Take-Aways and Highlights From the 2019 AHA Conference

With this year’s American Historical Association (AHA) conference being hosted by Chicago, it was a perfect reason to return to a city I haven’t visited since the late 1990s (it’s a great place and I will be back for a Cubs game this season)! What’s more, attending the conference is a great way to start the new year.

In case you aren’t familiar with the AHA, it is:

“…the largest professional organization serving historians in all fields and all professions. The AHA is a trusted voice advocating for history education, the professional work of historians, and the critical role of historical thinking in public life.”

In this spirit of professional collaboration, I am happy to share some experiences and thoughts about the 4 days of professional learning and growth.  Of course, the next step is to start acting on and applying those take-aways before they are lost in the post-conference return to “normalcy” of our work and personal lives. Enjoy exploring and connecting and  I hope to see you in New York for the 2020 conference next January.

(You still have time for the call for proposal  due February 15th!) 

 

 

Themes From My Experience at AHA 2019

Below, I have structured my highlights under headings which I think will facilitate your browsing.   Of course, with nearly 300 sessions, poster exhibits, receptions, and workshops there was much more going on than what I have selected below.  Regardless, I am sure you will find something of note to explore and share with your network.

  • K-12 Education

Did you know that public school teachers in the city that hosts the conference can attend for free? That’s incredible.  I am very happy to see the number of K-12 teachers growing at  the AHA conferences and feel that collaboration across K-16 benefits students.

I met Jason Herbert who is the creator Historian At The Movies  a twitter community that get’s together online Sunday night at 8:00 pm EST.  To connect use #HATM  and join this group when you can (they were fun at happy hour).  Next  up this weekend: Monty Python and the Holy Grail.


 

The Conference had multiple teaching workshops which focused on instruction, assessment, and answering the “Why” regarding the study of history. One thing to remember, if a university/college doesn’t require a history course, then the experience of formal history education is in the hands of high school teachers. The AHA provides resources for these topics

  1. Why Study History 
  2. Tuning the History Discipline
  3. Criteria for Standards in History/Social Studies/Social Sciences (updated 2019)
  4. Guidelines for the Preparation, Evaluation, and Selection of History Textbooks

Also, I look forward to reading these two new books both suggested by teachers.

  1. Why Learn History (When it is already on your phone)  by Sam Wineburg
  2. How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States by Daniel Immerwahr

 

  • Conference Inspiration and Words of Wisdom

Whether from a presenter, my AHA colleagues, or an exhibition table, I found these quotes related to the teaching and learning of history to be worth internalizing.

  1. “We like history.  We thrive on complexity.”
  2. “Memory requires that we possess stories and narratives that link facts to ways that are both meaningful and truthful.”
  3. “Make what you are using intellectually good!”
  4. “Doing well in history prepares you to succeed in school.”
  5. “Historians typically don’t have a lot information.  We work with what we have.”
  6. “History is a story constrained by the dictates of evidence; when the evidence changes, so must the story.”

You can also see the AHA 2019 Presidential Address by Mary Beth Norton below:

 

  • Digital Resources  and Advocacy

Do you know about the collection of digital resources available online for educators?  I didn’t either.  Organized by “Classroom Materials”  and “Approaches to Teaching.” Here “you will find materials you can use in designing your own courses: syllabi, reading lists, sample assignments, course modules, etc. These are organized thematically, by resource type, and by the project or initiative that created the resource.”

If you want to contribute to the collection, contact Elyse Martin at emartin@historians.org with questions, comments, or recommendations.

Also, the AHA authors statements and announcements  that support the profession. The statement below was shared at the conference and is a follow up to previous work on Wang’s behalf.Image result for xiyue wang

“One historian who cannot be with us tonight is Xiyue Wang, a PhdD student at Princeton
University. He is imprisoned in Teheran, convicted on what the AHA believes to be groundless charges of espionage. The AHA reiterates its support for Mr Wang and once again calls on the Iranian authorities to release him from prison and allow him to
resume his life and career.”

 

Looking Ahead and Around

History conference goers (veteran and rookie) can get their fix a few times in 2019:

  1. NCHE (National Council for History Education) , March 14-16, Washington DC
  2. Teaching History Conference, May 3-4, Los Angeles
  3. WHA (World History Association), June 27-29, Puerto Rico
  4. AHA (American Historical Association), Jan. 3-6 2020! New York City NEVER TOO EARLY TO MAKE YOUR PLANS!

And you can always join a robust weekly twitter chat, #sschat, every Mondays from 7-8pm EST.  I love the group’s tagline “connect globally & teach locally.”  The 2019 calendar for chat topics can be seen here.

There is also the The International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in History.  From their website,

“Membership in the society is free and entitles members to participate in Online conversations by commenting and leaving posts, and to receive an electronic newsletter highlighting developments, trends, and projects in the field.

If you would like to be part of the ISSOTL in History Community and receive our newsletter or have information upcoming events, projects, etc. that you would like to share, email dpace@indiana.edu.”

The Alliance for Learning World History at the University of Pittsburgh has redesigned their website and is a collaboration of educators and history scholars organized to advance the teaching and learning of world history in classrooms—in the U.S. and in every part of the world.  ALWH links leading practitioners in world history scholarship, curriculum, teacher preparation, professional development, and educational research.

History News Network is currently hosted by George Washington University and is dedicated ” to help put current events into historical perspective. ” What a fantastic idea!  Each week HNN features up to a dozen fresh op eds by prominent historians and receives about 300,000 page views per month.  It is really a fantastic and dynamic resource.  Have fun exploring all its features.

The History Teacher has been published by the the Society for History Education since 1967,the same year Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band was released!  The journal seeks to “to improve the learning experience in the history classroom” and is a rich publication for secondary and higher education.

Lastly, check out this free, online digital history resource “US History in a Global Context.”   It  is a dynamic resource that addresses the scarcity of professional development programs dedicated this approach.  Additionally, the resources we have assembled are designed to inspire your creativity and develop your thought leadership as an advocate for this approach to teaching U.S.History.

Have a great semester!

 

A Real World Resolution for 2019

I made a resolution about 5 years ago (or more, I forget at this point) that was a response to what has become a standard expression in education.  The decision to eliminate this expression was motivated by a long standing belief that educators must be the prime advocates for teaching and learning, students, and the profession in toto.

Here is the expression I have stopped using in conjunction with practices and discussions about contemporary teaching and learning:  “In the real world.”

Some of the more frequent these applications of this phrase by administrators, teachers, students and educational companies include.

  • “We must prepare kids for the real world.”
  • “The class should be connected to the real world.”
  • “Real world assessments are needed for…”

And there are other uses too. Think about it – have you heard “real world” used by educators? Is it something you say? This post shares some reasons that I hope you find compelling to shift your language, eliminate the “real world” phrasing, and make it a point to encourage colleagues, your network, and anyone else to do the same. Here’s why…

The WHY? behind moving away from “the real world”

I am a fan of saying what you mean. I am also a fan of thinking about the meaning of what has been  said.  The “real world’ phrase has both connotations and denotations which need to be analyzed. This practice, critical analysis, is summarized by psychologist/linguist Dr. James Gee in his work An Introduction to Discourse Analysis: Theory and Method.

“Critical approaches…go further and treat social practices not just in terms of social relationships, but, also in terms of their implications for things like status, solidarity, the distribution of social goods, and power…”

Language and discourse are social practices and it is important to think about what we as educators say. For example, Ron Ritchhart makes the case in Cultures of Thinking by exploring 6 components of language use in schools noting the import of “Using a language of thinking that provides students with the vocabulary for describing and reflecting on thinking.”

So, what are the implications of using the phrase “the real world”?

  1. The content you are learning in school is good only in the walls of the classroom.
  2. Learning ends with the bell and is confined to “school time.”
  3. The “real world” is only out there and the experience of school (13 years of it) are devalued as they are not part of that “real world.”
  4. Teaching is an isolated practice relegating teachers as gatekeepers to the next level of “unreal world” – school.

Ultimately, the use of “real world” highlights a conceptualization of school as a detached experience separate from what happens when students are not at school. Please note that I do not believe educators use the phrase intentionally as a pejorative expression.

However, I do argue that its use is a detriment to our field.   The good news is that there are easy pivots we can make  that remove the implied meaning and message listed above.

