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.

tank4

Italo Calvino, Technology, and the US DOE: 6 Moves for the Current Millennium

Happy New Year! I hope that 2016 is an enlightening and inspiring year for you.

I remember reading Italo Calvino’s   Six Memos for the Next Millennium at cafes and along Ipanema beach in ipanemaRio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Reading it in 2003 the millennium had already started and Calvino’s swansong was nearly two decades old.  But “Six Memos” resonated with me in a way that transcended Calvino’s focus on literacy criticism  and theory, “(the work was an )investigation into the literary values that he wished to bequeath to future generations.” In short, I felt the world and education profession had passed through a gateway.  What did we bring with us as a guide in the new era?

Calvino prepared a series of lectures in 1985. Five of them were planned in Italy. He intended to complete the sixth while in the United States. However, prior to his departure, Calvino died, his sixth lecture was unfinished. The title of the compilation indicating six memos was retained, although the book contains only five.

The topics/values which Calvino highlights  in his lecture series are:

  1. Lightness
  2. Quickness
  3. Exactitude
  4. Visibility
  5. Multiplicity
  6. Consistency (never finished)

Below is a rare interview with Calvino recorded just before his death and broadcast on BBC TV just after his death.

So, it is now 2016 and we are well into the new millennium. What is the current status of education in your world? How do you, your students, and your colleagues use technology as a tool for teaching and learning?And lastly, what can Calvino offer us as we frame education and ed technology in this millennium?

Calvino talks about the new novel and the need for change in the literary craft. I contend that the qualities Calvino identifies in Six Memos for the Next Millennium are useful and relevant guides for us in education.  A new craft for teaching and learning is needed so that when you see a classroom today, it should not be a replication of the 1980s or 1990s.  One of the key factors in education’s evolution is the ubiquity and potential of technology.

 

 Six Uses of Technology 

Education Week’s recent Spotlight “Leaders in Technology and Innovation” contained a range of insights and case studies regarding the implementation and current use of ed tech.  A point that stood out in the publication echoed adad-and-kid-barter-tech common sentiment among educators expressing the limits of technology in teaching and learning.  Taken from an evaluation of a 1:1 initiative in Charlotte, NC, the program noted that  “on average, students and teachers used the laptops for one lesson per day, often for ‘superficial’ academic purposes, with Internet browsing the primary form of use.”

This observation is a legitimate concern.  Such use is a limitation to education in this millennium. Certainly there must be more to do with technology. especially in a 1:1 setting.  But what else can be done?

To begin answering this question, I have returned to Calvino for inspiration.  Below you will find a use of ed tech matched with one of the qualities found in Six Memos for the Next Millennium.  Combined they represent changes in education that are facilitated by technology. With the start of the new year, there is no better time to try one, or more, with your students.

  1. Video Conference and Chat with Students Beyond the School (Lightness) “I have tried to remove weight, sometimes from people, sometimes from heavenly bodies, sometimes from cities; above all I have tried to remove weight from the structure of stories and from language.”
    • Why do it? Collaboration, engaging with students on a global scale, and communication skills
    • Try this: http://tonyblairfaithfoundation.org/projects/facetofaith 
  2. Use Social Media for Formative Assessments (Quickness) “Quickness of style and thought means above all agility, mobility, and ease, all qualities that go with writing where it is natural to digress, to jump from one subject to another, to lose the thread a hundred times and find it again after a hundred more twists and turns.”
    • Why do it? Authentic setting, full class participation, learning beyond class time
    • Try this: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/frictionless-formative-assessment-social-media-paige-alfonzo
  3. Students Create a Portfolio (Exactitude) “To my mind exactitude means three things above all: (1) a well-defined and well-calculated plan for the work in question; (2) an evocation of clear, incisive, memorable visual images;(3) a language as precise as possible both in choice of words and in expression of the subtleties of thought and imagination”
    • Why do it?  Used to collect, organize, reflect upon, and share student work – digital presence
    • Try this:   https://threering.com/     OR    https://sites.google.com/site/googlioproject/ 
  4. Creating Media (Visibility) “…the power of bringing visions into focus with our eyes shut, of bringing forth forms and colours from the lines of black letters on a white page, and in fact of thinking in terms of images.”
    • Why do it? Student generated information is part of this millennium.  Not just written papers…
    • Try thisInfographics, video, images, screencasts, podcasts… subscribe to this: http://www.educatorstechnology.com/ 
  5. Require Students to Apply Knowledge to Contemporary Issues (Multiplicity) “…the grand challenge for literature is to be capable of weaving together the various branches of knowledge, the various “codes” into a manifold and multifaceted vision of the world.”
    • Why do it? Taking informed action and/or using knowledge to impact a student’s worldview makes learning relevant.
    • Try this: http://www.c3teachers.org/taking-in4med-action-45-options-for-dimension-4/ 
  6. Modify/Develop Online Resources (Consistency) 
    • Why do it? Students engage with already created resources and contribute/edit the source with what they know.
    • Try this: Students can fact check, suggest modifications, and provide updates to existing information.  http://edtechteacher.org/my-product/fact-check-your-textbook/

