On December 5-6, International Programs hosted the Global Education Institute for Teachers in partnership with the Stanley Foundation. The annual professional development workshop is offered to Iowa's K-12 teachers, with an aim of increasing educators’ awareness of and capacity to teach concepts and skills necessary for developing globally-minded students.
A group of 25 teachers from across the state participated in this year’s institute. The focus was 21st Century Skills: Essential Concepts and Skills for Global Literacy, a program developed for the Iowa Department of Education. Session topics included global health, attaining a global perspective, and teaching for global competency. By participating in the course, teachers were introduced to the rationale behind learning global skills, and methods to incorporate a global perspective into their curriculum.
Institute attendee, Warren Sprouse, an advanced placement world history, comparative government, and U.S. government teacher at Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, felt the course was very useful. According to Sprouse, "We frequently confuse ideas of 'globalism' with those of 'globalization,' and this workshop did a good job of emphasizing the difference and in providing teachers with the tools and perspective to communicate that in their classrooms."
Greg Hamot, UI education professor and director of the institute, says the success of the workshop lies in the fact that teachers came prepared to learn something they believed would be important for their students now and in the future. “I enjoy seeing teachers who are dedicated to helping their students see the world as something other than Iowa or the United States, and to recognize that their views are not the only views of the world and the human condition,” said Hamot. “Today’s youth have a strong, but unfiltered view of the world through digital technology, and seeing their teachers develop ideas to help them decipher, critique, and address the trends, issues, and problems we confront as humans is very exciting.”