Alternates and applications to “the real world” phrasing

When you consider just some of the obstacles schools face – achievement gaps, expressing the value of an education, student engagement, conveying the purpose of studying a specific subject, parent involvement, shifts to instruction and assessment – we are reminded just how difficult teaching is.  Being able to articulate that the time being spent in school has explicit relevance to the time spent outside is essential.

The good news is that there alternatives.  The better news is that I have seen the alternatives being used with greater frequency and making that pivot away from such self-defeating statements like:

  • “We must prepare kids for the real world.”
  • “The class should be connected to the real world.”
  • “Real world assessments are needed for…”

Of course I am happy and support the changes the applications above are seeking: to pivot educational experiences away from traditional learning (lecture, teacher centered, one size/way teaching, etc.).  I am aware that not all educators and students recognize the implied outcomes I identified. But if language is a key aspect or driver in education as Gee and Ritchart note, then it makes sense to change our practice. In short, these expressions and phrases are better:

  • Learning that prepares you for the present and future
  • Assessments that will utilize authentic audiences and/or contexts
  • Experiences that will explore current issues
  • Develop your understanding of the yourself, the community, and the world

To reinforce my claims, the alternatives I provide remove the negative implications coming from “real world.”   The expressions convey explicit intention and value, empower educators and students to act, and remove a fabricated divide between life at school and life not at school. Let’s explore these ideas a bit further!

The real world re-defined as “school.”

As I wrote the title of this section I thought with a wry smile “wow a novel idea.”   I am not sure when, where, or why the disconnect happened or gained popular use. Does the real world really start in your 20s?  No, it happens all the time. But, the items below are just a sample of what is out there supporting the claim that defines school as a disconnected place with learning experiences that are irrelevant:

But when I think about what is being written in these pieces, I conclude that these authors may not know of programs that empower students with knowledge, skills, and dispositions that are valuable both in and beyond school.  These ways of teaching and learning come to mind:

That is a great list.  Where they intersect is, in my view, best summed up with this statement:

“The practices of forming students’ individual world views, identities, and values, developing their skillsets, and applying knowledge are all “real world”  activities done in school”

Being explicit about these as outcomes and objectives to education is essential. Indeed, the least real world experience students have is the taking of a multiple choice test as a summative assessment.  Yes, I know they exist outside of school (driving tests always get cited by proponents) but think about your own non-multiple choice filled lives (see video).

Thankfully, schools continue to articulate the benefits of current education through the development of “Portrait of a Graduate” visions and models.  This is being done largely by and imitative by  Battelle for Kids.  Their goal is:

By 2021, 21 percent of school systems across the United States are engaging with their communities to develop and implement a Portrait of a Graduate.

This establishes a common vision of what all students should know and be able to do to succeed in college, careers, and citizenship in the 21st century. We hope to reach a tipping point that creates positive momentum toward transforming educational opportunities for all students.

I have shared some of my favorite portraits below but be sure to check them all out here.  And note… they don’t have to use the phrase “real world”, because they frame teaching and learning, and time at school as relevant and valuable for the present and future in and beyond school.

Have a great 2019!

Jefco-Pog

shelby

 

humboldt-fullsize

VBCPS

8 Questions With the Religious Freedom Center

This weekend I re-watched President Obama’s eulogy  for South Carolina state Senator Clementa Pinckney, who was one of nine victims in the June 17, 2015, shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. If you haven’t watched, it I have included the complete eulogy below. Amazing Grace indeed.

 

Empathy, knowledge,  goodness toward the “other”, open minds and hearts…  all of these are traits and behaviors  to seek and internalize – especially for our students.  To help with this, I recently had the pleasure of asking Benjamin Marcus, Religious Literacy Specialist with the Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute to share his work and offers ideas about how educators can connect with the center.

Ben has authored articles for EdWeek which provide a concise summary of how we approach religious literacy work in teachers’ lessons as well as six guidelines for teaching about religion.

Our exchange is below.  Be sure to share this post with your network and reach out to Ben to see how teachers and students in any class can be better prepared in a diverse, interconnected globalized world. Enjoy!

 

1) Can you provide an overview of how the Religious Freedom Center came to be?

We owe our existence to Dr. Charles Haynes. We are indebted to his decades of experience gathering religious, civic, and educational organizations—from across the political, ideological, and religious spectrum—to write consensus statements and guidelines about religious freedom and the study of religion in public schools. Dr. Haynes and his Benjamin P.colleagues recognized the need to provide clarity about religion in public schools amidst the culture wars of the 1980s and 1990s, which followed a number of U.S. Supreme Court decisions about religion and education in the 1960s. Our Center inherited and builds on the legacy of the consensus documents compiled by Haynes.

Reorganized in 2010 to expand on religious liberty initiatives begun by Dr. Haynes at the First Amendment Center in 1994, the Religious Freedom Center is a nonpartisan national initiative focused on educating the public about the religious liberty principles of the First Amendment.

We are pleased to be part of the Freedom Forum Institute family, which is the educational and outreach partner of the Freedom Forum. The Freedom Forum—dedicated to free press, free speech, and free spirit—is a nonpartisan foundation that champions the five freedoms of the First Amendment.

 

 

2) What are some of the connections among the USA’s founding, religion, and public education?

It is impossible to tell an accurate history of public education in the United States without talking about religion. For a compelling, clear history of the relationship between religion and public education, I refer people to Between Church and State: Religion & Public Education in a Multicultural America by James W. Fraser. In the book, Fraser Related imagedescribes how public education pioneer Horace Mann designed common schools—early versions of today’s public schools—as a site of a “tolerant” form of “religious education” that would be appropriate in a multi-religious nation. Since Mann’s work in the 19th century, Americans have sought to create public schools that are more and more inclusive of students of all religions and none. We have seen schools transition from curricula that favor Protestants of various denominations in the 19th century; to schools that assume a student population of Protestants and Catholics (and sometimes Jews) in the early- to mid- 20th century; to schools from the 1960’s to today that wrestle with what it means to neither favor nor disfavor religion, including any particular religion, or non-religion.

 

 

3) How do you reply to claims that religion should not be part of public education?

We differentiate between teaching religion  confessionally to make students more or less religious, and teaching about religion academically so that students understand how religion operates in private and public life. Teaching religion is unconstitutional, whereas the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed the legitimacy of teaching about religion. In the landmark decision Abington v. Schempp (1963), Justice Tom Clark wrote:

It might well be said that one’s education is not complete without a study of comparative religion or the history of religion and its relationship to the advancement of civilization. It certainly may be said that the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities. Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment.

At the Religious Freedom Center, we are convinced that education about religion is not only constitutional; education about religion is necessary for understanding the world around us, whether or not we are religious ourselves.

 

4)  Yes, the distinction between teaching religion as dogma and as an academic pursuit.  In turn, how does the study of religion support efforts by schools to implement global citizenship and cultural competency programs?

According to the American Academy of Religion’s 2010 guidelines for teaching about religion, religious literacy is defined as “the ability to discern and analyze the intersection of religion with social, political, and cultural life.” This definition inextricably links the study of religion with the study of culture. If our students are to understand history or contemporary politics and culture, they must understand religion and the relationship between religious communities. If students are to live productive, respectful lives in a religiously diverse democracy and an increasingly interconnected world, they need to know about how religion motivates and sustains people in a fractured era. Students—who may be religious or atheists, who may live in deeply religious communities or pervasively secular cities—also need to recognize that not everyone belongs to a religious community.

The academic study of religion will enrich schools’ efforts to cultivate students’ global competency and cultural literacy. We do not expect schools to create standalone religion courses. Instead, we hope that schools will think about how to integrate the study of religion in existing curricula. For example, think about how much richer a lesson about the American Civil Rights Movement or the partition of India would be if students consider the religious forces at work.

 

5) Please share some successes you and the Religious Freedom Center have had in the K-12 education world.

We are delighted that the National Council for the Social Studies approved the Religious Studies Companion Document as an official part of the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards in June 2017. This document is the first of its kind adopted by a major national education organization. Teachers and administrators can refer to the guidelines to learn about the disciplinary concepts and skills related to the academic study of religion that students should master by the time they graduate high school.

This was a collaborative effort of an eight-person writing team, a thirty-person advisory committee, and our partners at the American Academy of Religion. I was proud to chair the writing committee of that document in my capacity at the Religious Freedom Center, and I am thrilled to see that some districts around the country have already begun to align their curricula with the guidelines.