Implementing any of these in your classroom will move the experiences of your students into the 21st century.  But this list of 6 is by no means the final word.  To explore more options, and an even greater vision, let’s finish with the US DOE’s recent 100 plus page “memo.”

 

Introducing the US DOE 2016 National Education Technology Plan

Give this document a read.  I am confident that it will inspire, inform, provide context and possibilities.  Moreover, the number of resources and models will surprise you.  Checkout the vision of the plan:

“The National Education Technology Plan is the flagship educational technology policy document for the United States. The 2016 Plan, Future Ready Learning: Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education, articulates a
vision of equity, active use, and collaborative leadership to make everywhere, all-the-time learning possible. While acknowledging the continuing need to provide greater equity of access to technology itself, the plan goes further to call upon all involved in American education to ensure equity of access to transformational learning experiences enabled by technology.”

For the sake of this blog, it is section 2 of the plan that is most relevant. It is titled,  “Teaching With Technology”  Goal: Educators will be supported by technology that connects them to people, data, content, resources, expertise, and learning experiences that can empower and inspire them to provide more effective teaching for all learners.

Start there as a very practical in-road to changing teaching and learning in your school using ed tech.  Even better -for inspiration and an overview of the section – start with the short video below .

What Now…

Let’s finish with this Calvino quote.  I love it because it reinforces the need for change and the new.  Indeed, the wheel of education does deserve to be reinvented.

“Whenever humanity seems coWriter Italo Calvino in a Cafendemned to heaviness, I think I should fly like Perseus into a different space. I don’t mean escaping into dreams or into the irrational. I mean that I have to change my approach, look at the world from a different perspective, with a different logic and with fresh methods of cognition and verification. The images of lightness that I seek should not fade away like dreams dissolved by the realities of present and future…”

The heaviness of teacher centered and teacher directed learning anchors education to the previous millennium. How light will you become in 2016?

 

Summering with Shulman: What did you add to your (T)PCK Repertoire?

When I am asked by people for advice or have the ears of social studies educators I work with (rookie or veteran) I like to share this bit of advice–  “Each year, be sure to add at least one new aspect of teaching to your repertoire.”  I have come to consider this sentiment to be a core belief, maybe wisdom at this point, of my professional philosophy and personal world view.

This synthesis of professional and personal convictions reminds me of scholar Lee Shulman’s concept of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). Shulman stressed the interplay of two domains often considered to be exclusive aspects of K-16 teaching: subject matter expertise and instruction. He reminds us,

“If teachers are to be successful they would have to confront both issues (of content and pedagogy) simultaneously, by embodying the aspects of content most germane to its teachability… It represents the blending of content and pedagogy into an understanding of how particular topics, problems, or issues are organized, represented, and adapted to the diverse interests and abilities of learners, and presented for instruction.” (Shulman, 1986, p. 8-9)

Here is Shulman in 2011 reflecting on teaching and education.  The 55 minutes are well worth it. So get a coffee and some ice cream, and enjoy!

 

Welcome back. In 1987 Shulman co-authored an article I consider part of the pedagogical canon, “150 different ways of knowing: Representations of knowledge in teaching.”  In essence,  a synthesis of understanding by the teacher is part of each class and, in turn, the educator’s professional expertise. For example, using a high school English class reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin as an example, pedagogical uses of literature and the role of discussion  as an instructional strategy in uncovering meanings in the work, combined with subject matter knowledge of the history of slavery and abolition can be represented using a simple Venn diagram labeled with Shulman’s theory.

