(Did you know that it is the Yoshino tree’s single white blossoms that create an effect of white clouds around the Tidal Basin and north onto the grounds of the Washington Monument. Intermingled with the Yoshino are a small number of Akebono cherry trees, which bloom at the same time as the Yoshino and produce single, pale-pink blossoms…)
Ok, back to the conference.
I had the honor of being part of a panel for a three hour workshop for 26 participants from a range of fields. Together with three outstanding historians and educators (see below and bios here) we shared insights and practices regarding the challenges and opportunities of teaching and learning world history.
Bob Bain, University of Michigan
Heather Streets-Salter, Northeastern University
Molly Warsh, University of Pittsburgh
Below, I have outlined my panel segment which summarized 6 moves/pivots our social studies program has been emphasizing and supporting for the last 7 years at Fairfax County Public Schools. For your reference the slide deck I used can be accessed here.
As it is just a slide deck, I am happy to clarify any part of the presentation. Just post a comment or email me directly at email@example.com Enjoy!
Overview: When teaching world history, teachers and teams have multiple chances to make the class engaging, relevant, and student centered. These opportunities uses the content of the class to support student skills and dispositions beyond the classroom. As with the other heading below, these moves will provide the best dynamic experiences for students when the team of teachers are professional collaborators.
Move/Pivot 1: Apply knowledge used in history to understand the present and develop students’ world views.
Move/Pivot 2: Use inquiry to develop disciplinary literacy with students so that they can construct their understanding and meaning of the past.
Move/Pivot 3: Connect students with other students beyond your school.
Overview: The amount of content in world history course, as you can imagine, is extensive (and arguably limitless). These moves require intentional course planning while developing teachers’ craft. Ultimately each decision is on a continuum that meets teachers/teams where they are with rooms to innovate when the time is right.
Move/Pivot 4: When should we take deep dives during the survey course?
Move/Pivot 5: What level of student input and autonomy is used?
Move/Pivot 6: Whose perspectives should we include?
In addition I do urge you to consider exploring the over 100 federally funded National Resource Centers (NRC) housed at universities across the USA. The goal of the NRC are to “support instruction in fields needed to provide full understanding of areas, regions or countries; research and training in international studies …instruction and research on issues in world affairs. and outreach programs to K-12 and post-secondary institutions, and the public at large.” NRC have been valuable partners as resource providers and supporters of teachers’ content understanding.
With the increase of 1:1 there is a demand from teachers and students for high quality digital content.
The number of DHP is large and growing.
Quality of DHP varies.
Time is needed to explore DHP and therefore time should be made available as part of professional learning and not seen as a luxury.
To recap, here is a working definition from wikipedia.
DHP is the use of digital media to further historical analysis, presentation, and research. Digital history is commonly digital public history, concerned primarily with engaging online audiences with historical content, or, digital research methods, that further academic research. Digital history outputs include: digital archives, online presentations, data visualizations, interactive maps, time-lines, audio files, and virtual worlds to make history more accessible to the user.
1. Throughline: The new NPR history podcast launched this February (2019) looks fantastic. Their tagline “The past is never past. Every headline has a history” models what great history education should do… connect the past to the current. You can hear their introductory promo here.
These are stories you can feel and sounds you can see from the moments that shaped our world. This is definitely one to add to your playlist!
3. The Indian Ocean in World History:This online resource enables users to explore primary source historical evidence about interactions among people in the lands around the Indian Ocean throughout history. From earliest pre-historic times to the present, people have traveled around and on the Indian Ocean, traded, explored, and made use of its rich resources. In buried sites, shipwrecks, monuments, museum objects, documents and books, there is a huge and growing record of these interactions and exchanges. This site aims to provide students, teachers, and general audiences with a sampling of these primary source. Below is an example of an interactive map they provide.
4. Korean War Legacy Project:The goal of the Korean War Legacy Project is to assist teachers, students, and the general public in understanding the origins and outcomes of the Korean War. Due to the enormity of World War II and the controversial nature of Vietnam, the Korean War is widely under-appreciated by American educators, politicians, and the general public. In history textbooks, it is often referred to as the “forgotten war” and is described in just a few negligible paragraphs. The documentary for the project is below… it has Korean subtitles!
5. Be Washington : Step inside Washington’s boots in this first-person interactive leadership experience. One type of DHP are simulations. Another is gaming. Be Washington does both either at the Mount Vernon estate in Virginia or online. Select among 4 pivotal scenarios in Washington’s career (2 as general and 2 as president). Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and other advisers will appear on your screen. Choose whose counsel you wish to hear and consider their advice on real challenges in real history. From there, it’s your turn to act–and then to learn how Washington handled the same dilemma.
6. ESRI Story Maps: Combining geography, history. and society is a powerful triad when teaching social studies. ESRI’s collection of story maps makes this synthesis explicit. They have created a series of Story Map collections that combine web maps, multimedia content, and engaging user experiences. The resources augment any digital resource collection. Keep up-to-date on the latest news from the Esri Story Maps team, and discover the best new work by storytellers around the world. @EsriStoryMaps
This is a fantastic weekly Twitter chat dedicated to help social studies teachers by
helping to facilitate democratic collaboration where educators can challenge & support each other to grow in their craft and, consequently, offer richer learning experiences for students. Join the live #sschat discussions Monday Night from 7-8 PM EST. Since its creation in 2010, #sschat has archived most of its chats (beginning in 2011). Here is the long list of archived discussions.
I love this tool. Improvements have been made pretty consistently making searches easy and meaningful. New constitutions are written every year. The people who write these important documents need to read and analyze texts from other places. Constitute offers access to the world’s constitutions so that users can systematically compare them across a broad set of topics — using an inviting, clean interface. The site is also available in Spanish and Arabic!