6) The Pew Center’s 2014 study on religious affiliation in the USA is pasted above. If a teacher,department, or school wants to get involved with you, what are the opportunities to do so?

We provide a number of training opportunities and curricular resources for K-12 educators. Educators might enroll in a graduate-level, semester-long class with the Religious Freedom Center designed to train teachers to teach about religion. If they do not have time for a semester-long class, they might choose to logon to our professional development website, Constitution2Classroom.org. There they can enroll in our free, on-demand, self-paced professional development modules, each of which take roughly one hour to complete and include videos, readings, interactive games, and reflection questions. Our online modules cover topics related to religious freedom concerns in schools, religious literacy, and civil dialogue.

Teachers might also choose to arrange a consultation between the Center and their department, district or school. We often organize live professional development workshops—at your school, in the Newseum, or via Zoom.

If educators are interested in working with us in a way not listed here, we encourage them to reach out to us so that we can discuss their request in greater detail.

Last but not least, we encourage educators to visit our website, ReligiousFreedomCenter.org, to access free guidelines, consensus statements, and classroom resources about religion and public education.

 

7) What’s on the horizon for the Religious Freedom Center in the immediate future and beyond?

This summer the Religious Freedom Center has partnered with the National Council for the Social Studies to offer a Religious Studies Summer Institute from July 10-12 in Washington, DC. Participants will broaden their professional competence with the disciplinary concepts and tools of religious studies, and they will increase their confidence in teaching about religion in constitutionally appropriate ways. Educators can register online.

We are also pleased to work with the Society of Biblical Literature to create academically rigorous and constitutionally appropriate lesson plans about the Bible and related topics for U.S. history and world history Image result for freedom center dcclassrooms. SBL is the world’s largest association of scholars who study the Bible from an academic perspective. Teachers should contact us for a copy of those lesson plans, which should be available mid-summer.

Beyond this summer, we plan to deepen and broaden our relationship with schools and districts interested in teaching about religion. We are incredibly lucky to have a variety of training opportunities and resources available for educators. Our goal now is to spread the word as far and wide as possible.

 

8) Anything else you would like to share with our readers?

The Religious Freedom Center is here to support you! Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or requests. We would love to work with you. In an increasingly polarized age, students need the knowledge and skills to navigate difficult questions related to religion and public life. Our future as a productive, rights-based, religiously diverse country depends on it.

 

Thank you Ben.  I look forward to our continued work together.  Each opportunity has benefited our teachers, students, and my work in social studies education. I encourage readers to reach out to Ben and the Religious Freedom Center.  Their support will help prepare students to be successful in the future. 

Making Global Education Visible

As we approach the start of 2018 I have been wondering about the successes educators have had with global education programs, competencies,  and citizenship.  A major reason that I have been thinking about the visibility of global education is from watching the Harvard Graduate School of Education event “Preparing Our Youth for a Better World: OECD PISA Global Competence Framework Launch”

The two plus hour event focuses on the introduction of global competence to the PISA test. (see image of that model below). Overall the event was very informative and inspiring.  But there is a specific message at the conference that I rewatched a few times starting at the 7:45 minute mark and going to about minute 42. Main takeaways from this segment are:

  • Collectively we have not done a good job convincing others of the need for global education
  • Global Education is not central to curriculum design
  • Success is in part being able to work with diverse people instead of being threatened by them
  • Measuring, quantifying, making things visible are a foundation for change
  • It is hard to make global competency tangible… once they are visible, you can start to have a disucssion

 

The simple message is a key reminder and call to action.  Visibility!  This harkens to two projects that have impacted my thinking on education.  Neither are directly related to global education models.  However, both emphasize the importance of agency as a core value for success.  Agency, to clarify is held by both teachers and students.

Related image1) Visible Learning:   John Hattie’s acclaimed work on what works for effective teaching and learning. “Visible Learning means an enhanced role for teachers as they become evaluators of their own teaching. Visible Teaching and Learning occurs when teachers see learning through the eyes of students and help them become their own teachers.

2) Making Thinking Visible:   “Visible Thinking is a research-based approach to teaching thinking, begun at Harvard’s Project Zero, that develops students’ thinking dispositions, while at the same time deepening their understanding of the topics they study.” At the core of this practice is a collection of thinking routines and dispositions which promote student engagement and critical thinking.  This EL article summarizes the movement very well.

Too often, however, the story of a school’s practices and programs concerning global education is limited to the work  of a single or small Related imagegroup of teachers.  Indeed, these are important and valuable changes which (a) prepares students for the future and (b) frames K-12 education as part of the vanguard of profession as opposed to a one defined by lag.  Moreover, these teachers  are in a position to be leaders as their school adopts a broader systemic pivot towards global education.

As I write this I am thinking of a sentiment my school district promotes, “It will never be a perfect time for change.” Indeed, delaying a shift to global education is embracing lag and complacency as part of an organizational vision.  Instead, making global education part of a school’s mission and practice is part of the demands of globalization and the contemporary landscape.  If not now, when?

Take a look at this short clip that collects the views of “independent school professional” regarding measuring success in global education.  As you do keep in mind this question, “How visible do you think global education is in their schools?


Full disclosure, I wanted more. Save for a few anecdotes, I felt too little conviction and intent about global education being visible in their settings.  We can do more.  Schools, all types of them, do currently do more. To connect to how this post started, here are the categories PISA will be assessing through open ended prompts and scenarios not multiple choice questions:

 

So, how to make the shift?  How does global education become visible in schools?  The good news is that moving towards making global education visible  can be accomplished in any one or more of these areas:

Image result for magrittee globe

  • Assessment
  • Environment
  • Professional Learning
  • Instruction
  • Curriculum

 

I want to stress that the imperative for schools to provide experiences in teaching and learning that prepare students for the globalized world they will enter is both a moral and professional one.  When educators choose to ignore or not go this route indeed raises an eyebrow. I am always curious to know why educators choose not to do so. I haven’t found a reason valid or convincing enough to include here.

As 2018 begins it is time to take stock  of global education in your school. Where is global education visible in your school? Where can the focus become sharper?  How do you move a school towards one that prepares students for a globalized reality? Who/what are the boundaries?

To start to answer these questions, I suggest these two resources and I encourage you to consider using with your community as a self-assessment and beginning plan for change:

  1. ASCD Globally Competent Learning Continuum: an online self-reflection tool to help educators of all grade levels and content areas develop globally competent teaching practices. The GCLC provides 12 concrete globally competent teaching elements with descriptions of what each looks like at different levels of development.
  2. Primary Source, Building Global Schools ToolkitDrawing on decades of experience conducting global and multicultural professional development for educators, as well as input from teachers and administrators across the country, Primary Source developed these two guides: Related image

a)  ELEMENTS of a GLOBAL SCHOOL 

b) STEPS for GLOBALIZING your SCHOOL

 

 

I will end with a question, a challenge, and some additional resources to explore after the two above. Have a wonderful new year and enjoy!

  • QUESTION: What is your school/district’s story regarding preparing students for a global world?
  • CHALLENGE: Make global education visible in your school… today.  Make 2018 the year, January the month.
  • ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Global Illinois Scholar Certificate:  Wow.  What these teachers did is an inspiration… “In order to best prepare Illinois students for career and citizenship, they must learn to navigate and achieve in an increasingly competitive and globalized world. ”

Signature Pedagogies in Global Education:  In this study, we examine how exemplary teachers design signature learning experiences based on their understanding of (a) the world and why certain topics matter over others; (b) their disciplines and their standards in global terms; (c) the specific learning challenges that students confront when learning about the world; and (d) effective pedagogy.

Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program: This is a year-long professional development opportunity for U.S. elementary, middle, and high school teachers to develop skills for preparing students for a competitive global economy. Fulbright TGC equips teachers to bring an international perspective to their schools through targeted training, experience abroad, and global collaboration.  Apply for the 2018-2019 cohort here.

World Savvy Classrooms and GCC: The Classrooms program integrates the highest level of global competence learning into classrooms by combining professional development and consulting for educators with project-based learning for K-12 students. The Global Competency Certificate (GCC)  is the first-of-its-kind, graduate-level certificate program in global competence education for teachers.

Generation Global:  Video conferences immerse students in an entirely new experience. We connect classrooms across the world, allowing students to explore, articulate, and develop their own views, while encountering and considering the views of others. It is a safe space, with a trained facilitator to manage the flow of the discussion.