So, from Shulman, I return to my very simple recommendation: expand your instructional repertoire every year by trying something new that can help students engage with your content.  This summer my goal was…well still is… to improve my expertise with a range of educational technology tools  so that I can use them with my students and promote them among my colleagues. Each of them can be used with online, traditional and blended approaches to teaching and learning.  Moreover, the 6 tools below are applicable to a range of content areas. Mastering them and then using them with intent in your classes will place you in that sweet spot of Shulman’s Venn diagram.

 

1) Thinglink (Interactive Images)

This tool “develops interactive images that help students develop 21st-century skills and enrich their enthusiasm for learning… It’s an engaging, all-inclusive tool for students to demonstrate their learning, though its full potential depends on how teachers use it.”

I am super excited about this one.  You, and your students, can take any image (including maps, political cartoons, data charts, etc.) and add information to it – explanatory notes, prompts and questions, video, additional information, links, etc.  I created this one below to collect the Atlantic World via music. In the end, with ThingLink, your creativity, content knowledge. and instructional vision is the limit.

9 Songs About Society from the Atlantic World, 1957-1988

   

 

 

2) Google Cultural Institute: Historic Moments (Online Exhibits/Content) From the f0lks at Google, the Historic Moment portal to their umbrella website “Cultural Institute” provides “online exhibitions detailing the stories behind significant moments in human history. Each exhibition tells a story using documents, photos, videos and in some cases personal accounts of events.” Wow! Be sure to explore tutorials on the site or a growing repository by people online. The content is growing  and is useful for online, face to face, ad blended approaches to teaching about the past.  So far, my two favorites are “The Second World War in 100 Objects” and “Nelson Mandela: One Man’s Memory.”  Bookmark this one and share it far and wide.   

 

3) Joomla! (Content Management Platform)  “A content management platform is software that keeps track of every piece of content on your Web site, much like your local public library keeps track of books and stores them. Content can be simple text, photos, music, video, documents, or just about anything you can think of. A major advantage of using a CMS is that it requires almost no technical skill or knowledge to manage. A mobile-ready and user-friendly way to build your website. Choose from thousands of features and designs. Joomla! is free and open source.”  How do you organize and present you resources to students? Where can students interact with the assignments, resources, and assessments you create and use?  Joomla is ideal for creating your own electronic portfolio as well and getting your research out in the public sphere.    

 

4) Social Explorer (Visualizing Data): This tool was introduced to me by my colleague, Patti Winch. See, sharing does work! “Social Explorer provides quick and easy access to current and historical census data and demographic information. The easy-to-use web interface lets users create maps and reports to illustrate, analyze, and understand demography and social change.”  Amazingly, it contains data from each census back to 1790!  I am excited to tap into this tool with gusto.  Take a look at what can be done.  

 

    5) Screencast-o-matic  (Presentations) –Screencast-o-matic is video and audio screen capture software. In the classroom, Screencast-o-matic is useful for recording audio commentary on student writing, recording a mini-lecture, narrating a presentation, or any other function you can think of! Ok, so this isn’t a new one for me, but they have recently expanded by adding a bunch of new features.  So, I need to catch up.  I have students create their own explaining their final paper topic Here is a short example of a screencast I made and use in class.

 

      6) Ted Ed: Lessons Worth Sharing: (Online Lessons) “TED-Ed’s commitment to creating lessons worth sharing is an extension of TED’s mission of spreading great ideas. Within TED-Ed’s growing library of lessons, you will find carefully curated educational videos, many of which represent collaborations between talented educators and animators nominated through the TED-Ed platform.”

My goal is to submit a lesson that will be accepted and then made into a Ted Ed lesson.  Review your resources, and your colleagues (because you can nominate teachers too) for outstanding lessons.  We all have gems that should be shared with as many educators and students.

Now, if these tools have not captured your interest, check out these two lists for more options.

 

So, where can this bring us. Back to Shulman of course, and then beyond.  By recognizing educational technology as a domain of knowledge for educators’ to master, we transfer PCK to TPCK.  “Technological pedagogical content knowledge refers to the knowledge and understanding of the interplay between CK, PK and TK when using technology for teaching and learning (Schmidt, Thompson, Koehler, Shin, & Mishra, 2009). It includes an understanding of the complexity of relationships between students, teachers, content, practices and technologies (Archambault & Crippen, 2009).”  