This partnership is between the British Museum and BBC. A 100 part series by Neil MacGregor, made during his time as Director of the British Museum, exploring world history from two million years ago to the present. Objects featured in the series can be explored and their stories discovered in the Museum galleries or on the website here.
10. World Population History: This an interactive site that lets you explore the peopling of our planet from multiple perspectives – historical, environmental, social and political. It is about the 2,000-year journey of human civilization and the possible paths ahead to the middle of this century. It’s especially useful for the high school classroom with rich content for geography, world history, environmental science and much more.
11. Digital History : Looking for a free digital textbook? This might be it! The materials on this Web site include a U.S. history textbook; over 400 annotated documents from the Gilder Lehrman Collection, supplemented by primary sources on slavery, Mexican American, Asian American, and Native American history, and U.S. political, social, and legal history; succinct essays on the history of film, ethnicity, private life, and technology; multmedia exhibitions; and reference resources that include a database of annotated links, classroom handouts, chronologies, glossaries, an audio archive including speeches and book talks by historians, and a visual archive with hundreds of historical maps and images. For an APUSH/Advanced text look into American Yawp.
This resource has a lot to offer. I linked to the social studies resource page, but I suggest also exploringhere for a birdseye view of the project. BrainPOP was founded in 1999 by Dr. Avraham Kadar as a creative way to explain difficult concepts. Today, their resource is supporting core and supplemental subjects, reaching millions of learners worldwide. I explored the a few of the games created for social studies. I can see students enjoying them but they should be used with intent by educators. Executive Command, and Do I Have a Right are my two favorites.
With this year’s American Historical Association (AHA) conference being hosted by Chicago, it was a perfect reason to return to a city I haven’t visited since the late 1990s (it’s a great place and I will be back for a Cubs game this season)! What’s more, attending the conference is a great way to start the new year.
In case you aren’t familiar with the AHA, it is:
“…the largest professional organization serving historians in all fields and all professions. The AHA is a trusted voice advocating for history education, the professional work of historians, and the critical role of historical thinking in public life.”
In this spirit of professional collaboration, I am happy to share some experiences and thoughts about the 4 days of professional learning and growth. Of course, the next step is to start acting on and applying those take-aways before they are lost in the post-conference return to “normalcy” of our work and personal lives. Enjoy exploring and connecting and I hope to see you in New York for the 2020 conference next January.
Below, I have structured my highlights under headings which I think will facilitate your browsing. Of course, with nearly 300 sessions, poster exhibits, receptions, and workshops there was much more going on than what I have selected below. Regardless, I am sure you will find something of note to explore and share with your network.
Did you know that public school teachers in the city that hosts the conference can attend for free? That’s incredible. I am very happy to see the number of K-12 teachers growing at the AHA conferences and feel that collaboration across K-16 benefits students.
I met Jason Herbert who is the creator Historian At The Movies a twitter community that get’s together online Sunday night at 8:00 pm EST. To connect use #HATM and join this group when you can (they were fun at happy hour). Next up this weekend: Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
The Conference had multiple teaching workshops which focused on instruction, assessment, and answering the “Why” regarding the study of history. One thing to remember, if a university/college doesn’t require a history course, then the experience of formal history education is in the hands of high school teachers. The AHA provides resources for these topics
Whether from a presenter, my AHA colleagues, or an exhibition table, I found these quotes related to the teaching and learning of history to be worth internalizing.
“We like history. We thrive on complexity.”
“Memory requires that we possess stories and narratives that link facts to ways that are both meaningful and truthful.”
“Make what you are using intellectually good!”
“Doing well in history prepares you to succeed in school.”
“Historians typically don’t have a lot information. We work with what we have.”
“History is a story constrained by the dictates of evidence; when the evidence changes, so must the story.”
You can also see the AHA 2019 Presidential Address by Mary Beth Norton below:
Digital Resources and Advocacy
Do you know about the collection of digital resources available online for educators? I didn’t either. Organized by “Classroom Materials” and “Approaches to Teaching.” Here “you will find materials you can use in designing your own courses: syllabi, reading lists, sample assignments, course modules, etc. These are organized thematically, by resource type, and by the project or initiative that created the resource.”
If you want to contribute to the collection, contact Elyse Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, comments, or recommendations.
“One historian who cannot be with us tonight is Xiyue Wang, a PhdD student at Princeton
University. He is imprisoned in Teheran, convicted on what the AHA believes to be groundless charges of espionage. The AHA reiterates its support for Mr Wang and once again calls on the Iranian authorities to release him from prison and allow him to
resume his life and career.”
Looking Ahead and Around
History conference goers (veteran and rookie) can get their fix a few times in 2019:
“Membership in the society is free and entitles members to participate in Online conversations by commenting and leaving posts, and to receive an electronic newsletter highlighting developments, trends, and projects in the field.
If you would like to be part of the ISSOTL in History Community and receive our newsletter or have information upcoming events, projects, etc. that you would like to share, email email@example.com.”
The Alliance for Learning World History at the University of Pittsburgh has redesigned their website and is a collaboration of educators and history scholars organized to advance the teaching and learning of world history in classrooms—in the U.S. and in every part of the world. ALWH links leading practitioners in world history scholarship, curriculum, teacher preparation, professional development, and educational research.
History News Network is currently hosted by George Washington University and is dedicated ” to help put current events into historical perspective. ” What a fantastic idea! Each week HNN features up to a dozen fresh op eds by prominent historians and receives about 300,000 page views per month. It is really a fantastic and dynamic resource. Have fun exploring all its features.