ISTE Global PLN: The Global Collaboration Network offers best-practice curriculum design to embed global learning experiences into everyday teaching. The community shares tools and methods, curriculum developments, and opportunities for collaborations.@ISTEglobalPLN 

iEARN: Since 1988, iEARN has pioneered on-line school linkages to enable students to engage in meaningful educational projects with peers in their countries and around the world. Join interactive curriculum-based groups where students are creating, researching, sharing opinions and becoming global citizens.

Asia Society, Center for Global Education: The Center for Global Education at Asia Society has a vision that, in an interconnected global era, all youth from all countries and cultures will have the capacity to create, participate in, and benefit from a peaceful and prosperous world. These outcome tools and rubrics are invaluable.

 

Treats and Tricks to Transform Global Citizenship Education in Your School

Diogenes – I am a citizen of the world.

I am writing this blog while at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University. Today they are offering a fantastic day on Trans Regional and Global Themes in Teaching: African, Latin American, Asian and Middle Eastern Perspectives.  Yes, I know what you are thinking “WOW!”

This event is made possible my one of the most amazing networks of teaching and learning – the National Resource Centers.  I strongly suggest that you add these groups to your network.

Today is also the culminating event  in a journey that began for me in August.  In mid-month I left for Budapest the day after my last post and flew back to the USA from Prague about two weeks later.  Since that trip and the start of the school year I have had the pleasure of discovering a multitude of resources that can transform your class and students learning.

I am not using the word “transform” loosely by the way.  I am convinced that the combined quality , application, and range of items below will cause you to pause and think about both your practice and how you provide your students with experiences in global citizenship education.

The collection of resources  come from colleagues, social media, events I have attended, students etc.  They touch the five areas you can modify to augment global education: (a) instruction (b) assessment (c) curriculum (d) educational vision and (e) professional learning.

As you explore, here are some guiding questions:

  1. Where are there gaps in your knowledge?
  2. How can you teach complexity, not simple binaries?
  3. What is your understanding of Globalization?
  4. How can you modify your student experiences to prepare them for tomorrow?

I didn’t know when to stop… so I kept going.  I also did not categorize these, but rather provide some descriptions. Also, here are some beginning ideas on how to make them move to a globally centered classroom:

  • Use powerful stats and comparative data to inspire student curiosity…
  • Metacognition and reflecting on the world shapes students view of existence…
  • Use the news as a method to discuss key issues. …
  • Use topics and choice so kids can connect more easily…
  • Learn about the Millennium Development Goals and Globalization…
  • Start with big questions and student inquiry …
  • Concepts transcend content and invites student background knowledge…
  • Have your students engage with other students around the world…

I hope you enjoy these and would love to hear how you used them. So, leave a comment and make me smile.  Happy exploring! But before you start, watch this video from Alan November.

 

  1. The World in 2050: Are you teaching for tomorrow?  Two resources here can help you make that pivot.  1) The report and PWC website   and 2) The BBC Documentary  in case one link breaks, here is another.
  2. Global Ed Conference, Nov 13-16, 2017 – The 8th annual free, online Global Education Conference takes place November 13-16. We are still accepting proposals through November 5th. Please share this information with any potentially interested friends and colleagues! See previous conference archives here.
  3. Preparing Young Americans for a Complex World: Last year, the Council on Foreign Relations and National Geographic commissioned a survey to assess the global literacy of American college students. Over 1,200 people participated; less than 30 percent earned a passing grade.
  4. Global Competence and Rubrics: The Asia Society has rubrics and assessments for your class and school to use.  This is a remarkable and valuable collection of resources.  Enjoy!
  5. Instructional Strategies for Global Thinking: From Harvard’s Project Zero, these approaches foster understanding and appreciation of today’s complex globalized world. The materials and tools include a framework to think about global competence and offer clarity about various capacities associated with global competence. The bundle describes how to plan and document your experiences bringing global thinking routines into your classroom and to share these experiences with others.
  6. 100 People: A World Portrait and Global Ed Toolkit:  The 100 People Foundation helps students to better understand the complex issues facing our planet and the resources we share. By framing the global population as 100 people, our media makes education more engaging and effective, and improves students’ abilities to remember and relate to what they learn.
  7. Our World in Data: Our World in Data is an online publication that shows how living conditions are changing. The aim is to give a global overview and to show changes over the very long run, so that we can see where we are coming from and where we are today. The project, produced at the University of Oxford, is made available in its entirety as a public good.
  8. The World Population Project:  The genesis of this project was World Population, a simple, yet powerful, video animation of “dots on a map” representing population changes through time. First produced by Population Connection (Zero Population Growth at that time) over 40 years ago, the video became a popular teaching resource. This spawned new editions that have been viewed in classrooms, museums and boardrooms worldwide. The new 2015 version is viewable here in six languages and contains the latest population projections.
  9. Global Religious Diversity:  The Pew Center’s study from 2014. In order to have data that were comparable across many countries, the study focused on five widely recognized world religions – Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism – that collectively account for roughly three-quarters of the world’s population.
  10. US Institute of Peace: List of International Organizations-  A list of links to international organizations’ web sites.I am always stunned when students and adults can’t identify 10 of these groups.  Please teach about these.
  11. US Institute of Peace: Glossary of Terms – To help practitioners, scholars, and students answer questions about terminology, USIP developed the Peace Terms: A Glossary of Terms for Conflict Management and Peacebuilding. This extensive glossary provides short definitions of a wide range of complex and often confusing terms used in the field of conflict resolution.
  12. United States Diplomacy Center’s Diplomacy Simulations Program:  The United States Diplomacy Center’s education programs immerse students in the world of American diplomacy and the critical work of the United States Department of State. At the heart of the Center’s education programs are our diplomacy simulations. These are hands-on exercises that allow students and teachers to experience what it is like to be a diplomat while grappling with complex foreign affairs topics.
  13. US State Department- Discover Diplomacy: Diplomacy is a complex and often challenging practice of fostering relationships around the world in order to resolve issues and advance interests. Discover the PEOPLE who conduct diplomacy, the PLACESwhere the Department of State engages in diplomacy, and the ISSUESdiplomacy helps resolve.
  14. The White Tourists Burden: Opinion article about voluntourism and the “white savior” complex. Also,  African’s Message for America: Article and video about thinking about working locally before going to “save” Africa.
  15. SAMR Model Resources: The digital revolution in education is full steam ahead, and this challenging process needs solutions on how technology will be used to change education. In 2006, Dr. Ruben Puentedura (P.hd), the President and Founder of Hippasus, a consulting firm based in Western Massachusetts, has come up with the perfect SAMR method to infuse technology into learning and teaching.
  16. The Right Question Institute: Inquiry is essential for the development of global competence. The skill of question asking is far too rarely deliberately taught in school.  We have worked with and learned from educators to develop a teaching strategy that provides a simple, yet powerful way to get students asking their own questions and building off their peers’ questions.
  17. Environmental Performance Index    The 2016 Environmental Performance Index provides a global view of environmental performance and country by country metrics to inform decision-making. Launched at the World Economic Forum, the EPI is in its 15th year and more relevant than ever to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. A fantastic comparison tool is here! 
  18. Brene Brown Empathy vs. Sympathy Video  What is the best way to ease someone’s pain and suffering? In this beautifully animated RSA Short, Dr Brené Brown reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathetic connection if we are brave enough to really get in touch with our own fragilities.
  19. Brainwaves Video Anthology: The Brainwaves video anthology is produced and filmed by Bob Greenberg. Here you will meet the thinkers, dreamers and innovators; some of the brightest minds in education. This series is meant to inspire and engage the viewer to dig deeper and learn more. A series from global educator Fernando Reimers is here.
  20. What if western media covered Charlottesville the same way it covers other nations?   Fascinating article with a fictional tone similar to Body Ritual of the Nacirema.
  21. Full RSA Video Library:  Want world-changing ideas, world leaders, RSA Animates, self-improvement, talks, debates, interviews, animations and loads more?! Well you’ve come to the right place! Be sure to explore the “Insights”, “Animate”, and “Shorts” playlists.
  22. Go Global NC – We are Go Global NC and we connect North Carolina to the world and the world to North Carolina. For 35 years our international education and training programs have empowered North Carolina leaders with the skills, understanding, connections, and knowledge to succeed in a global community.
  23. US History in a Global Context – Free and dynamic resource website that has modules and resources, including how to teach US history this way, for teachers to utilize.  Interactive images are library are also included.
  24. Half the Sky – A four-hour PBS primetime documentary film and national broadcast event inspired by the widely acclaimed book of the same name by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.
  25. What the best schools around the world do right -What can other countries learn from these two successful, but diametrically opposed, educational models? Here’s an overview of what South Korea and Finland are doing right. And as an extension, here are images from schools around the globe.
  26. CNN10 Explaining global news to a global audience: This is the mission of CNN 10, a new, 10-minute news show that appears as a daily digital video on CNN.com. CNN 10 replaces CNN Student News, the network’s longest-running show that first aired in 1989.
  27. How does critical thinking happen: Critical thinking skills truly matter in learning. Why? Because they are life skills we use every day of our lives. Everything from our work to our recreational pursuits, and all that’s in between, employs these unique and valuable abilities. Consciously developing them takes thought-provoking discussion and equally thought-provoking questions to get it going. 
  28. California International Studies Project – The California International Studies Project promotes global education through high quality, standards-based, and interdisciplinary professional learning programs for educators in California.
  29. All Africa – Website that aggregates news produced primarily on the African continent about all areas of African life, politics, issues and culture. It is available in both English and French.
  30. Global Happiness –  Transnational and cultural expressions are important for global education.  The 2011 documentary “Happy” and the world happiness report are valuable resources.
  31. NewseumEDWe provide free quality online resources to cultivate the skills to authenticate, analyze and evaluate information from a variety of sources and to provide historical context to current events.
  32. Reach the World – Reach the World makes the benefits of travel accessible to classrooms, inspiring students to become curious, confident global citizens. Enabled by our digital platform, classrooms and volunteer travelers explore the world together.
  33. UN SDG Infographic: In September 2015, 193 world leaders committed to 17 Global Goals for sustainable development to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and protect our planet by 2030. Education is essential to the success of every one of the 17 new goals.
  34. List of most sustainable companies in the world: Since 2005, Toronto-based magazine and research firm Corporate Knights has put together the Global 100, an annual list of the world’s most sustainable companies. Using publicly available data, Corporate Knights rates large firms on 14 key measures, evaluating their management of resources, finances and employees.
  35. Facing Today-  From the group Facing History and Ourselves, this blog links the past and present with posts by an international community of mindful and creative educators, students, and community members.  Great for current events.
  36. The School of Life: The School of Life is a place that tries to answer the great questions of life. We believe in developing emotional intelligence. We are based online and in 12 physical hubs around the world, including London, Melbourne, Istanbul and Seoul.
  37. Inequality Index – Inequality isn’t all about income. Here’s a guide to different ranking systems – from wealth distribution to the World Happiness Report – and which countries rate best and worst under each.
  38. Metrocosm:  Metrocosm is Max Galka’s collection of maps and other data visualization projects — trying to make sense of the world through numbers. Some of my favorites:  NYC Trash Global Defense Pacts, World Immigration 2010-2015, Disputed Land Across the Globe.
  39. Sal Khan Interview on NPR – Tech and a Global Classroom: Sal Khan turned tutoring lessons with his cousins into a series of free educational videos called Khan Academy. His goal: To make learning accessible for everyone, everywhere.
  40. UN Peacekeeping Missions:  An enlightening presentation by scholar Anjali Dayal. This piece by her provides a great framing for the topic. Checkout this video she used to introduce her presentation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Globalizing Your Educational Vision: An Interview with the World Affairs Councils of America CEO, Bill Clifford