Whatever tools you add to your repertoire, I say congratulations! You have modeled life-long learning and are an inspiration to your students and colleagues.  Let me know what works for you, suggest additional tools, and stay in touch via twitter:  @CraigPerrier 

Enjoy the rest of your summer!   

Mentoring Minds Makes Successful Students!

Growing up, I believed there were only two seasons – baseball season and the off-season.  Whether you lean towards Field of Dreams or the Natural, baseball and life were beautifully intertwined.  But it is never that simple, is it?


Currently, the months of May and June welcomes anther season that has become a different “American past time” related to education. Across the US, schools are presently engrossed in testing season. Instead of hot dogs and popcorn, this season is often marked by stress and anxiety.

For students, high stakes tests end of the year assessments correlate to grade advancement and GPA.  For parents, exam results dictate summer – and future – plans and their involvement.  For teachers, professional evaluations are directly connected to their students’ performances and, quite possibly, their salary levels. In short, testing season is a  very tangible reality!

MM2

 

Preparing for May and June begins at that the start of the school year – if not the summer before.  Discussions regarding what resources to use result in important educational decisions. I have found that relevant and impactful resources can be hard to come by.  When you discover a program that supports contemporary education it is important to share that resource far and wide.

Mentoring Minds is that resource! Take a look at their mission statement:

“Before choosing classroom resources, you need to be confident that they’re based on research and—most importantly—effective in the classroom. That’s why Mentoring Minds stays up to date on ever-changing standards and conducts extensive research on the alignment and efficacy of our products, ensuring that they’re scholastically MM1sound and of the highest quality. We’re the partner you need to stay ahead of the curve.”

I originally wrote about Mentoring Minds in  a  previous blog : http://cperrier.edublogs.org/2015/02/17/read-this-and-write-that-6-tools-that-engage-and-build-your-students-literacy/ emphasizing the potential of 21st century teaching and learning.

But there is more. Overall, Mentoring Mind’s resources are focused, detailed, and support a range of classroom settings and students.  In short, the resources represent my two favorite aspects of good education –  Explicit and Intentional teaching!  Here are my favorite resources from Mentoring Minds.

  1. Master Instructional Strategies:

The Master Instructional Strategies Flip Chart is an easy-to-use resource that offers hundreds of instructional strategies from the major instructional schools of thought

  1. Critical Thinking Resources:

Handy prompts help teachers integrate critical thinking into their lesson plans for all subjects and all grade levels.

  1. Literacy Resources:

Total Motivation Reading is a rigorous and comprehensive supplemental resource that integrates critical thinking and prepares Level 2 students to excel in English Language Arts. Designed from the ground up to address 100% of the Common Core Standards.

  1. Vocabulary Development Resources:

Each student edition for Math and ELA  incorporates vocabulary, problem solving, critical thinking, and journaling MM3activities to complement Common Core and any other programs.

  1. Professional Development- Differentiation:

Strategies and techniques will be shared to assist in personalizing instructional practices to ensure the success of diverse learners. Designing and implementing differentiated instruction can facilitate progress in ways that meet the needs of all learners.

  1. Professional Development – Response to Intervention:

Prevent Academic Failure Support students with learning and behavioral needs with the Response to Intervention (RTI) process. Prevent academic failure through early intervention, frequent progress monitoring, and increasingly intensive research-based instructional interventions for students in general education classrooms who continue to exhibit difficulty in learning.

  1. Parent Involvement:

Develop and implement specific strategies to increase parent involvement at school and at home. Hundreds of strategies to build powerful parent partnerships, prepare for parent-teacher meetings, communicate better with parents, and more.

I eagerly await a line of social studies and history resources. But until then, Mentoring Minds offer a range of resources that makes it, well, simple.

They make learning the only season!

Hoarding, Building Allies, Inefficiency, and the Power of “Yes” – Kim Young, the NCSS 2014 Global Understanding Award Recipient

Were you at the 94th Annual NCSS conference last month?  It was indeed an exciting conference, “Education professionals gathered last month in Boston to explore best practices and inquiry-based teaching of social studies, boosting well-rounded civic learning and building 21st-century skills and social studies disciplinary literacy.” If you were unable to attend the national conference, don’t fret.  A list of regional/state events for 2015 are posted here.

