student-centered. 


“Most of our assignments are based on the topic we’re learning and we do our own research over that topic.” Senior Valeria Norena, a Mexican-American Studies student, said. 


In addition to being a student-focused, research-based class, students also have a lot of freedom in what they choose to research in these classes.


“We do [something called] inquiry-based learning [where] we’re given a question and we’re allowed to research individuals or organizations we’re interested in and how they play a role in African American history,” adding “Sometimes we learn about culture, and sometimes we learn about history”, stated Senior Alfred Gumbs, an African-American Studies student.


In addition, both classes are structured to be project-based.


“We don’t ever have any tests. Typically we do projects where we put together posters or we do a presentation. For example, today in class we made a podcast.”


Norena expanded on the structure of the classes. 


“We have units of research where we focus on a specific time period or theme, and we do self-paced research on our topics.” 


The focus of the two classes is based on certain themes that research and projects revolve around.


“It’s really to learn more about the Mexican-American history that’s not taught in normal history class, as well as expand on minority topics.”


Gumbs elaborated on the focus of the classes.


“It’s focused on thematic ideas that exist across history, specifically around African Americans and their experiences.”


Students in both classes enjoy the choices and the freedom they have. 


“It’s based on our interactions with the subject and our research makes it feel more personalized. The class environment is nice and allows us to give our opinions.”


Norena also felt similar to Gumbs about the Mexican-American Studies class.


“I like that we do our own research and it’s very collaborative.”


The class has no prerequisites and all rising 10th, 11th, and 12th graders can sign up for the class when class selection season rolls around.


In the words of Senior Alfred Gumbs, an African-American Studies student, “I would suggest to people who are interested in learning a culture that is their own or different from their own to take one of these classes to broaden their perspectives.”


If you have any questions regarding any of these classes, you can find Mrs. Rosenfeld in BB103.

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About the Contributor
Darren Hu
Darren Hu, Reporter
Hello! I'm Darren, a current junior this year, and it's my first year with the Titan Times. In my free time, I enjoy reading, writing, drawing, and listening to music. You can find me around the school involved in Orchestra, DECA, NHS, French Club, and BPA.