Summer Institute infuses global education into Iowa classrooms

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From the April 2011 IP Newsletter

By Katelyn McBride

Introducing global perspectives into their classrooms is a task that many Iowa K-12 teachers may soon have to face in order to meet Iowa Core Curriculum requirements for global literacy. That’s why the Stanley Foundation and International Programs are once again funding the Global Education Summer Institute for Teachers.

The summer institute is a three-day, two-credit workshop that allows current middle, junior and high school teachers in Iowa a chance to explore ways to incorporate international activities into their teaching.

This year’s institute is broadly themed “Infusing global issues into the curriculum” and will be held June 13-15 on the University of Iowa campus.

Greg Hamot, instructor of the summer institute and professor at the UI, said the institute is a rare opportunity for Iowa secondary school educators to work with both veteran teachers and university experts on a variety of issues.

“Globalization, diversity, civil-political and social justice, as well as human rights, are essential concepts for understanding life in twenty-first century Iowa,” Hamot said. “Any opportunity for teachers to address these present and future trends, issues and problems with students of all backgrounds, especially in an increasingly interdependent world, will be of value in developing the type of citizenship necessary to improve the quality of life not only in Iowa, but throughout the world.”

“Infusing global issues into the curriculum” – June 13-15, 2011

Guest lectures will be provided by other UI professors in various fields, as well as from Merry Merryfield, professor at The Ohio State University and author of several books on global education, including Social Studies and the World: Teaching Global Perspectives.

This year will be the first time that 20 teachers can attend free of charge, including tuition and lodging.

Karen Wachsmuth, International Programs’ Outreach Coordinator and organizer of the institute, said it was important to shape the institute around teachers’ needs. It had previously been a week-long course but now is condensed into an intensive three-day session to fit teachers’ schedules.

An exciting element of the institute will be small-group work sessions devoted to designing curriculum. Wachsmuth said that when the institute is over, teachers will have ready-to-go materials and many new resources to take back to their classrooms.

“We are providing teachers with concrete teaching materials, not just ideas,” she said.

Resources that are currently available from the University of Iowa include culture kits from countries all over the world, classroom visits by cultural ambassadors through the International Classroom Journey program and Japanese Outreach Initiative, and programs and presentations that teachers can attend.

Wachsmuth said a variety of web resources are being developed that teachers will soon be able to use as well.

“We hope to continue to be a resource to Iowa teachers for their changing educational needs,” she said.

If you are a teacher who would like more information about the institute, visit http://international.uiowa.edu.

This article appeared in the April 2011 IP
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