Lastly, check out this free, online digital history resource “US History in a Global Context.” It is a dynamic resource that addresses the scarcity of professional development programs dedicated this approach. Additionally, the resources we have assembled are designed to inspire your creativity and develop your thought leadership as an advocate for this approach to teaching U.S.History.
I made a resolution about 5 years ago (or more, I forget at this point) that was a response to what has become a standard expression in education. The decision to eliminate this expression was motivated by a long standing belief that educators must be the prime advocates for teaching and learning, students, and the profession in toto.
Here is the expression I have stopped using in conjunction with practices and discussions about contemporary teaching and learning: “In the real world.”
Some of the more frequent these applications of this phrase by administrators, teachers, students and educational companies include.
“We must prepare kids for the real world.”
“The class should be connected to the real world.”
“Real world assessments are needed for…”
And there are other uses too. Think about it – have you heard “real world” used by educators? Is it something you say? This post shares some reasons that I hope you find compelling to shift your language, eliminate the “real world” phrasing, and make it a point to encourage colleagues, your network, and anyone else to do the same. Here’s why…
“Critical approaches…go further and treat social practices not just in terms of social relationships, but, also in terms of their implications for things like status, solidarity, the distribution of social goods, and power…”
So, what are the implications of using the phrase “the real world”?
The content you are learning in school is good only in the walls of the classroom.
Learning ends with the bell and is confined to “school time.”
The “real world” is only out there and the experience of school (13 years of it) are devalued as they are not part of that “real world.”
Teaching is an isolated practice relegating teachers as gatekeepers to the next level of “unreal world” – school.
Ultimately, the use of “real world” highlights a conceptualization of school as a detached experience separate from what happens when students are not at school. Please note that I do not believe educators use the phrase intentionally as a pejorative expression.
However, I do argue that its use is a detriment to our field. The good news is that there are easy pivots we can make that remove the implied meaning and message listed above.
Alternates and applications to “the real world” phrasing
When you consider just some of the obstacles schools face – achievement gaps, expressing the value of an education, student engagement, conveying the purpose of studying a specific subject, parent involvement, shifts to instruction and assessment – we are reminded just how difficult teaching is. Being able to articulate that the time being spent in school has explicit relevance to the time spent outside is essential.
The good news is that there alternatives. The better news is that I have seen the alternatives being used with greater frequency and making that pivot away from such self-defeating statements like:
“We must prepare kids for the real world.”
“The class should be connected to the real world.”
“Real world assessments are needed for…”
Of course I am happy and support the changes the applications above are seeking: to pivot educational experiences away from traditional learning (lecture, teacher centered, one size/way teaching, etc.). I am aware that not all educators and students recognize the implied outcomes I identified. But if language is a key aspect or driver in education as Gee and Ritchart note, then it makes sense to change our practice. In short, these expressions and phrases are better:
Learning that prepares you for the present and future
Assessments that will utilize authentic audiences and/or contexts
Experiences that will explore current issues
Develop your understanding of the yourself, the community, and the world
To reinforce my claims, the alternatives I provide remove the negative implications coming from “real world.” The expressions convey explicit intention and value, empower educators and students to act, and remove a fabricated divide between life at school and life not at school. Let’s explore these ideas a bit further!
The real world re-defined as “school.”
As I wrote the title of this section I thought with a wry smile “wow a novel idea.” I am not sure when, where, or why the disconnect happened or gained popular use. Does the real world really start in your 20s? No, it happens all the time. But, the items below are just a sample of what is out there supporting the claim that defines school as a disconnected place with learning experiences that are irrelevant:
But when I think about what is being written in these pieces, I conclude that these authors may not know of programs that empower students with knowledge, skills, and dispositions that are valuable both in and beyond school. These ways of teaching and learning come to mind:
That is a great list. Where they intersect is, in my view, best summed up with this statement:
“The practices of forming students’ individual world views, identities, and values, developing their skillsets, and applying knowledge are all “real world” activities done in school”
Being explicit about these as outcomes and objectives to education is essential. Indeed, the least real world experience students have is the taking of a multiple choice test as a summative assessment. Yes, I know they exist outside of school (driving tests always get cited by proponents) but think about your own non-multiple choice filled lives (see video).
Thankfully, schools continue to articulate the benefits of current education through the development of “Portrait of a Graduate” visions and models. This is being done largely by and imitative by Battelle for Kids. Their goal is:
By 2021, 21 percent of school systems across the United States are engaging with their communities to develop and implement a Portrait of a Graduate.
This establishes a common vision of what all students should know and be able to do to succeed in college, careers, and citizenship in the 21st century. We hope to reach a tipping point that creates positive momentum toward transforming educational opportunities for all students.
I have shared some of my favorite portraits below but be sure to check them all out here. And note… they don’t have to use the phrase “real world”, because they frame teaching and learning, and time at school as relevant and valuable for the present and future in and beyond school.
Welcome to the 2018 -2019 school year, and the first post of the season. I hope your summer was inspiring, fun, and rejuvenating. Mine was… for many reasons. But, for this post, there were two events I participated in that I will not soon forget. I want to thank my colleagues involved in these experiences and share our learning with you. Enjoy and have a great school year.
So, when to start? How about June. The cover page for Foreign Affairsthat month asked the question “Which World Are We Living In?” Wow! What a question to ask. Ultimately, this article is asking us to think about our worldview. But more importantly, the question recognizes that our understanding of the past directly impacts our understanding of reality. That is phenomenal – and answers very explicitly the question “why do we study history?”
Back to the Foreign Affairs article, the options the issue provides come from a selection of scholars and include the following 6 choices”
I encourage you to read the article, but more importantly I ask that you think about this question in relation to your context:
“Are the history courses you teach, support, or take framed in a way to make the connection between the past and present explicit and ask students to construct their world view?”
