Tag Archives: Science Education

Photographing the Firsts: Maureen Carroll in the Philippines


Maureen Carroll served in the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers to the Philippines from 1961-1963. Carroll served as an English Teacher in Castilla, Philippines. Carroll previously worked for AT&T, who paid H.A. Figueras of Black Star Photography to come to her town in the Philippines and follow her around for a day to capture every angle of her life there.  The photos show her housing, her transportation, in the classroom, in the market, at church, at the beach, and around town.



Carroll lived in Castilla with three other PCV roommates in the home pictured above on the left. The home had a tin roof and was raised on poles above the ground. There were three rooms, a sala or living room with a kitchen, a bedroom, and a bathroom.



Pictured here is the community library Carroll and her roommates fashioned out of the former store attached to their home.



Carroll and other Volunteers regularly used the local bus which also transported neighbors and their animals. Pictured here, Carroll and another PCV wait for the bus to arrive.


pcca_carroll_0004Maureen Carroll lived with three other roommates, Gloria Paulik, Hope Gould, and Anne Wilson. Here, Carroll and her roommates enjoy lunch in their living room.



Pictured here, Carroll prepares her English lessons for her students. She co-taught with local teachers across multiple classrooms at Milagrosa Elementary School.



Carroll and her fellow PCVs taught local Filipino students both English and Science.



Peace Corps Volunteers in the Philippines purchased provisions from the local businesses. Carroll purchased rice from the market and canned corned beef, candles, soap, salt, and other small sundries from the sari-sari stores.



Like other PCVs, Carroll’s connection to family and friends back in the United States came in the form of mail. Pictured here, Carroll checks with the local mailman for her letters.


For more information on Maureen Carroll’s service, read her article “Not For Girls like You: A Jersey Girl’s Journey,” in Answering Kennedy’s Call: Pioneering the Peace Corps in the Philippines.


For more information, please visit the Peace Corps Community Archive website. To use the collections or make a donation, please contact the AU Archives at archives [at] american.edu.

Timing their Training: Scheduling Peace Corps Volunteers’ Training

Before leaving for a foreign country, Peace Corps Volunteers in the 1960s were required to complete intensive training to help prepare them for their experiences abroad. This training occurred at universities all over the United States. They learned a variety of tasks ranging from agriculture and livestock care to language studies. Each PCVs’ training varied by where they attended training, their service type, and other factors.

Peace Corps Volunteers all received informational packets on their training, much like this one from Karen Keefer who trained at Columbia University for her service in education in Nigeria.

Peace Corps Volunteers all received informational packets on their training, much like this one from Karen Keefer who trained at Columbia University for her service in education in Nigeria.


One of the earlier PCVs is Thomas Hebert, who trained at University of California, Los Angeles in June of 1962. Hebert served in Nigeria from 1962 to 1964 educating youth and managing the University of Ibadan’s Shakespeare Traveling Theatre program. Hebert spent a total of 419 hours training for his service in Africa. The bulk of his training program was an orientation on Africa and Nigeria, totaling 92 hours, where he learned how to effectively communicate and understand the culture he would be serving in. Interestingly enough, Hebert also had a total of 81 hours of training in American Civilization and Institutions, which would “[enable] the volunteers to see political events more perceptively, to view the interchange of political interests more realistically, and to articulate democratic values more convincingly,” according to the training informational packet.

Hebert also spent 60 hours learning educational practices for Nigeria, in order to understand how to effectively reach his students abroad. He also had 55 hours of training in the languages of Hausa, Ibo, and Yoruba, the three major indigenous languages of Nigeria. In addition to his practical training, Hebert also spent 43 hours on health training and 56 hours in physical education. The Peace Corps emphasized the importance of each PCV’s health during their service. Lastly, he also spent 32 hours on “Special Features,” which ranged from lectures to documentaries.

Winifred Boge attended training at University of California, Davis from February to May 1965. The program totaled 720 hours of work over a 12-week period, resulting in an average of 60 hours per week. Boge served on the Health Nutrition Project in India, but her training also covered a variety of topics to assist with her transition into life in a different country.


As part of her training at UC Davis, Winifred Boge learned agricultural techniques.

As part of her training at UC Davis, Winifred Boge learned agricultural techniques.


For Boge, the most time was spent on language training, with a total of 300 hours on learning Telugu. Next, she focused on technical studies on health and nutrition, for a total of 200 hours. Following this, she also learned area studies and world affairs for 105 hours in order to understand the history and culture of her place of service. Also required for training was physical education as well as health and hygiene to ensure the health of every PCV.

One of the more interesting areas of study is the topic of Communism for 15 hours total. While each area of study in the information packet includes a description and list of teachers, Communism lacks this information. Even though the Red Scare of the 1950s had passed, the Peace Corps probably wanted to prepare their PCVs for different types of government in the world.


