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

 

Globalizing the US History Survey: Free, Self-Paced, Online, Collaborative, Professional Development Modules

I am extremely happy to announce the launch of the project Globalizing US History Survey: Free, Self-Paced, Online, Collaborative, Professional Development Modules 

We feel this project is ideal for the demands of the AP US History Course, IB History of Americas, the Common Core, and any US History course state standards.  Teachers, curriculum specialists, scholars, and anyone interested in this topic are welcome to engage with this project.

For a general overview, checkout this screencast about the project! 

If you can’t wait and want to get right in here is the project link:

 

We just want to repeat… this project is a 100% free professional development opportunity that utilizes social media, self-pacing, and professional collaboration.

Background

The concept was part of my graduate work at Northeastern University during my MA in History in 2011.  Subsequently. the project was funded by the Longview Imagegenerosity of the Longview Foundation and was created in partnership with the NCHE. A major inspiration for my thinking was the 2000 La Pierta Report. The report welcomed the 21st century with a challenge to US history educators everywhere.  I encourage you to read the entire piece. I have placed some main vision excerpts below:

“National history remains important, and will of course continue to be so in the future. But the national history we are describing resituates the nation as one of many scales, foci, and themes of historical analysis. Our students and public audiences will gain a heightened sense of nation-making…

BannerGlobal2By looking beyond the official borders of the United States and back again, students, we anticipate, will better understand the emergence of the United States in the world and the significance of its direct power and presence. We expect them to understand the controversial power and presence of the United States as a symbol beyond our borders. We hope students will gain a historical comprehension of the difference between being a peripheral colony and a powerful nation, and they will be introduced to some of the large historical processes, not all contained within the nation, that might explain such a shift in the geography of global power…

We believe that there is a general societal need for such enlarged historical understanding of the United States. We hope that the history curriculum at all levels, not only in colleges and universities but also in the K-12 levels will address itself to these issues… It is essential that college and university departments–which carry the responsibility for training historians who will teach at the K-12 levels–begin this work of integration…

The United States history survey course is properly a focal point for the creation of an internationalized American history. If in the survey course one embraces the simple advice to follow the people, the money, the knowledges, and the things, one would quite easily–on the basis of pure empiricism–find oneself internationalizing the study of American history.”

The Project

Recent trends have called for the “globalizing” of American education through 21st Century teaching and learning and the Common Core State Standards. These educational demands coincide with efforts in the history profession to internationalize the United States history survey course. Combined, these two paradigm shifts have generated demand to construct and teach histories that are rigorous and relevant in preparation for college and career readiness. Globalizing history education, therefore, involves an “opening” of students’ conceptions of the past through expanded content, broader methodology, and units of analysis that go beyond the nation. Preparing history teachers to do this is integral to the longevity and success of global education. This project addresses gaps in thought leadership and the scarcity of professional development programs dedicated to globalizing the U.S. history survey.Globe

At the core of this project are five modules participants engage with at their own pace. The predicted time to complete each module is 6 hours. The five project modules, listed below, span the 20th century

 Each module has a similar structure and features. In addition to selected primary and secondary sources/media,  five scholars created presentations unique to this project.

  • Gregg Brazinsky – George Washington University
  • Joseph R. Golowka –  Binghamton University
  • Greg Adler – Eastside Union High School District
  • Eric D. Pullin –  Carthage College
  • P. Masila Mutisya – North Carolina Central University

Also, Dr. Peter Stearns was generous enough to lend his support of the project. He notes “”A more global framework creates new perspectives, and some fresh challenges, making American history a livelier experience and, of course, linking it to other history courses in a less fragmented way. Ultimately, I would suggest, a global approach to American history lets us deal with three key, and difficult, questions – important ones, but tough ones as well.” See his full recording here.

In addition, each module had multiple  teacher reviewers give feedback on the functionality,aesthetic, structure, clarity, utility, and resources of the modules.  Their insight was invaluable.