“How can the competing demands of the large-scale and the small-scale be managed? As teachers seek to create texture by considering case studies around which to build lessons, they should regularly ask, “How well does this reflect larger patterns?” The right case study will draw students in through interesting people and lively events. If it is carefully chosen, it can simultaneously illustrate much larger patterns. Such an approach only works if teachers first establish a context for scale in their classroom.”
Great. To summarize, a developing the ability to think on “scales of analysis” in history is useful tool that makes the past more readily usable for our present world view. I look forward to the future work of the ALWH and if you ever go to the steel city, please stop by the fantastic Cathedral of Learning at U.Pitt and check out their nationality rooms which are still active classrooms.
Teach about the past in a way that develops your students’ world view in the present.
But, I came to a realization that this wasn’t good enough. It felt incomplete. By the time I left the conference only a few hours after my arrival, my belief had evolved to the following:
Teach about the past in a way that develops your students’ world view to
understand the globalized present so that they have agency in the future.
That feels better, for now at least. Check out the R U Ready mission: “The conference serves the needs of pre-service and practicing educators striving to develop global competencies for themselves as well as their own students entering a rapidly changing and interconnected world. ”
At the center of this event was a captivating keynote address from Program Director of Liaison America, Sandra Lima Argo. Liaison America builds global competencies through programming that nurtures the “personal, cultural and professional enrichment in the life of each participant, helping them to expand their global knowledge and stimulate their sensitivity to different ways of learning and seeing the world.”
But it was one of Argo’s slides which triggered the shift in my belief I mentioned earlier. It’s simplicity, as is often with inspiration, was profound.
The top level, global teacher, is what is needed in order to prepare students for tomorrow. Every teacher should be providing students with global experiences in their classes.Failure to do this prepares students for yesterday and develops a world view that doesn’t use the past as a tool for the future but as an obstacle in their present.
So, as you start the school year, my hope is that you empower your students with the skills to understand any of the worlds mentioned in Foreign Affairs, and better yet, to conceptualize world narratives and global realities not yet realized.
This weekend I re-watched President Obama’s eulogy for South Carolina state Senator Clementa Pinckney, who was one of nine victims in the June 17, 2015, shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. If you haven’t watched, it I have included the complete eulogy below. Amazing Grace indeed.
Empathy, knowledge, goodness toward the “other”, open minds and hearts… all of these are traits and behaviors to seek and internalize – especially for our students. To help with this, I recently had the pleasure of asking Benjamin Marcus, Religious Literacy Specialist with the Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute to share his work and offers ideas about how educators can connect with the center.
Our exchange is below. Be sure to share this post with your network and reach out to Ben to see how teachers and students in any class can be better prepared in a diverse, interconnected globalized world. Enjoy!
1) Can you provide an overview of how the Religious Freedom Center came to be?
We owe our existence toDr. Charles Haynes.We are indebted to his decades of experience gathering religious, civic, and educational organizations—from across the political, ideological, and religious spectrum—to write consensus statements and guidelines about religious freedom and the study of religion in public schools. Dr. Haynes and his colleagues recognized the need to provide clarity about religion in public schools amidst the culture wars of the 1980s and 1990s, which followed a number of U.S. Supreme Court decisions about religion and education in the 1960s. Our Center inherited and builds on the legacy of the consensus documents compiled by Haynes.
Reorganized in 2010 to expand on religious liberty initiatives begun by Dr. Haynes at the First Amendment Center in 1994, the Religious Freedom Center is a nonpartisan national initiative focused on educating the public about the religious liberty principles of the First Amendment.
We are pleased to be part of the Freedom Forum Institute family, which is the educational and outreach partner of the Freedom Forum. The Freedom Forum—dedicated to free press, free speech, and free spirit—is a nonpartisan foundation that champions the five freedoms of the First Amendment.
2) What are some of the connections among the USA’s founding, religion, and public education?
It is impossible to tell an accurate history of public education in the United States without talking about religion. For a compelling, clear history of the relationship between religion and public education, I refer people to Between Church and State: Religion & Public Education in a Multicultural America by James W. Fraser. In the book, Fraser describes how public education pioneerHorace Mann designed common schools—early versions of today’s public schools—as a site of a “tolerant” form of “religious education” that would be appropriate in a multi-religious nation.Since Mann’s work in the 19th century, Americans have sought to create public schools that are more and more inclusive of students of all religions and none. We have seen schools transition from curricula that favor Protestants of various denominations in the 19th century; to schools that assume a student population of Protestants and Catholics (and sometimes Jews) in the early- to mid- 20th century; to schools from the 1960’s to today that wrestle with what it means to neither favor nor disfavor religion, including any particular religion, or non-religion.
3) How do you reply to claims that religion should not be part of public education?
We differentiate between teaching religionconfessionally to make students more or less religious, and teaching about religion academically so that students understand how religion operates in private and public life. Teaching religion is unconstitutional, whereas the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed the legitimacy of teaching about religion. In the landmark decisionAbington v. Schempp (1963), Justice Tom Clark wrote:
It might well be said that one’s education is not complete without a study of comparative religion or the history of religion and its relationship to the advancement of civilization. It certainly may be said that the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities. Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment.
At the Religious Freedom Center, we are convinced that education about religion is not only constitutional; education about religion is necessary for understanding the world around us, whether or not we are religious ourselves.
4) Yes, the distinction between teaching religion as dogma and as an academic pursuit. In turn, how does the study of religion support efforts by schools to implement global citizenship and cultural competency programs?