One of my personal highlights  was getting to  introduce this year’s winner of the Global Understanding Award, Kim Young.  Meeting her reminded me  anthropologist Anna Tsing ‘s 2005 work Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection. Tsing asserts

Tsing“Global connections are made in fragments- although some fragments are more powerful than others…they interrupt dominant stories of globalization to offer more realistic alternatives. Such fragments…create a world of global connections made, and muddled, in friction. Curiosity about such friction might reopen the mystery of our time.”

It take a special teacher to seek out experiences, fragmented and with potential friction, and share them with her students. Then, once back in the classroom, that same remarkable  teacher is able to inspire students about the narratives, realities, and friction of globalization. And, ultimately, those lucky students’ curiosity is sustained for their lifespan because of the teacher’s guidance.

 

I had the pleasure to interview one of those teachers, Kim Young.  Our exchange is below. Enjoy!

If you would like to contact Kim, you can do so with this email: youngk@weston.org

1- Tell us about yourself. How did you get into teaching? What and who do you teach?

NCSS2

Kim on one of her adventure, educational excursions…see what “Yes” can get you?!

Hello readers!  My name is Kim Young.  I’ve been teaching World History at Weston High School in Weston, Massachusetts for 10 years.  I’ve also helped spearhead many of my district’s efforts to globalize our curriculum as Global Education Coordinator.  I think I’m one of those people who have always been a teacher.  My mom was a teacher and my first jobs were as a camp counselor and coach. Growing up, I always remembered how my teachers presented lesson plans, and which methods were most engaging and effective.  I enjoy teaching because I get to live my passion for global cultures everyday.

2-  Who or what inspired you to apply to the NCSS award? How did you decide on your submission?

Necessity!  I am taking an unpaid leave from my teaching position this winter to pursue a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching grant.  I was scouring the internet for creative sources of funding and came across the NCSS Award.  Luckily, I have supportive colleagues who helped me with the process when I mentioned the idea to them.  I knew right away I would submit my “Complicating Conquest: Rethinking the Spanish Invasion of the Americas” curriculum.  I feel this is the most innovative and interesting piece of curriculum I’ve developed.  It is based entirely on visual, physical, and written primary sources I collected while traveling in Mexico and Peru.  The goals of the lessons are truly global and nothing you could ever find in a high school textbook.  I hope readers who teach the Age of Exploration or the European colonization of the Americas will check out the curriculum.

3- What have been some of the successes and challenges of using global perspectives with your students?

Great question.  As with many things, I think my greatest successes have come from my greatest challenges.  Recently, I’ve really been influenced by an article written by Milton J. Bennett on intercultural communication.  He writes, “Common sense is, of course, common only to a particular culture.” For 9th graders, developmentally, it is hard to understand the world from a different perspective.  I struggling with training (or retraining) students’ brains to observe and ask questions before making judgments—what my students often refer to as “Don’t yuck someone else’s yum.”  I feel most successful when I hear students using the words worldview, perspective, and subjectivity when talking about history. Moving students to action is also always challenging because in many ways, the traditional school day model does not support this type of learning.  Bennett writes, “Understanding objective culture may create knowledge, but it doesn’t necessarily generate competence.”  If my students are going to be truly globally competent, they need to act based on their emerging globalized perspective.

4- How have your colleagues reacted to your interest in global education?

Everyone is incredibly supportive, even if they don’t always understand why I want to travel to a certain location.  They ask me about all of my adventures and are open to trying out the new curricular ideas I bring back.  They collaborate with me about how to best support exchange students in our school.  They let me decorate their classroom with new artifacts I’ve brought back.  I am also very fortunate to have a district that has made promoting Global Education one of its 5 year goals.  What I do find most puzzling is when I meet educators who say, “I wish I could do what you do!”  For most educators, I don’t see many real reasons holding them back from pursuing different opportunities—you just have to apply.  Don’t be overwhelmed, you’ll be amazed at how things fall into place.

5- You showed us this painting during your presentation, The Last Supper by Marcos Zapata (1753, in the Cuzco Cathedral). Tell us about it and how it represents your approach to teaching students.

Last supper

Guinea Pig? “Don’t yuck someone else’s yum.”