A View of Professional Development for Educators

This style of PD challenges the utility of the large conference.  These tend to be a one size fits all approach which ignores the personalization we celebrate in contemporary education with our students.  Often, these presentations demand little to nothing form participants. Yet, you still get credit hours/points for just being there.  This is hardly a 21st century approach for our profession.

This project celebrates teacher creativity, agency, leadership, and content expertise . It requires participants to generate resources and contribute content knowledge for the network to use. Upon completion of a module, participants will receive a PD certificate emailed from the NCHE to add to your professional file.

Spread the Word

Access to the project and  the 5 PD modules is through Blackboard Coursesites a free LMS.  It utilizes a self-enrolling policy, so sign right up.

Please spread the word by sharing the link below with your colleagues and network.  Enjoy and we look forward to your insights and feedback!

 

 

 

 

Being Savvy about Global Competence: An Interview with Jennifer Lofing

Are teachers prepared to teach in an era of hyper-globalization? What professional development does your department, school, and district provide? What opportunities do you seek out to become informed about historical and contemporary globalization.  I hope that your understanding of globalization comes from more than  Tom Friedman and his claims about flatness.

For example, Donald Wright in his work  The World and a Very Small Place in Africa: A History of Globalization in Niumi, the Gambia reminds us of the importance of Immanuel Wallerstein’s “world system’s” theory when conceptualizing globalization:

Wallerstein’s theory can set the stage for global world views. But we need to get in the weeds a bit. To do that, read this piece on global wealth peaks and valleys, “The truth about extreme global inequality”  and view the follow up video Global Wealth Inequality – What you never knew you never knew, from The Rules 

And finally, watch this TED talk that directly challenges Friedman:

Pankaj Ghemawat: Actually, The World Isn’t Flat

Indeed, a globalized world is complex to understand, navigate, and predict.  Functioning in these diverse contexts require teachers to be nimble and informed practitioners who can meet the needs of students, prepare them for the future, and gather and utilize information for a range of purposes in a variety of formations.   Being globally savvy is indeed a demanding charge!

However, opportunities do exist. A dynamic new global education program,the  Global Competency Certificate, is now being offered! “Developed by leading experts in global education – Teachers College, Columbia University, World Savvy, and Asia Society,  the GCC program is designed specifically for in-service educators who are interested in embedding global learning into their teaching practice and preparing their students for the global reality beyond the classroom.”

I recently spoke with Ms. Jennifer Lofing, Senior Associate of Academic Affairs at World Savvy, about global education, teacher development, and the GCC experience.

Checkout her insights below, spread the word, and consider being part of a GCC cohort. Enjoy!

1) What is your background and current position at World Savvy? I have an international development background. After getting my Master’s in Law & Diplomacy (International Relations), I worked for several international non-profit organizations building conflictJennifer Lofing resolution and community development capacity in countries around the world. I have lived and/or worked in over 40 countries, including some time in Germany as a student and in Albania & Kosovo. Learning about the world and connecting with people across the world has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember.   At World Savvy, I head up Academic Affairs for the Global Competence Certificate program, the new online graduate level certificate for teachers in Global Competence Education. In this capacity, I am responsible for interacting with potential and current program participants—everything from recruiting to advising and supporting. It is really exciting to work with these educators, who are fulfilling a very important role in building global citizenship among their students.

2) How did you get involved with global education? During the time I was working overseas, I grew tired and frustrated of seeing the same problems over and over again. A feeling started to form in me that the only way we were ever going to make any meaningful change was if we grew the number of people who can understand the complexity of the world and work across the artificial barriers that divide us to find solutions. The best way to do this is to start young! So, I began to focus on global education as a way to build that critical mass of global citizens and leaders who we will need if we are going to address the huge challenges (and opportunities!) that face us.

3) What are the goals of the GCC program? The GCC program aims to build a pipeline of globally competent K-12 educators and school leaders who will have the capacity to effectively prepare young people to be globally informed, engaged citizens. Put another way, we are building the capacity within our educational system to facilitate the development of our young people as global citizens on a large scale.