Recently,on the same weekend, I had the pleasure of attending two very valuable yet quite different professional gatherings in Washington D.C.   One was the College Board’s Annual AP Conference. The other was the State Department’s Global Teaching Dialogue

The first one lasted 4 days, the latter only 4 hours.   I presented at the AP Conference, but was an active audience member at the State Department.  One had very tight security. The other, well, somewhat tight.  You can guess which was which.

What was the most compelling was the focus of each event.  The AP conference was largely about how to prepare students to do better for the AP exams.  The Global Teaching dialogue was more about preparing students for the realities of today and the future.  This was summed up in two statements by teachers at their respective events.

The first, a HS math teacher at the Global Teaching Dialogue, while sharing his students experiences with collaborating with a class in another nation stated (to all of our surprise) that providing his students  with the global exchange was more important than the math concept he was teaching.  Whaaaattt!?!?

The second was at the AP conference.  When I shared the free, international video conferencing tool Generation Global to the AP US History teachers, no one had heard of it. But the comment that came after is more of a contrast, “I willImage result for world affairs councils of america try this with my non-AP students.”

And there we have it. Why not for every student?  Are you preparing your students for tomorrow?  The long tomorrow… after the test.  One way to modify your vision, augment your practice and students’ experiences is by connecting with the World Affairs Councils of America.

I had the pleasure to interview the CEO of the World Affairs Council, Bill Clifford.  Our transcript is below.  Be sure to spread the word about WACA and get involved with a chapter near you.

Your students will thank you!

Enjoy!

 

1. Bill, tell us about how you got interested and involved in global education.
My interest in global education is lifelong. My father was a college professor and my mother taught grade school Image result for bill clifford world councilbefore becoming an editor in language-arts publishing. During many summers when I was growing up in Massachusetts, my family enjoyed hosting exchange students from all over the world. Those experiences motivated me to study and work abroad. After graduating college, I spent two years on the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program, assigned to a Japanese high school as an assistant language teacher of English. It was wonderful to teach those kids and and an opportunity that led me to graduate school, a career in journalism as a Tokyo-based foreign correspondent for over a decade, and now back in the United States leading the World Affairs Councils of America.
2. Why is it important for students to learn about globalization these days?
There are so many reasons why it is important for students to be well-versed in international studies, world cultures, and civics. We are living in an era where the movement of people, goods and services, and ideas within and across borders is faster and more consequential than ever. Political and social change is rapid and disruptive, hastened also by technological developments. While standards of living have improved for much of the world’s growing population, there are still hundreds of millions who live in poverty. Climate change, conflict, and other challenges facing democracies could deepen emerging economic divides and worsen living conditions for many. And every young citizen should be aware of the competition for jobs in the global marketplace and what the future of work looks like.Image result for academic world quest
 
3.What should educators know about the World Affairs Councils?
The World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) is an umbrella organization made up of more than 90 nonprofit, nonpartisan affiliates, from Maine to Hawaii and from Alaska to Florida. The broad  mission of World Affairs Councils at the local level is to convene inclusive public forums and provide access to leaders and experts with whom members of the community can engage in discussions about U.S. foreign policy and critical global issues. Teachers and students are welcome to attend Council events.
Some Councils also offer specialized programs for teachers and students, and program staff should be contacted directly. WACA and some 50 of our World Affairs Councils also pride ourselves on our Academic WorldQuest program for high school students. Academic WorldQuest is an exciting team-based knowledge competition that involves about 5,000 students annually. I encourage teachers, parents, and students to learn more about AWQ on our website. For those who are interested but are not able to locate a Council in their area, please contact the WACA national office.
 
4. Can you tell us about some success stories of teachers and schools benefiting from WAC programs.
 
In addition to Academic WorldQuest, whose popularity has soared since its launch 16 years ago, the Great Decisions program of the Foreign Policy Association (New York) has engaged high school and university students for several decades. WACA enjoys a partnership with the United States Institute of Peace that includes USIP’s sponsorship Related imagesupport of Academic WorldQuest and WACA’s promotion of USIP’s Peace Day Challenge and outreach to Councils for International Peace Day activities. WACA for several years offered “Spotlight on Turkey,” a program for teachers that was funded by the Turkish Cultural Foundation. This program included a study tour component during the summer, but unfortunately the domestic situation in Turkey caused the program to be suspended. 
San Francisco-based World Affairs offers a half dozen education programs – summer study abroad, policy simulation, meet-the-speaker, international career night, and summer institutes – that are designed to develop young people into “global citizens.” Last but not least, the WACA National Board provides scholarships to promising undergraduates for attending WACA’s annual three-day National Conference in Washington, DC.
 
5. What is on the horizon for WACA?
I like that word. WACA has just launched the New Horizons fundraising campaign, which includes an endowment fund for Academic WorldQuest. This campaign aims to raise more than $3 million so that WACA will have the resources to sustain and grow our flagship programs as well as increase the national office’s capacity to serve and strengthen local Councils.
This year’s WACA National Conference (November 15-17) will focus on “The Future of American Leadership.” We are pleased with the fast-growing audience turnout for our monthly “Cover to Cover” nationwide conference calls with prominent authors.
The popularity of this program has led us to launch an additional conference call series this year called “Know Now,” featuring local, national, and international thought leaders. Our conference calls are recorded and converted to podcasts. Later this month, WACA will unveil a redesigned website, and we are amplifying our presence online by stepping up our social media activities.
 