According to the American Academy of Religion’s 2010 guidelinesfor teaching about religion, religious literacy is defined as “the ability to discern and analyze the intersection of religion with social, political, and cultural life.” This definition inextricably links the study of religion with the study of culture. If our students are to understand history or contemporary politics and culture, they must understand religion and the relationship between religious communities. If students are to live productive, respectful lives in a religiously diverse democracy and an increasingly interconnected world, they need to know about how religion motivates and sustains people in a fractured era. Students—who may be religious or atheists, who may live in deeply religious communities or pervasively secular cities—also need to recognize that not everyone belongs to a religious community.
The academic study of religion will enrich schools’ efforts to cultivate students’ global competency and cultural literacy. We do not expect schools to create standalone religion courses. Instead, we hope that schools will think about how to integrate the study of religion in existing curricula. For example, think about how much richer a lesson about the American Civil Rights Movement or the partition of Indiawould be if students consider the religious forces at work.
5) Please share some successes you and the Religious Freedom Center have had in the K-12 education world.
We are delighted that the National Council for the Social Studies approved the Religious Studies Companion Document as an official part of theCollege, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standardsin June 2017. This document is the first of its kind adopted by a major national education organization. Teachers and administrators can refer to the guidelines to learn about the disciplinary concepts and skills related to the academic study of religion that students should master by the time they graduate high school.
This was a collaborative effort of an eight-person writing team, a thirty-person advisory committee, and our partners at the American Academy of Religion. I was proud to chair the writing committee of that document in my capacity at the Religious Freedom Center, and I am thrilled to see that some districts around the country have already begun to align their curricula with the guidelines.
We provide a number of training opportunities and curricular resources for K-12 educators. Educators might enroll in a graduate-level, semester-long class with the Religious Freedom Center designed to train teachers to teach about religion. If they do not have time for a semester-long class, they might choose to logon to our professional development website, Constitution2Classroom.org. There they can enroll in our free, on-demand, self-paced professional development modules, each of which take roughly one hour to complete and include videos, readings, interactive games, and reflection questions. Our online modules cover topics related to religious freedom concerns in schools, religious literacy, and civil dialogue.
Teachers might also choose to arrange a consultation between the Center and their department, district or school. We often organize live professional development workshops—at your school, in the Newseum, or via Zoom.
If educators are interested in working with us in a way not listed here, we encourage them to reach out to us so that we can discuss their request in greater detail.
Last but not least, we encourage educators to visit our website, ReligiousFreedomCenter.org, to access free guidelines, consensus statements, and classroom resources about religion and public education.
7) What’s on the horizon for the Religious Freedom Center in the immediate future and beyond?
This summer the Religious Freedom Center has partnered with the National Council for the Social Studies to offer a Religious Studies Summer Institute from July 10-12 in Washington, DC. Participants will broaden their professional competence with the disciplinary concepts and tools of religious studies, and they will increase their confidence in teaching about religion in constitutionally appropriate ways. Educators can register online.
We are also pleased to work with the Society of Biblical Literature to create academically rigorous and constitutionally appropriate lesson plans about the Bible and related topics for U.S. history and world history classrooms. SBL is the world’s largest association of scholars who study the Bible from an academic perspective. Teachers should contact us for a copy of those lesson plans, which should be available mid-summer.
Beyond this summer, we plan to deepen and broaden our relationship with schools and districts interested in teaching about religion. We are incredibly lucky to have a variety of training opportunities and resources available for educators. Our goal now is to spread the word as far and wide as possible.
8) Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
The Religious Freedom Center is here to support you! Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or requests. We would love to work with you. In an increasingly polarized age, students need the knowledge and skills to navigate difficult questions related to religion and public life. Our future as a productive, rights-based, religiously diverse country depends on it.
Thank you Ben. I look forward to our continued work together. Each opportunity has benefited our teachers, students, and my work in social studies education. I encourage readers to reach out to Ben and the Religious Freedom Center. Their support will help prepare students to be successful in the future.
… And by “WOW!” I mean: Wow, I need to use these with my students. OR …Wow, I need to share these with my colleagues. OR Wow, I am inspired to develop my own digital history project. Of course a synthesis of all 3 is the sweet spot. That was the course of action leading to the development of my US History in a Global Context project.
What is digital history? Indeed, defining your terms is usually a great place to start. I have found these explanations to be useful and bring moments of clarity which ultimately furthers the conversation and utility of these types of projects.
The American Historical Association: “Digital history might be understood broadly as an approach to examining and representing the past that works with the new communication technologies of the computer, the internet network, and software systems.”
Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University “Digital history is an approach to examining and representing the past that takes advantage of new communication technologies such as computers and the Web. It draws on essential features of the digital realm, such as databases, hypertextualization, and networks, to create and share historical knowledge.”
I have had the pleasure of working on multiple digital history projects. So, let’s look a bit further and see what formats digital history projects can take. In short, when we discuss digital history, we can be referencing a number of types and purposes. The common aspects being that they are accessible to the public and organized around a theme(s). This list comes (in part) from the Organization of American Historians.
Archive: a site that provides a body of primary sources. Could also include collections of documents or databases of materials.
Essay, Exhibit, Digital Narrative: something created or written specifically for the Web or with digital methods, that serves as a secondary source for interpreting the past by offering a historical narrative or argument. This category can also include maps, network visualizations, or other ways of representing historical data.
Teaching Resource: a site that provides online assignments, syllabi, other resources specifically geared toward using the Web, or digital apps for teaching, including educational history content for children or adults, pedagogical training tools, and outreach to the education community.
Gateway/Clearinghouse: a site that provides access to other websites or Internet-based resources.
Podcasts: video and audio podcasts that engage audiences on historical topics and themes.
Games: challenging interactive activities that educate through competition or role playing, finding evidence defined by rules and linked to a specific outcome. Games can be online, peer-to- peer, or mobile.