I love this painting!  It is by Marcos Zapata and located in the Cusco Cathedral. This painting is totally representative of my teaching philosophy.  Firstly, it is visual.  I like to expose students to different types of sources—too often they think history only comes in text.  I try to emphasize to my students who struggle with reading that if they can remember images and know how to decode them, they can think just as analytically as when reading a document.  Secondly, it’s a primary source.  Once students have some context, I like them to work with primary sources since it helps them better understand the perspective of the culture they are studying.  This lends itself to my inquiry-based style of teaching. I like to give students evidence with guided questions and have them do the investigating.  This way students’ construct their own knowledge and learning.  Even if students forget what they learn, hopefully they’ve developed skills for investigating questions in the future.  In terms of content, this represents my style because I chose curriculum that emphasizes cultural fusion, cooperation, and interaction.  War, conflict, and domination are a part of history—this is a narrative of human interaction my students are familiar with.  I like to present a counter-narrative to open them up to other ways of viewing history and the world.  Finally, this image is engaging, funny, and a little weird (from an American cultural perspective).  Students remember this image because the idea of Jesus eating guinea pig is so far from their cultural norms.

6- You offered a lot of advise at NCSS.  Can you summarize those tips again?

Absolutely.  One of the best parts of winning the award was being able to present at NCSS. It’s a humbling and thought provoking experience to try and share with colleagues what I feel I’ve learned over the last ten years.  I also know that educators out there know what to do—we just get too busy, overwhelmed, or stressed.  With my presentation, I wanted to given educators permission to do the things we know make good curriculum.

My main message is that it is important to create curriculum with complexity—–and this is something I feel travel/study really allows educators to do.  This is how we can move away from textbook based curriculum and engage our students as global learners.  Based on my experiences in these programs, here’s my tips on how to make the best curriculum:

1)   Abandon efficiency—We never have time to plan during the year.  We have to be product driven and use every moment of our time to grade.  During summer professional development, give yourself permission to be inefficient.  Spend several weeks investigating a topic you are passionate about and interested in.  Don’t worry if it only produces one 50-minute lesson.

2)   Be a Hoarder—While this is not a culturally acceptable behavior from a Western perspective, in order to create great curriculum, you have to do this.  Take a picture of everything you see and collect every brochure, pamphlet, book, and artifact you can find.  Many times while traveling I do not fully understand the significance of an object until much later.  I come back, reflect, and look through all my discoveries.  Only then do I start to see how they might all connect.  I go back to pictures and pull out new images as my curriculum changes or as I learn more about a culture.

3)    Say “Yes”—Just like that awful Jim Carrey movie.  When I’m traveling and collecting curriculum, I say yes to every experience, food, and opportunity.  I am often tired, worn out, or uncertain of how something will go.  I’ve crashed a wedding, pet a tarantula, and jumped off bridges.  None of this was planned or on my itinerary.  All of these unexpected experiences gave me insight into cultures different than my own and have come back to influence my curriculum in ways I couldn’t imagine.

4)   Use your allies—I have several colleagues and administrators that I have developed relationships with that fully support my efforts.  Early in my career, I often would not apply for opportunities because I was nervous about bothering people for recommendations.  I was also worried what they would think of me (she thinks she is qualified to participate in THAT program?)   I was also afraid of what my colleagues would think of me if I asked for a recommendation and did not get into a program.  Over time, I have fully gotten over all of these insecurities!  Now, I know, even if its last minute (ie can you write me recommendation in the next 24 hours?), I have a supportive group around me that I am never afraid to ask for help.  I also bring them back really cool artifacts from wherever I go.

7-  What is next for you?

I’m headed off on my biggest global adventure yet—I will be working and studying in the West Bank from January to March of 2015 as part of a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching grant.  I am interested “breaking the binary”—Palestinian identity is often presented in secondary curriculum and Western media as being made up of two choices (ex. One state vs. Two state, Fata vs. Hamas, Israeli vs. Palestinian).  We all know in reality things are more grey than just being A or B.  I am specifically interested in investigating how to use the graphic arts and graphic novels to do this.  If any readers have contacts in the West Bank, please let me know!

8- If you could select three books, films, trips etc about global education for teachers what would they be?

Bennett, Milton, J. (1998). Intercultural communication: A current perspective. In Milton J. Bennett (Ed.), Basic concepts of shel-silverstein_reflection_peoplewhowriteintercultural communication: Selected readings. Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press.

Silverstien, Shel.  “Reflection,” in A Light in the Attic, Harper Collins (1981).

I can’t choose one trip!  But here is the list of all the international professional development experiences I know about.

Link to NCSS presentation (https://www.haikudeck.com/p/Xd7v1SUL1p/ncss)

 

If you would like to contact Kim, you can do so with this email: youngk@weston.org