6. How can someone get involved with World Affairs Councils?
There are many ways to get involved: Attend the events of local Councils and participate in WACA’s national programs; explore internships and job opportunity listings; financially support the Council network by sponsoring programs or making a donation; volunteer your time to assist with Council projects or office work; and be sure to subscribe to local Council and WACA national newsletters to read the latest news about our efforts to bring the world to you.
7.  Any final thoughts you want to share?
We live in the Information Age, but many people struggle to understand what’s going on – in their local communities or in the global community. Several factors explain this – the sheer volume of information that comes at people across many platforms, the polarization of the news media, propaganda from governments, and a variety of challenges in our schools at every level. World Affairs Councils can’t solve all those problems, but we can play our part: We can encourage people to become active citizens who care about conducting civil conversations, who care about learning throughout their lives, and who care to take the time to participate in high-quality programs that will help them make new connections and better decisions with globally-minded people.
Thank you Bill.  I look forward to another school year working and learning together.

Global Education Resource Clearing House – New Things Under the Sun!

Last month I attended and presented with my colleague Deanne Moore at the 2017 Teacher for Global Classroom Symposium hosted by IREX and the US State Department. The TGC program is an outstanding professional growth opportunity for educators.  The program overview and application for the next cohort (deadline in March 20th) can be found here.

 

This years TGC cohort created videos that address the Why, How, and What of global education.  Simply put, they are outstanding.  I encourage you to review them here and utilize some as you develop and evolve your global education program at your schools. As a teaser, I have included two below…


Ok, I hope you are inspired, enlightened, and curious about the resources below. The symposium is an opportunity to  explore resources, showcase projects, plan global citizenship projects, and build your network.   I am happy to share those below and hope you pass them along to your network and share this post on twitter etc. All the titles are hyperlinked!

Enjoy!

 

  1. Mapping the Nation:  Mapping the Nation is an interactive map that pulls together demographic, economic, and education indicators—nearly one million data points—to show that the United States is a truly global nation.
  2. US Diplomacy Center: Discover the PEOPLE who conduct diplomacy, the PLACES where the Department of State engages in diplomacy, and the ISSUESdiplomacy helps resolve.
  3. World Savvy: World Savvy partners with educators, schools, and districts to integrate global competence teaching and learning into classrooms for all K-12 students. We do this by providing a range of high-quality, specifically targeted programs and services.
  4. Peace Corps – World Wise Schools:  Established in 1989, the Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools program is dedicated to promoting global learning through lesson plans, activities, and events—all based on Peace Corps Volunteer experiences.
  5. Taking it Global: TakingITGlobal empowers youth to understand and act on the world’s greatest challenges.
  6. One World Education: One World Education’s mission is to build the knowledge and skills students need to confront the cultural and global issues of today and prepare for the college and career opportunities of tomorrow.
  7. Primary Source:  28-year-old nonprofit organization that works to advance global education in schools. We believe in the power of understanding the world from diverse perspectives and a future in which all individuals are informed and contributing global citizens.
  8. iEARN:  iEARN empowers teachers and young people to work together online using the Internet and other new communications technologies. Over 2,000,000 students each day are engaged in collaborative project work worldwide.
  9. Level Up Village: Our mission is to globalize the classroom and facilitate seamless collaboration between students from around the world via pioneering Global STEAM (STEM + Arts) enrichment courses.
  10. Pulitzer Center Global Gateway: The program provides digital educational resources and tools such as our free Lesson Builder, and also brings journalists to classrooms across the country to introduce critical under-reported global issues to students.
  11. Generation Global: With Generation Global, teachers can transport their classes across the world in a single afternoon. Online and through video conferences, students interact directly with their peers around the world, engaging in dialogue around issues of culture, identity, beliefs, values, and attitudes.
  12. Global Concerns Classroom: an innovative global education program that seeks to raise awareness of current international humanitarian issues in U.S. youth and to empower them to take meaningful action. Through dynamic resources, student engagement programs, and professional development for educators, GCC prepares youth to gain the knowledge and skills needed to be globally competent for the 21st century.
  13. Library of Congress – World Digital Library:  A project of the U.S. Library of Congress, carried out with the support of the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO), and in cooperation with libraries, archives, museums, educational institutions, and international organizations from around the world.The WDL makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from all countries and cultures.
  14. Facing History and Ourselves: Our mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry.
  15. Transatlantic Outreach Program: Promotes education about Germany, fosters intercultural dialogue, and provides the opportunity for North American social studies educators, STEM educators, and decision makers to experience Germany.
  16. US Institute of Peace – Global Peacebuilding Center: Works to prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict around the world. USIP does this by engaging directly in conflict zones and by providing analysis, education, and resources to those working for peace.
  17. Reach the World: Reach the World transforms the energy of travelers into a learning resource for K-12 classrooms. Our programs use the web, messaging and video conferencing to connect youth with travelers in one-on-one global, digital exchanges.
  18. The NEA Foundation: A public charity supported by contributions from educators’ dues, corporate sponsors, foundations, and others who support public education initiatives.
  19. NASA Earth Science Education Collaborative: Building pathways between NASA’s Earth-related STEM assets to large, diverse audiences in order to enhance STEM teaching, learning and opportunities for learners throughout their lifetimes. These STEM assets include subject matter experts (scientists, engineers, and education specialists), science and engineering content, and authentic participatory and experiential opportunities.
  20. U.S. History in a Global Context: The resources we have assembled are designed to inspire your creativity and develop your thought leadership as an advocate for this approach to teaching U.S.History.

 

And a bonus treat.  Congratulations to this years winner of the Global Teacher Prize, Maggie MacDonnell .  This prestigious prize is offered by the Varkey Foundation and the winner receives $1 million.  Full article is here and watch the video on Ms. MacDonnell below.

 

2017 – Five Ways to Construct Your Global Competency and (In)Form Your World View

Happy New Year! What kind of private Idaho will you construct for yourself in 2017?

How about for your students? How global will your instruction and their experiences be?  Will their world views be challenged and expanded? Will your class be recognized as relevant and prepare them for the future?

So, what is on the horizon.  This Smart Brief, “Why Global Should be the Education Movement for 2017” by Bonnie Lathram and Dave Potter asserts  that in 2017, “we are going to be powered by global innovations in learning…”  I feel confident these predictions will happen and broaden the range of educational opportunities and possibilities.

 

Also, I just came across this landmark report about Global Education from UNESCO in 1990, Learning: The Treasure WithinWow.  Be sure to digest and internalize this 20th century vision as it still needs to be realized!

Lastly, this piece from Ed Surge reminds us about forward thinking and preparing our students for tomorrow.

Ok, now it is time to take a stroll through these 5 points.  I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.  Share them with your network, let me know what you think, and enjoy exploring and constructing!

 

1. Constructivism – Let your Students Know What/How Learning Is

I’ve always used the term “constructing knowledge” when talking with my students about learning and the experiences they will eventually have beyond high school.  I was surprised to find out that many of the educators I worked with had rarely used this term with their students—despite the teachers themselves being proponents of constructivism. Alternatively. words like “make”. “form”, or “create” may work better with students.  But then again, why not aim high, right? To assist with this exercise in being explicit and intentional with students about learning, I offer these planning questions and resources, both teacher and student directed.

  • Planning Questions

    Philographics is a series of posters that explain big ideas in simple shapes

    • How will you explain to students that they construct both their understanding and meaning?
    • How will you explain to students the difference between memorization and learning as a process?
    • How will you explain the “why” about learning about the past?

Education should be about students constructing knowledge to build their own personal view of the world, yet we rarely let them know that.. Constructing knowledge is about exploring new thoughts and opinions. So next time students ask the simple question, “What do I need to know?” teachers should frame the experience of education as an exercise in constructivism. Doing so empowers students to be active learners and dynamic thinkers, not just consumers of information.

 

 

2. Global Education Conference 2016  

Let’s start with this quote from Kofi Anan “I am often asked what can people do to become a good global citizen? I reply that it begins in your own community.”