Wonderful! With classrooms having access to computers and moving to 1:1 formats, quality digital resources is in demand. The good news is that they are out there. But these are only good if they get used. To that end, I have curated a collection of digital history projects that are designed for high school and higher education history and social studies classes. These selections offer a variety of implementation pathways allowing immediate use with students (either in full or in part). Additionally, these would be relevant for history/social science methods classes.
Here is one more general resource, a short video, to help frame and advance your understanding before you dive into the digital history resources.
What project did I miss? What do you think of these? Let me know and contact the project designers so they know who is using the resource they created. Enjoy!
1. The 68.77.89 Project: Arts, Culture, and Social Change: Created by The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, this resource was just launched in early 2018! Students will be challenged to apply the lessons from the experiences of Czechs and Slovaks to better understand issues of democracy today and their responsibility for preserving democracy for the future. 68.77.89 is designed for students in grades 9-12. It provides a set of 12 learning activities in 4 modules that meet Common Core, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate standards. The activities can be used as a set designed to be used together, or in single modules as free-standing lessons. Images of the 4 modules is below.
2. The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database:This is a remarkable tool which synthesizes data with visualization formats very effectively. The database “has information on almost 36,000 slaving voyages that forcibly embarked over 10 million Africans for transport to the Americas between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. In order to present the trans-Atlantic slave trade database to a broader audience, particularly a grade 6-12 audience, a dedicated team of teachers and curriculum developers from around the United States developed lesson plans that explore the database. Utilizing the various resources of the website, these lessons plans allow students to engage the history and legacy of the Atlantic slave trade in diverse and meaningful ways. Here is one example of a search I did.
3. Slavery Images:Don’t let the simple look of this collection dissuade you. It is a remarkable resource! “The 1,280 images in this collection have been selected from a wide range of sources, most of them dating from the period of slavery. This collection is envisioned as a tool and a resource that can be used by teachers, researchers, students, and the general public.” The search feature is easy and inviting. This photo is from their collection. Powerful indeed. Interior courtyard, where captive Africans were assembled, and “Gate of No Return,” the passageway through which they were led to the beach and from there to slaving vessels waiting offshore. (Photographed by Michael Tuite in Ghana; Aug. 1999)
4. Our Shared Past in the Mediterranean:This is an intriguing world history curriculum. Given the unique geography of the transitions currently underway in the Middle East (several geographically contiguous North African states) and the likelihood that interactions between Europe, northern Africa, Turkey, and the Arab world will constitute a vitally important sub-region of globalization going forward, new cross-Mediterranean tendrils of economic and civil society connectivity will be necessary to help anchor these transitions. An outline of the modules can be viewed here.
5.Rethinking the Region: North Africa and the Middle East: Another contribution to the field of world history, this project “analyzed the common categories used to describe and teach the Modern Middle East and North Africa in existing World History textbooks. Based on this research, we offer robust alternatives for Grade 9-12 social studies teachers and multicultural educators that integrate new scholarship and curricula on the region. To this end, we examined the ways in which the region is framed and described historically, and analyzed categories like the ‘rise and spread of Islam,’ the Crusades, and the Ottoman Empire. Narratives surrounding these events and regions tend to depict discrete and isolated civilizations at odds with one another. To remedy this oversimplification, our work illuminates the manners in which peoples and societies interacted with each other in collaborative and fluid ways at different political and historical junctures.
6.Histography: “Histography” is interactive timeline that spans across 14 billion years of history, from the Big Bang to 2015. The site draws historical events from Wikipedia and self-updates daily with new recorded events. The interface allows for users to view between decades to millions of years. The viewer can choose to watch a variety of events which have happened in a particular period or to target a specific event in time. For example you can look at the past century within the categories of war and inventions. Histography was created as a final project in Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. Guided by Ronel Mor. Below is a screenschot of the platform.
7. American Yawp: “In an increasingly digital world in which pedagogical trends are de-emphasizing rote learning and professors are increasingly turning toward active-learning exercises, scholars are fleeing traditional textbooks… The American Yawp offers a free and online, collaboratively built, open American history textbook designed for college-level history courses. Unchecked by profit motives or business models, and free from for-profit educational organizations, The American Yawp is by scholars, for scholars. All contributors—experienced college-level instructors—volunteer their expertise to help democratize the American past for twenty-first century classrooms.” This is being used in high schools as well. Also, you can offer insights and edits for the editors to consider.
8. Mapping American Social Movements in the 20th Century: “This project produces and displays free interactive maps showing the historical geography of dozens of social movements that have influenced American life and politics since the start of the 20th century, including radical movements, civil rights movements, labor movements, women’s movements, and more. Until now historians and social scientists have mostly studied social movements in isolation and often with little attention to geography. This project allows us to see where social movements were active and where not, helping us better understand patterns of influence and endurance. It exposes new dimensions of American political geography, showing how locales that in one era fostered certain kinds of social movements often changed political colors over time.” The screenshot below shows a sample of an interactive map. Fantastic!
9. Eagle Eye Citizen: Made by the invaluable team at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, Eagle Eye engages middle and high school students in solving and creating interactive challenges about Congress, American history, civics, and government with Library of Congress primary sources. This helps develop students’ civic understanding and historical thinking skills. It is highly interactive and invites students and teachers to use existing challenges and develop their own.
