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"From a rural high school to a Russian Lyceum, Mary Sue Burns learns at lot from her students"
May 4, 2014
2013 TGC fellow Mary Sue Burnsa science teacher from West Virginia, was featured in her local newspaper, the Register Herald, for the amazing, lasting connections to global perspectives that she is helping her students to make upon her return from Russia in April 2014.  The article, which can be found here, offers excellent insight into the challenges that both students and teachers face when encountering a new culture, as well as the immense value in being open to these cultural and societal differences.

Mr. Oh! Goes to Russia
April 24, 2014
TGC fellow Jeff Ofstedahl was featured in his local newspaper for the excellent work he is doing with his students after returning to his Arizona classroom from his International Field Experience in Russia!  For the whole story and some wonderful photos, please click here.

Interview with a TGC Fellow
April 21, 2014
2013 TGC Fellow Joanne Clyde gave an awesome interview to her local paper about her international field experience in Russia this past April.  Here is one of our favorite quotes from the interview:

"This program is so very important and not just because of the travel ... Our world is becoming so much more interconnected and we have no idea what our students are going to face in the future. We're teaching them skills for jobs that don't exist yet, so being able to think globally and how to interact with other cultures is so vital. This whole program has been the most rewarding experience in my professional career." - Joanne Clyde

For the full interview, click here!

April 2, 2014
2013 TGC fellow Shiloh Francis, a history teacher at Castle High School in Honolulu, Hawaii, was featured in a local newspaper for a peace studies initiative she has created for her students for their World War II unit.  Along with writing traditional haiku and tanka style poems from the perspective of Pearl Harbor bombing victims, Francis' students have made thousands of paper cranes as a Pearl Harbor memorial.  Francis' students are now working on another thousand cranes to bring with them to a student field trip to Japan in 2014.  For the full story, please see the Windward Oahu Cover story here.

Castle High freshmen Maya Farias (left) and Maile Goldstein, and USS Arizona education coordinator Emily Pruett present the students’ paper cranes to WWII veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor ‘Uncle Al’ Rodrigues. Photo by Shiloh Richardson Francis

by Erin Powell, Communications Associate, IREX
February 28, 2014 
According to the US Department of Education, the United States ranks 25th in mathematics and 17th in science among industrialized nations, representing a dire need for students to study and achieve in those areas. Fellows in the Teachers for Global Classrooms Program (TGC) are trying to accomplish that by encouraging student participation in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields with a global context.“No matter what the focus in your life is, technology is an inescapable part,” said David Prince, a math teacher at Long Beach High School in Long Beach, New York. “Math and science are international languages. The Pythagorean theorem holds true no matter what country you’re from.”

STEM education helps students think critically and prepare for the possibility that their ideas might be used in innovation and technology – helping to answer the need for STEM professionals and pushing the US forward among other nations.

“Especially in San Antonio, there is very little desire to leave the community,” said Cheri McNeely, a science teacher at Whittier Middle School in San Antonio, Texas. “I’m trying to be an ambassador for them to show that this is important. We need to be able to develop relationships with other countries to further technology and cultural understanding.”
Of the 72 teachers in this year’s TGC cohort, 16 teach in various STEM fields. Science teacher Gilbert Amadi teaches inner-city students at Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, California. He uses topics such as energy to discuss how issues personally affect the students and their communities.
“We talk about renewable energy sources and [the students] begin to appreciate that the world is becoming just a village,” said Amadi. “Many of them have not traveled outside of their environment. However, through the programs we have in physics, chemistry and robotics, we are trying to let them be aware of what is happening outside of their locality.”
Funded by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and implemented by IREX, TGC gives teachers the skills needed to globalize education in their classrooms through a year-long professional development opportunity with an international exchange component.
At the Global Education Symposium in Washington, DC, the STEM teachers and others prepared for their travels to six different countries: Colombia, Ghana, India, Morocco, Philippines, and Russia.
“If you [participate] in these exchanges, you get to meet up with the best of the best from all over the world,” said Emily Torlak, a science teacher at Eau Gallie High School in Melbourne, Florida. “You get to share ideas and collaborate, and then you bring those ideas back to your school where you share with your peers and your county. It’s a trickle-down effect. Ultimately, we want to prepare our kids to be world citizens, especially in science. What we do in our country impacts everyone else. Global education is a necessity.”

The Teachers for Global Classrooms (TGC) Program provides a year-long professional development opportunity for middle and high school teachers from the United States to participate in a program aimed at globalizing teaching and learning in their classrooms. TGC is a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is administered by IREX.

Featured TGC Fellow: Sherri Anderson, Colombia 2014

Teaching in a global classroom
Gunnison Country Times
February 6, 2014 

As this year's TGC teachers prepare to embark upon their international field experiences, their communities and schools are already feeling the positive impact!

October 15, 2013
After traveling to an all-girls school in Ghana and learning of the significant need for books to improve literacy, inner-city Philadelphia high school teacher Bonnee Breese saw the importance of creating an opportunity for global education and understanding. She established a book drive for Ghana at her school in Philadelphia, which her students helped manage and implement as they learned about global competencies.

“[The trip] connected me greatly to Ghana and to girls, in a time where people are really paying attention to girls and literacy,” said Breese. “I’m riding a wave that I didn’t imagine ever happening.”

Through the Teachers for Global Classrooms (TGC) Program, US secondary school teachers like Breese participate in a year-long professional development program where they develop skills as practitioners and become ambassadors of global pedagogy in order to catalyze global education in their classrooms, schools and communities. The program includes an international field experience where they learn about education systems, visit schools and meet with education leaders. This year, 78 teachers from 36 states traveled to Brazil, Ghana, Kazakhstan, India, Indonesia, Morocco and Ukraine. At the post-travel TGC Global Education Symposium, teachers shared their experiences abroad and how they infused global perspectives in their classrooms.

Jennice Wright, a middle school teacher from rural Missouri, traveled to India through TGC and brought back ideas to create space for change in a culturally isolated education setting. Using popular culture, music and street art in the Arab Spring as a medium for understanding, Wright hopes to get students more deeply interested in global issues and conversations about justice-oriented citizenship.

“We’re starting to see students think beyond their bubbles,” she said. “I’m working on taking the global education conversation to local districts, national conferences [and] board meetings. I think we need to have more conversations about globalizing culturally isolated classrooms.”

After experiencing the education system in Kazakhstan, middle school teacher Robert Dent wanted to focus on the writing process and the recognition of cultural similarities and differences among students back home and abroad. By creating an international poetry project, he was able to maintain a focus on content while globally changing his classroom. 

“[Global education is] essential for [the] growing interconnectedness of our world,” said Dent. “The types of problems that we’re facing today, and will continue to face in the future, cannot be solved by single countries. They have to be solved by multiple countries working together.”

By simplifying the complex ideas of global education and cultural understanding through field experience, collaborative networks and activities, TGC teachers enhance learning and help students grow to foster an international perspective in the classroom.

“For teenagers, [global education is] really important because it takes them outside of themselves,” said Breese. “They need connections to the world, not just to a 15 block radius.”

Below is a list of Teachers for Global Classrooms Alumni blogs.

Ukraine 2012

History/Social Studies Teacher, Massachusetts:

Morocco 2012

History/Government Teacher, Wyoming

 Indonesia 2012

History/Geography Teacher, Oklahoma

Brazil 2012

Social Studies Teacher, Washington 

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