Boosting global literacy: UI helps K-12 educators enhance global literacy across state

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For the second straight year, the University of Iowa’s International Programs and The Stanley Foundation are partnering to prepare teachers across the state of Iowa to infuse global perspectives into their classrooms.

The Global Education Summer Institute for Teachers, a professional development opportunity for educators, will be hosted by UI International Programs Monday, June 11 through Wednesday, June 13, bringing 34 middle, junior, and high school teachers from Iowa’s four congressional districts to the UI campus for three days of training, guest speakers, group activities, and workshops.

Prior to 2011, the IP/Stanley Foundation summer institutes centered on a specific theme or geographic area, such as global climate change, the U.S.-Mexico Border and immigration, or the Middle East.

The 2011 focus on global literacy concepts and 21st century skills required by the Iowa Core Curriculum was such a success that institute organizers decided to focus on the same theme in 2012, introducing innovative global literacy concepts to an entirely new—and expanded—group of teachers, according to Greg Hamot.

Greg HamotHamot is the director of the summer institute, a professor in the UI College of Education, and director of the UI Center for Human Rights in International Programs.

The 2011 enrollment was capped at 20, but the enrollment this year will increase to 34, he adds.

The goal of the institute, as well as the Iowa Core Curriculum, is to arm Iowa students with essential concepts and skills for global literacy, emphasizing the importance of Iowa K-12 students engaging with other cultures, understanding global issues, and making connections while understanding the interdependence between cultures in a global economy.

Hamot says the goal was to recruit teachers from all disciplines and congressional districts in Iowa.

“It’s been very exciting to see the applications come in this year. Not only do we have a good geographical spread, but we have a diverse range of disciplines represented, including special education, math, language arts, and world history,” Hamot says. “This is terrific because global literacy concepts work in any subject.”

Workshops and sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the International Programs’ Commons, 1117 University Capitol Centre. Participants’ tuition and room fees will be completely covered. All who successfully complete the course will receive two hours of graduate credit. Teachers are encouraged to present this new knowledge of global literacy concepts to other faculty at their respective schools upon their return.

Guest speakers at this year's institute include the following: Jill Goldesberry of the Stanley Foundation; Georgina Dodge, chief diversity officer and associate vice president at the UI; David Gould, associate director of Student Professional Development, in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS); Helen Jameson and Shannon Lizakowski of International Programs; Jim Dreier of the UI School of Music, CLAS; Craig Just, assistant professor in the UI College of Engineering; and Lena Hill, assistant professor in the UI Department of English, CLAS.

For more information on the institute, visit international.uiowa.edu/summer-institute.

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