We are multiple weeks removed from another fantastic Global Education Conference – huge amounts of gratitude to Lucy Gray and Steve Hargadon.  With the start of the new year it is easy for your interest in global education to take a back seat.  One way to keep your interest alive and well and inspired is to review the  global education resources and tools of the conference.  Moreover, attempt to make at least one change with students, colleagues, and for your own growth. Enjoy!

If you like what you see, tweet it out to #globaled and keep me posted @CraigPerrier

 

3. EdChange Global Classrooms 2017

The Global Ed Conference is behind us, but on deck is an amazing event – EdChange Glo
bal Classrooms 2017!  Running from Feb 28th – March 1st  The  registration page for #ECGC17 can be found here.

  • The classroom event will take place in Qiqo Chat and login information will be sent out during the month of February to all those registered. All sessions will be located in one place and each will include collaborative notes and a video chat with up to 200 participants.
  • Is your class doing amazing things? Share and collaborate with classrooms all over the world at #ECGC17 and sign up to facilitate! We would also love to have more student led sessions.

 

4. Global Reports and Indices

Context matters. Information matters. Sources matter. Interpretation matters. Comparative approaches to learning expand the US frame beyond the arbitrary boundaries of nation-hood. In other words, framing US events, people, ideas etc. in relation to a non-US equivalent provides students with  a relational and relevant experience. Dive in  and analyze.

  • Global Terrorism Index: This is the fourth edition of the Global Terrorism Index which provides a comprehensive summary of the key global trends and patterns in terrorism over the last 16 years, covering the period from the beginning of 2000 to the end of 2015
  • 2016 Index of Economic Freedom For over twenty years the Index has delivered thoughtful analysis in a clear, friendly, and straight-forward format. With new resources for users and a website tailored for research and education, the Index of Economic Freedom is poised to help readers track over two decades of the advancement in economic freedom, prosperity, and opportunity and promote these ideas in their homes, schools, and communities

  • 2015 Corruption Index From villages in rural India to the corridors of power in Brussels, Transparency International gives voice to the victims and witnesses of corruption. We work together with governments, businesses and citizens to stop the abuse of power, bribery and secret deals. As a global movement with one vision, we want a world free of corruption. Through chapters in more than 100 countries and an international secretariat in Berlin, we are leading the fight against corruption to turn this vision into reality.
  • Reporters Without Borders: 2016 World Press Freedom Index Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is the world’s biggest NGO specializing in the defence of media freedom, which we regard as the basic human right to be informed and to inform others. At the turn of the 21st century, nearly half of the world population still lacks access to free information
  • Freedom in the 50 States We score all 50 states on over 200 policies encompassing fiscal policy, regulatory policy, and personal freedom. We weight public policies according to the estimated costs that government restrictions on freedom impose on their victims.
  • World Values Survey  is a global network of social scientists studying changing values and their impact on social and political life, led by an international team of scholars, with the WVS association and secretariat headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. The survey, which started in 1981, seeks to use the most rigorous, high-quality research designs in each country. The WVS consists of nationally representative surveys conducted in almost 100 countries which contain almost 90 percent of the world’s population, using a common questionnaire.

 

5. Teaching Resources

What blog post would not be complete without a good resource potpourri? I hope you add these to your repertoire and share them with you network.  Have fun!

  • 100 Leaders in World History Fantastic collection of resources that  provide a way for teachers, students, parents, and community members to engage in thoughtful discussions. By studying the leaders of the past, we learn about people whose strength and determination teach us about leadership and commitment.
  • MACAT Videos on You Tube provide concise overview of the most important books and papers in 14 humanities and social sciences subjects. A powerful resource for students, teachers and lifelong learners everywhere, our analyses do much more than just summarize seminal texts.

  • Newsela is really incredible!  Newsela is the best way for students to master nonfiction in any subject.By combining real-time assessments with leveled content from premier daily news sources and eminent nonfiction publishers, Newsela makes reading to learn relevant, interesting, and effective regardless of interest or ability about a range of topics from around the world.
  • LizardPoint Simple, fairly clean, and pretty fun.  Create an account and try your skills at the quizzes on Geography and World Leaders.  Go get ’em.
  • US History in a Global Context:  a dynamic resource that addresses the scarcity of professional development programs dedicated this approach.  Additionally, the resources we have assembled are designed to inspire your creativity and develop your thought leadership as an advocate for this approach to teaching U.S.History.
  • FPRI – The Buthcer History Institute  The Butcher History Institute, co-chaired by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Walter A. McDougall and FPRI Senior Fellow David Eisenhower, aims to contribute to the more effective teaching of history and to the public discourse over America’s identity and its role in the world.

Celebratitude! – Recognizing the Great things Teachers Do

I am a big fan of recognizing the great things teachers do.  During my first year as an instructional specialist this sentiment spontaneously formed in my mind one day into this  saying, “It is easy to support what you love and what you believe in.”  Wow!  It felt… right. Perfect. That idea quickly morphed into action. I sought out ways I could celebrate teachers who are doing new, innovative, and great things in their classroom.  Moreover, I felt/knew it was
important that teachers were aware people were grateful for their ideas and actions.

I call this  “celebratitude” (yes, a simple combination of celebrate and gratitude).  In fact, although not formerly defined in my job description, this implied duty it is one of my favorite parts of my position – because I choose it to be.   I am convinced that spreading the word about what students are learning, producing and achieving is necessary for a healthy educational culture and community.  These narratives guide public perception about educators and the next generation of adult citizens towards the positive, heart lifting, and amazing realities that come from an effective and inspiring teacher.

Don’t Be Humble – Your Students Deserve to be Known

Still, a teacher once commented to me that she doesn’t need to promote or advertise what she does in her class.  Her students were proof of her effective work.  I, as you can imagine, respectfully disagree.  Here is why.

A teacher is still the single most important factor in a child’s education.  The learning experiences a teacher structures impacts the cognitive and affective development of young people. Indeed, teacher appreciation day/week is nice, but with any formalization, our attention to what is important can wander once that season has passed.

The messaging around teaching, and education in general, matters.  Like any other profession,  the public constructs opinions and world views about the practices, values, and outcomes of educational systems. Promoting the successes we experience in education  challenges negative narratives about students, teachers, and education in general.  To put it simply, schools do great things every day of the year, (yes in the summer too!). People deserve to know that. Students deserve that recognition.  Teachers deserve that praise.

 

Recognition Matters – So Do It!

Getting student work into what I call “the public sphere” is indicative of 21st century teaching and learning.  The public sphere (meaning student work that is not just for the teacher’s eyes only) provides an authentic setting for students to demonstrate their understanding and take informed action. I admire teachers who have internalized this practice as part of their professional charge.

Now that I am out of the classroom I have shifted my focus more onto the celebration of teachers and their expertise.  Here are a few approaches to teacher Celebratitude:

  1. Showcase a teacher’s instructional practices with your school board and superintendent.
  2. Share accomplishments on social and traditional, media.
  3. Buy a gift card for teachers who lead extra curricular activities without a stipend (especially important when their own building principals have overlooked their accomplishments/effort).

But, the best way, I believe, is to nominate teachers for local, state, regional, national, and international awards.  Below is a list of awards I have nominated teacher for in the last three years. Just the practice is fulfilling, rewarding, humbling, important.

Additionally, if you belong to an organization that values education, why not sponsor an annual teacher prize?  It is quote-when-you-see-a-great-teacher-you-are-seeing-a-work-of-art-geoffrey-canada-91-82-86very easy and I would be happy, along with a range of other like-minded professionals, to promote your initiative.

I want to conclude by reinforcing that this is one of my favorite parts of my job.  It has informed me about the work teachers do, built positive relationships, improves teaching and learning, and prepares me to speak intelligently about the social studies program in our county. So, if you are a specialist, chair, or administrator I advise making the practice of nominating teachers for award part of your professional practice.

 

(Lucky) 13 Teacher Awards 

This list is just a start. And as you will notice, these awards are all social studies/history focused. But, that is my job! Check them out, share them with your colleagues,  and let me know additional ones.  I know they are out there.

Enjoy!