Many Volunteers enjoyed their training because it gave them a chance to get to know fellow PCVs. Pictured here by Boge, PCVs interact during their training at UC Davis.

Many Volunteers enjoyed their training because it gave them a chance to get to know fellow PCVs. Pictured here by Boge, PCVs interact during their training at UC Davis.


Peggy Gleeson Wyllie trained at Brooklyn College from 1963-1964 for her time as a nurse in Colombia. She spent most of her time–a total of 360 hours–in intensive language studies in Spanish. Not surprisingly, the second highest element of training at 106 hours was technical studies, along with 30 hours of health education. Technical studies included techniques in Nursing as well as the prevention and treatment of diseases found in Colombia. Wyllie also spent 72 hours learning the history and culture of Colombia, as well as 60 hours studying American studies, world affairs, and Communism. Like Boge, Wyllie learned “critical appraisal of the developing concepts and organizational challenges of the Communist world.” Lastly, she attended classes in physical training for 72 hours and a general “Peace Corps Orientation” for 20 hours.


After completion of their training, many PCVs received a certificate like this one. Steve Bossi completed his training in conducting Science Workshops in India from University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

After completion of their training, many PCVs received a certificate like this one. Steve Bossi completed his training in conducting Science Workshops in India from University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.


Each training session, no matter how different in terms of location of training, location of service, or service type, served to best prepare each PCV for the challenges and successes they experienced during their service. Training takes into account the culture and society each PCV is entering in order to provide guidance for the most effective approaches to help both the Volunteer and community alike.  

Ripples of Influence

This morning, CNN posted a fascinating article about business life in Lagos, one of the fastest growing cities in the world. To better understand business culture in Lagos, CNN asked Lagos business workers to tweet responses to the question, “You know you’re running a business in Lagos when….” Some of the responses included Nigerians telling CNN the importance of electric generators, proper business meeting etiquette, and an ability for creativity and flexibility.

52 years, ago Peace Corps Volunteer Duane Hudson arrived in Nigeria to assist youth in science education. He educated young Nigerians as they prepared for their futures. Many of his students wrote to Hudson, telling him about their hobbies, their favorite subjects, and what they wanted to be when they grew up. Many wanted to give back to Nigeria with the hope of becoming doctors and lawyers. In one letter, responding to why he liked math, a student wrote, “It is this subject I like in school Since I have wished to become an engineer by profession, and this math is one of its main branches, I liked it much. It also helps the doctors, scientists, technologists, and lawyers in their studies. You can earn your living by teaching math. You can study mathematics for a Ph.D.”

From the time of Hudson’s service to today’s article on Lagos business culture, Nigeria has experienced much economic, cultural, and developmental change. Although difficult to quantify the results of Peace Corps service, the qualitative influence of volunteers such as Hudson on developing communities and individuals makes the Peace Corps an evergreen opportunity for fostering positive change throughout the world.



Science and Math Education in the Peace Corps

“The teaching of mathematics and science is one of the most needed contributions Peace Corps Volunteers can make to the developing nations. The future of these nations hinges directly on their ability to speed technological and industrial development.”

– “Math and Science Teachers in the Peace Corps” pamphlet, circa 1967


“Science and Mathematics Teachers For Nigerian Secondary Schools” Training Manual, Duane Hudson, American University Peace Corps Community Archive.

Since the mid-1960s, the Peace Corps has sent volunteers across the globe to assist in developing educational initiatives in other countries. Two collections in our archive highlight the work done in the field of science education. Stephen Bossi served in India from 1966-1968 and Duane Hudson served in Nigeria from 1963 to 1965.

In preparation for their teaching experiences abroad, Peace Corps Trainees go through a rigorous training process. Peace Corps volunteer Duane Hudson’s training materials contain a daily schedule that has future Peace Corps volunteers take classes all day interrupted only by small breaks for meals and coffee. When teaching math during their service, Peace Corps volunteers must take into consideration cultural and societal differences in how different countries teach and conceptualize math. In 1960s Nigeria, for example, students used a “raised dot,” instead of a decimal point in the center between the two digits. Also, instead of the a “billion,” Nigerians referred to the number as a “thousand million.”


“Mathematics Teaching in Nigeria Secondary Schools and Teacher Training Colleges: Terms and Symbols,” Duane Hudson, American University Peace Corps Community Archive. Compare example of raised dot vs. decimal point in middle of list.











Although there are differences between cultures, there are also many universal aspects of how math and science are taught. Steve Bossi served in India and his handbook recommends teachers facilitate science fairs, staple among many American classrooms. Peace Corps volunteers were instructed how to make rudimentary microscopes for their students to use, an item many American school children are familiar with today. Such cross-cultural education through Peace Corps service is especially useful today in an increasingly global community.


“Science Teachers’ Handbook: Improvised Apparatus,” Stephen Bossi, American University Peace Corps Community Archive.