10. Mapping the 4th of July: Mapping the Fourth of July is a crowdsourced digital archive of primary sources that reveal how Americans celebrated July 4 during the Civil War era. These sources reveal how a wide range of Americans — northern and southern, white and black, male and female, Democrat and Republican, immigrant and native born — all used the Fourth to articulate their deepest beliefs about American identity during the great crisis of the Civil War… Whether you teach at the college or high school level, your students will jump at the chance to learn about how a previous generation of Americans celebrated the Fourth. (Yes, there were fireworks!) These are engaging documents that open up big themes: North-South differences; the causes and consequences of the Civil War; African American experiences of emancipation. On our website you’ll find standards-based assignment guidelines that make it easy to integrate it into your courses.
11.Back Story: Incredible podcast focusing on American history topics in a range of contexts. The hosts are fun, informed, and engaging. BackStory is a weekly podcast that uses current events in America to take a deep dive into our past. Hosted by noted U.S. historians, each episode provides listeners with different perspectives on a particular theme or subject – giving you all sides to the story and then some. Also, a resources icon indicates that the episode has educator resources available. Use BackStory in your classroom! Just go to the episode archives and filter by episodes with resources.
This resource feels like the “godfather” of digital history projects. “Since its establishment in August 1991, the Cold War International History Project (CWIHP) has amassed a tremendous collection of archival documents on the Cold War era from the once secret archives of former communist countries. CWIHP has become internationally recognized as the world’s preeminent resource on the Cold War.” The help organize and search the trove of documents, you search using a map, timeline (going back to 1866… great extended context) and contains over 30 featured collections (sample below).
What are the stories your students hear about education? I love that question. I have found, however, that it isn’t a question educators frequently address despite recognizing the importance of messaging. We should be able to share a compelling story about the “why” of education with students, parents, colleagues and anyone in our local or global communities. This means that educators must devote time to reflect up, craft, and apply a compelling and meaningful story about the purpose of education.
But what would happen if we play with that question a bit and ask “What are the stories students tell about education?” Hmm?! The question certainly shifts the agency of education being done by students instead of education being done to them. Such a shift creates a broader range of possibilities, interpretations, and outcomes. In short, the singular (outcomes, narrative, purpose, vision etc.) is supplanted by the multi. This sentiment has been been engaged with millions of times in the popular 2009 Ted Talk: The Danger of a Single Story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
This brings me to this post’s guest interview with Holy Carter. I had the pleasure of meeting and discussing global education with here at the Institute for International Education in New York City.
Ms. Carter is the founder and executive director of BYkids, a non-profit organization that provides kids around the world with the training and equipment to make short documentaries about their lives. BYkids believes that we can understand the world’s challenges — and how to best meet them — through the personal stories of young people. Their Season One films aired on public television on more than 170 channels in 107 markets, in 64 million American households.
Holly started her career at The New York Times and has worked for 30 years as a journalist, editor, documentary filmmaker, fundraiser and non-profit leader.Before founding BYkids, Holly ran the Global Film Initiative, a foundation bringing feature films from the developing world to major cultural institutions across the country in an effort to promote cross-cultural understanding.
Prior to that from 1999 to 2003, she produced Media Matters, a monthly PBS magazine show about journalism and concurrently worked as a consultant for The After-School Corporation, a non-profit initiative founded by George Soros that brings quality after-school programs to New York City public schools. In 1999, Carter co-founded North Carolina’s Full Frame Festival, which has grown to become the largest documentary film festival in the world.
Holly, tell us about yourbackgroundandviews onglobalcitizenship education?
I started my career as a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist at The New York Times and have worked for 30 years as a journalist, editor, documentary filmmaker, fundraiser and non-profit leader. I am interested in revolutionizing American education by teaching empathy and global citizenry to our students in a way they understand – through moving image. They spend their lives outside the classroom processing the world and expressing themselves through moving image. We need to speak to them in the language they use. Putting a textbook on a tablet is not innovative. Bringing short documentary films into their classroom and curriculum as a way for them to walk a mile is someone else’s shoes – now that has real impact. Once they feel the issues of the world, they can be guided to find solutions.
Connecting students is indeed a key aspect of global education. HowdidBYkidsgetstarted?
I started BYkids as a platform for the voiceless to share their voices. Kids are honest storytellers, yet their stories often go unheard. BYkids was created as a network of cross-cultural storytelling. By sharing the untold stories of children in countries like Nicaragua about climate change or Mozambique about AIDS, we engage a younger audience in a global discussion to teach the intangible qualities like empathy and tolerance.
Last year, for example, we were invited to Bergen Country, NJ for Anti-Violence Week to screen and discuss POET AGAINST PREJUDICE, a story told by a young Yemeni immigrant to Brooklyn who finds a creative outlet for self-expression in a post 9/11 world. The young filmmaker was like a rock star to the thousands of high school students. In fact, the film and resulting conversation left some young audience members in tears. By watching Faisa’s inspiring response to discrimination, the kids sitting in the front row had tears rolling down their cheeks. The film reached their hearts and left them changed with a new perspective on this all too relevant issue of Islamophobia and the struggles of new immigrants.
BYkids is currently working on its upcoming Season Two to include films about climate change ravaging coffee growing in Nicaragua (see trailer below), forced child marriage in Senegal, the Syrian refugee crisis, modernity in Bhutan and the juvenile justice system in the U.S.
We look to continue to start meaningful conversations around these globally relevant issues and innovate in the education space so that our students are engaged emotionally in the world around them.
By continuing to produce films, we are expanding our community of young leaders and introducing more overlooked stories throughout the world. Our future is strong with the continued support of our contributing BYkids family.
Education should promote open-mindedness by teaching empathy. Our films show lives different from most audience members and children in American schools. Things that seem foreign at first, like growing up on a struggling coffee bean farm or falling victim to a longstanding tradition of child marriage, become more relatable and seemingly real through our films. My hope for education is that, like at BYkids, it does not stray from a sometimes different or uncomfortable truth, and teaches through an honest lens.