4) How do you explain the program? What is your elevator pitch? The GCC fills a big gap in global competence professional development by providing an opportunity for educators to reflect in a very deep and sustained way on what global competence means for them personally and for their students. It does this through rigorous academic coursework, an immersive fieldwork opportunity, and a peer-supported capstone project. And, importantly, it utilizes innovative technology to enable learning and sharing among a far-flung group of global competence education leaders while demonstrating how technology can be used to build global community.

5) I believe starting with the Why is important. How would you answer “why do I need to be skilled in global competencies?” I appreciate the question, though I feel in this case it’s a little bit like asking why a fish needs to know how to swim! We are more connected to and impacted by the world than ever before. We regularly communicate with people from different cultures and countries both in our home communities as well as through the internet, media, and travel. We are affected daily by economic events, climate change, conflict, disease pandemics and other phenomena that don’t have any regard for national borders. To thrive in this world requires resilience, adaptability, openness, curiosity….global competence! There are opportunities as well—to eradicate poverty or invent the next paradigm-shifting technology. These achievements will be made by those who question prevailing assumptions, who form opinions based on exploration and evidence, who think critically and problem solve…global competencies!

6) Where have you seen global competencies in action in the classroom? There are already so many teacher-leaders who are doing this every day. At World Savvy, we work with an incredible group of educators across the country who challenge their students to think about global issues from multiple disciplines and perspectives and, importantly, push them to consider what they can do to address those issues. One of my favorite examples that I’ve seen recently is a middle school math teacher who weaves micro-finance (and the poverty, equality and sustainability issues microfinance helps address) into her math class.

7) How do educators get more information or sign up for GCC? The online application is available at www.globalcompetencecertificate.org.

8) How do departments, students, schools, communities benefit from a teacher who is globally competent? Teachers who are committed to developing their own global competence are invaluable assets in the classroom, the school, and the community at large. Through their demonstration and leadership, they are able to help the entire community—adults as well as kids—understand that global competence is a lifelong journey rather than a final destination. They are the experts and advocates that departments, schools and districts need to ensure that all kids are graduating with the preparation they need to thrive in college, career, and life.

9) What is the long view for this program? We have big plans for the GCC! We are developing a Leadership Track for the 2015-16 year that will address the particular needs of school and district leaders and administrators. We also plan to expand the GCC to include more international participation. We have already had interest from teachers in Africa, Asia, and Europe!  We are working to build a truly global program where teachers from around the world will be able to collaboratively build global competence for themselves and their students. A little further down the road, watch for the GCC online Master’s degree program.

10) How did World Savvy come to partner with Columbia University’s Teachers College & Asia Society? The GCC is the culmination of a unique collaboration between the three founding organizations—Asia Society, Teachers College, and World Savvy. These three organizations have deep experience in global competence education as well as teacher preparation and professional development. We have worked together at every stage of the program—from conceptualization to program and course design—and will continue to cooperate closely as we roll out the first year of the program, evaluate the results, and feed that information back into the program’s continuous development and improvement. Also, we are currently collaborating on the design of the Leadership Track of the GCC.

11) What is your favorite “words of wisdom” or quote regarding global competency? Some years back, I kept a sticky note in my planner (pre- smart phone!) with a quote from Kurt Vonnegut: “Keep your hat on. We may end up miles from here.” At the time, I had no idea that this was supposedly the punch line to Vonnegut’s favorite dirty joke. But, that’s neither here nor there. For me, the quote inspired openness to new opportunities, comfort with ambiguity and unfamiliar situations, adaptability, and basically a life of exploring and investigating the world. Global competencies, one and all!

12) Anything else to add? Check out the Global Competence Certificate website at www.globalcompetencecertificate.org! We’ve got lots of great information about the program, instructors, courses and we’ll be adding more information about fieldwork sites and student experience as the GCC progresses. Join us!