“Science Teachers’ Handbook: Compound Microscope,” Stephen Bossi, Peace Corps Community Archive.

Duane H. Hudson in Nigeria

Duane H. Hudson

Country of Service: Nigeria
Place of Service: Apapa
Service Type: Science Education
Dates in Service: 1963-1965
Keywords: Nigeria, Apapa, Science Education, United Christian Secondary Commercial School, Tilley Lamp

Accession Date: September 23, 2014
Access: No restrictions
Collection Size: 0.25 linear feet

Document Types

  • Correspondence
  • Reports
  • Publications
  • Newsletters

Finding Aid

  1. Community projects for garbage disposal (Oct + Dec, 196(?)), and home for handicapped children (Aug-Sept, 1964) 
    1. Project notes 
  2. Farewell poem upon occasion of Bill Saltonstall’s departure from Nigeria, by Sally Cyton (Nov, 1965) 
  3. Teaching in Nigeria training materials and Peace Corps Volunteer directories (1963, 1965) 
  4. Peace Corps in Nigeria news items and letter of protest (1964-1965) 
  5. The Tilley Lamp, Peace Corps Nigeria newsletter (1964-1965) 
  6. Nigeria travel and cultural materials 
  7. Correspondence from Nigerians, (1964-1968, 1970, undated) 

Peace Corps Volunteers as Versatile Educators

Education remains to be an essential part of the Peace Corps’ work.  Many of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, whose donations comprise the PCCA collection, worked in some form of education during their service.  The Peace Corps Community Archive contains documents, photographs, letters, and training materials from individuals who served in a variety of educational settings.  Those experiences include classroom teaching, preparing educational materials, producing educational television programming, providing training for local educators, and community development.

Boge Boys 1965

Boge (second row, eighth from left) poses with other Peace Corps volunteers and the boys’ Basic Training School near Hyderabad, India.

Boge Girls 1965

Winifred Boge with students at the girls’ school in Hyderabad.

Winifred Boge served in India in 1965, where she worked with Basic Training Schools for men and women.  The Basic Training Schools educated and prepared local citizens to work as teachers in community schools.  The majority of Boge’s work relied on her training as a dietician to educate teachers-in-training about basic nutrition and wellness.  Several photos of Boge depict her serving meals for the Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) mid-day meal program, which delivered lunch to students who might not otherwise have access to regular meals.

Boge serving mid-day meals for CARE (1965).

Boge serving mid-day meals for CARE (1965).

A different form of education also occurred in India at the Andhra Pradesh Science Workshop.  As Steve Bossi’s experience demonstrates, the group collaborated with local teachers to improve methods used in science education.  Volunteers at the Andhra Pradesh Science Workshop assisted with the publication of the Science Teachers’ Handbook.  A copy of the handbook can be found in the collection.

Bossi and Science Teacher Workshop participant. Written on image reverse: “This little wonder is an improvised spring balance made from a piece of bamboo, strapping and music wire.”

Between 1965 and 1966, Terry Kennedy participated in a unique program organized by the Colombian Government—Colombia Educational Television Project.  The program sought to create educational programming for schools, as well as train local teachers how to strategically incorporate the programming into their classroom instruction.  Stanford University collaborated with the project to evaluate the program’s effectiveness and overall success.  One of Stanford’s final reports is located in the PCCA collection.

Perhaps one of the more unique experiences is that of Margie Tokarz, who served in Antigua during the late sixties.  She worked in collaboration with the Red Cross to educate deaf children.  A set of personal letters document her experiences working with the Red Cross, as well as another teacher from England.

Each of these individuals and their experiences represent the types of education Peace Corps volunteers carried out during their time abroad.  However, these are only a few of the stories available in the collection. If you’re interested in learning more, make an appointment to come and browse the collection.

Stephen Bossi in India

Stephen Bossi

Country of Service: India
Place of Service: Andhra Pradesh
Service Project Title: Andhra Pradesh Science Workshop
Dates in Service: 1966-1968
Keywords: Education

Accession Date: August 14, 2013
Access: no restrictions
Collection Size: 1.0 linear feet

Document Types

  • Correspondence
  • Photographs
  • Reports (Final Report)
  • Publications (Peace Corps in India, Science Workshop, Tourist Brochures, Maps, Training Materials)

Finding Aid

  1. Two “Science Teachers’ Handbooks 
  2. Andhra Pradesh Science Workshop 
    1. Pamphlets/Packets/Booklets 
  3. Correspondence, 1968-1998 
  4. Final Report 
  5. Correspondence 
  6. Instillation of New Nizam, 1967 
  7. Peace Corps Correspondence 
  8. Peace Corps in India 
  9. Photographs 
  10. Restricted 
  11. Tourist Guides and Maps 
    1. Booklets 
  12. Training Materials 
    1. Letters, packets, training certificate