Our films extend beyond one single screening in the classroom. Our various curricula help teachers turn viewing into action. On our website, we provide School Guides and Take Action Guides, in which teachers are encourages to add to the film’s viewing curriculum, to help expand the experience of each film, promoting students to react, think, reflect and engage after watching one of our films.
Collectively we have not done a good job convincing others of the need for global education
Global Education is not central to curriculum design
Success is in part being able to work with diverse people instead of being threatened by them
Measuring, quantifying, making things visible are a foundation for change
It is hard to make global competency tangible… once they are visible, you can start to have a disucssion
The simple message is a key reminder and call to action. Visibility! This harkens to two projects that have impacted my thinking on education. Neither are directly related to global education models. However, both emphasize the importance of agency as a core value for success. Agency, to clarify is held by both teachers and students.
1)Visible Learning: John Hattie’s acclaimed work on what works for effective teaching and learning. “Visible Learning means an enhanced role for teachers as they become evaluators of their own teaching. Visible Teaching and Learning occurs when teachers see learning through the eyes of students and help them become their own teachers.
2) Making Thinking Visible: “Visible Thinking is a research-based approach to teaching thinking, begun at Harvard’s Project Zero, that develops students’ thinking dispositions, while at the same time deepening their understanding of the topics they study.” At the core of this practice is a collection of thinking routines and dispositions which promote student engagement and critical thinking. ThisELarticle summarizes the movement very well.
Too often, however, the story of a school’s practices and programs concerning global education is limited to the work of a single or small group of teachers. Indeed, these are important and valuable changes which (a) prepares students for the future and (b) frames K-12 education as part of the vanguard of profession as opposed to a one defined by lag. Moreover, these teachers are in a position to be leaders as their school adopts a broader systemic pivot towards global education.
As I write this I am thinking of a sentiment my school district promotes, “It will never be a perfect time for change.” Indeed, delaying a shift to global education is embracing lag and complacency as part of an organizational vision. Instead, making global education part of a school’s mission and practice is part of the demands of globalization and the contemporary landscape. If not now, when?
Take a look at this short clip that collects the views of “independent school professional” regarding measuring success in global education. As you do keep in mind this question, “How visible do you think global education is in their schools?
Full disclosure, I wanted more. Save for a few anecdotes, I felt too little conviction and intent about global education being visible in their settings. We can do more. Schools, all types of them, do currently do more. To connect to how this post started, here are the categories PISA will be assessing through open ended prompts and scenarios not multiple choice questions:
So, how to make the shift? How does global education become visible in schools? The good news is that moving towards making global education visible can be accomplished in any one or more of these areas:
I want to stress that the imperative for schools to provide experiences in teaching and learning that prepare students for the globalized world they will enter is both a moral and professional one. When educators choose to ignore or not go this route indeed raises an eyebrow. I am always curious to know why educators choose not to do so. I haven’t found a reason valid or convincing enough to include here.
As 2018 begins it is time to take stock of global education in your school. Where is global education visible in your school? Where can the focus become sharper? How do you move a school towards one that prepares students for a globalized reality? Who/what are the boundaries?
To start to answer these questions, I suggest these two resources and I encourage you to consider using with your community as a self-assessment and beginning plan for change:
Primary Source, Building Global Schools Toolkit: Drawing on decades of experience conducting global and multicultural professional development for educators, as well as input from teachers and administrators across the country, Primary Source developed these two guides:
I will end with a question, a challenge, and some additional resources to explore after the two above. Have a wonderful new year and enjoy!
QUESTION: What is your school/district’s story regarding preparing students for a global world?
CHALLENGE: Make global education visible in your school… today. Make 2018 the year, January the month.
Global Illinois Scholar Certificate: Wow. What these teachers did is an inspiration… “In order to best prepare Illinois students for career and citizenship, they must learn to navigate and achieve in an increasingly competitive and globalized world. ”
Signature Pedagogies in Global Education: In this study, we examine how exemplary teachers design signature learning experiences based on their understanding of (a) the world and why certain topics matter over others; (b) their disciplines and their standards in global terms; (c) the specific learning challenges that students confront when learning about the world; and (d) effective pedagogy.
Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program: This is a year-long professional development opportunity for U.S. elementary, middle, and high school teachers to develop skills for preparing students for a competitive global economy. Fulbright TGC equips teachers to bring an international perspective to their schools through targeted training, experience abroad, and global collaboration. Apply for the 2018-2019 cohort here.
World Savvy Classrooms and GCC: The Classrooms program integrates the highest level of global competence learning into classrooms by combining professional development and consulting for educators with project-based learning for K-12 students. The Global Competency Certificate (GCC) is the first-of-its-kind, graduate-level certificate program in global competence education for teachers.
Generation Global: Video conferences immerse students in an entirely new experience. We connect classrooms across the world, allowing students to explore, articulate, and develop their own views, while encountering and considering the views of others. It is a safe space, with a trained facilitator to manage the flow of the discussion.
ISTE Global PLN:The Global Collaboration Network offers best-practice curriculum design to embed global learning experiences into everyday teaching. The community shares tools and methods, curriculum developments, and opportunities for collaborations.@ISTEglobalPLN
iEARN: Since 1988, iEARN has pioneered on-line school linkages to enable students to engage in meaningful educational projects with peers in their countries and around the world.Join interactive curriculum-based groups where students are creating, researching, sharing opinions and becoming global citizens.
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:
Where are there gaps in your knowledge?
How can you teach complexity, not simple binaries?
What is your understanding of Globalization?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 PEOPLEwho conduct diplomacy, the PLACESwhere the Department of State engages in diplomacy, and the ISSUESdiplomacy helps resolve.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.