  1. Gilded Lehman Teacher of the Year:  Recognizes outstanding K–12 American history teachers across the country.
  2. American Historical Association – Beveridge Family Teaching Award: Recognizes excellence and innovation in elementary, middle school, and secondary history teaching.
  3. Organization of American Historians – Mary K. Bonsteel Tachau Teacher of the Year Award: Recognizes the contributions made by pre-collegiate teachers to improve history education within the field of American history.
  4. VFW Teacher of the Year Award: Recognizes three exceptional teachers for their outstanding commitment to teaching Americanism and patriotism to their students.
  5. National History Day (NHD) Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award: Recognizes outstanding NHD teachers.
  6. The John Marshall Foundation Teacher Award Program: Recognizes excellence in teaching the Constitution (teachers in VA eligible).
  7. American Lawyers Alliance Teacher of the Year Award: Honors United States public and private Middle and High school teachers who have made significant contributions in the area of law-related education.
  8. Mount Vernon Estate History Teacher of the Year: Recognizes teachers who bring creativity and passion to the classroom, instills a love of learning in students, and deepens student understanding and appreciation of history.
  9. NCSS Award for Global Understanding Given in Honor of James M. Becker: recognizes a social studies educator (or a team of educators) who has made notable contributions in helping social studies students increase their understanding of the world.
  10. NCSS Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year Award: recognize exceptional classroom social studies teachers for grades K-6, 5-8, and 7-12.
  11. National Council for Geographic Education Disntinguished Teaching Award: Recognizes excellence in geography teaching at the primary and secondary levels.
  12. The Council for Economic Education John Morton Excellence in the Teaching of Economics Award: Recognizes excellence in economic and financial education by honoring three national educators in the elementary, middle and high school levels.
  13. Varkey Foundation Global Education Teacher Award:   A US $1 million award presented annually to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession.

Harvard’s 2016 Think Tank on Global Education: Highlights and Transformations

George Bernard Shaw said  “You see things; and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’ Last week I had the pleasure of  engaging with this, in essence, leadership style/belief with a group of educators at the Global Education Think Tank at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Participating in this symposium fulfilled a professional and personal goal I had made for myself in 2010 wtank 11hen the event first came on my radar. For making this a reality, I am forever grateful to both Dr. Reimers and Dr. Fletcher for inviting me to be part of a panel discussion. It was a transformative experience.

Over the course of three days about 90 participants engaged “in the active and critical examination of global competency and the practice of global education.”  Below, I have captured highlights of the program – my main takeaways and some resources that were shared.  Additionally, the twitter feed for the event can be found here.

I hope you find the items below enlightening, inspiring, and catalysts for reflection about your school’s and personal educational philosophy.  As Marcel Proust noted “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.”  Enjoy!

1) Sustainable Development Goals (Fernando Reimers) 

  • Main Takeaways  There is power in clearly articulating the purposes of education. In our connected and diverse world, global education provides the most relevant framework for educators to express the change in values that come with globalization.  Therefore. what we choose to say and do in the spirit of  global education, both as an avenue for reflection on teaching and learning as well as a driver for change in those areas, matters.   Three ways to implement global education in schools include  a) Designing new instructional practices  b) Develop new curriculum  c)  Change the culture of teachers and students.   Additionally, it is importantnorman-rockwell-golden-rule-do-unto-others-april-1-1961 to recognize student development and success  happens cognitively and in their interpersonal and intrapersonal capabilities.  The UN Sustainable Development Goals offer set of authentic, global issues that schools can use to develop learning experiences for students.  Developing a curriculum, instructional practices, authentic assessments,  and teacher development programs wouldn’t simply change education – it would transform it.

 

2) Six Strategies for Advancing Global Education (Brandon Wiley)

  • Main Takeaways What will the world (and school) be like in 2028?  The current landscape provides  insights to that question. a)  Globalization is not a fad  b) The world is becoming more diverse  c) More significant than what you know is what you do with that knowledge.   So, how can schools embrace global education?  It is important to remember that frameworks (and vision statements) are only as good as their application. So, it is  necessary to support your assets  and recognize your access points in curriculum, instruction, assessments, and staff. 
  • Resources to Explore Global Ed Leader        Asia Society Education

 

3) How to Promote and Assess Intercultural Competency (Darla Deardorff)

  • Main Takeaways What are some of the answers to the question “Why should we emphasize  global education in our school?”  In other words, what are the benefits of fostering skills and dispositions like Intercultural Competence and International Mindedness?  Some of the popular answers include a) Employability  b) Integration of immigrants and “the Other”  and c)  Develop principles of democracy.  Furthermore, the session reminded us that the PISA tests will begin to assess “Global Competency” in 2018

4) How do you Address Religious Literacy (Ali Asani)

  • Main Takeaways The guiding question to this session “What influences our understanding about the world, tank6people, belief systems, and culture?” centers our work in global education.   Focusing on religious literacy, Dr. Asani challenged the claims of Samuel Huntington’s   “clash of civilization” theory  which groups people of the world into monolithic, static, packaged units  of existence.  The result is a limited understanding about and a simplistic “othering” of people not like you.  Aptly, Dr. Asani references this as a “Clash of Ignorance”  Returning to the core question, reflect on where your body of knowledge regarding Islam and Muslims comes from.  Specifically, how often is Islam approached from an aesthetic epistemology?  Maybe a  better question is, why is it not?

5) How to Study Abroad with Limited Resources (Joey Lee)

  • Main Takeaways  Is international travel essential for a successful global education program?  No.  But schools may avoid even exploring the possibility because of a fear that it may be accessible to only a specific segment of the student body.  Enter Education First (EF).  In addition to the range of services related to global education. EF has intentionally moved from a tour(ist) model for students to one that immerses students in the country they visit. The result is a broader perspective (not the food. festival, clothing approach to global ed) and a maturing experience for students that develops global citizenship skills.

6) Using Design Thinking to Develop Curriculum in Global Education (Karina Baum and Gustavo tank2Carrera)

  • Main Takeaways  Buckingham, Brown, and Nichols has intentionally created a globally focused curriculum for their students.  Using Design Thinking to map out challenges and possibilities, the school seeks input from a range of stake holders.  The result is  a “future oriented and forward thinking” curriculum. BB and N offers “Russian, Chinese, and Arabic as well as more commonly taught languages. Students also have access to a number of school exchange or international travel opportunities to locales that include Paris, Moscow, and Morocco. You can also study for a semester on the coast of Maine, in the city of Rome, or in the mountains of Colorado (or the Swiss Alps!).”

7) Developing Capacity Through  Teacher Education (Veronica Boix Mansilla)

  • Main Takeaways Teacher preparation in global education, both for pre-service teachers and veterans, must be clear and intentional. But what should the training/development focus on and look like?  One approach is to focus on the concept of signature pedagogies.  Lee Shulman  defines this as “the types of teaching that organize tank5the fundamental ways in which future practitioners are educated for their new professions.” In turn, this begs the question “what instructional practices are central to global education?”   This is an exciting area to explore. Currently, Dr. Boix-Mansilla has identified  these:  a) Integrating Global Topics and Perspectives Into and Across the Standard Curriculum   b) Authentic Engagement with Global Issues  c) Connecting Teachers’ Global Experiences, Students’ Global Experiences, and the Curriculum.  Additionally, comparative approaches are part of the signature pedagogies.  In my experience, teachers who utilize video conferencing so their students can engage in dialogue with students around the globe is a signature pedagogy that easily used with projects like the Tony Blair Foundation.

8) How to Lead a System-Level Strategic Initiative (Bella Wong and Craig Perrier)

  • Main Takeaways

Bella and I offered perspectives from two very different educational scenarios.  Bella is the Superintendent and Principal of Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School  with an enrollment of about 2,000 students. I am the hpog3igh school social studies curriculum/instruction specialist for Fairfax County Public Schools. FCPS is 10th largest school district in the US with nearly 190,000 students and about 550 High School Social Studies teachers.  Driving our strategic changes are commitments to global citizenship.  Lincoln-Sudbury has a unique Global-Scholar Program for students to opt in.  It develops students who are  “active participants in our global community, while also demonstrating an appreciation for the importance of cultural diversity and global responsibility.”  FCPS’ vision statement includes the development of Ethical and Global Citizenship as part of students’ K-12 experiences.  Despite the size differences and out different positions, we agreed that it is imperative for global education leaders to do the following: a) Consistent and Clear Communication  b)  Collaboration Among Departments  c) Nurture and Celebrate Teacher Leaders   d) FInd Entry Points in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment.

As you introduce or continue to develop your global education program, I encourage you to revisit, utilize and share these resources.  Remember, hubris can prevent change in educators.  But this can’t be allowed to hamper the evolution of teaching and learning from which our students will benefit.

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