30 Award-Winning Educators Tour Chinese Schools

NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellows successfully complete year-long study.

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Our Global Learning Fellows program has an intentional focus on supporting educators as they strengthen their global competencies: investigating the world beyond one’s immediate environment; recognizing multiple perspectives; communicating ideas...

Washington, DC (PRWEB) July 23, 2014

An American delegation of 30 award-winning educators completed field study of China from June 20-28, 2014, as part of the 2014 NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellowship, a year-long learning journey, during which educators built their global competency skills, or the capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance.

“In order for students to be prepared for the global age, their educators must be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and disposition to teach in the global age,” said Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation. “Our Global Learning Fellows program has an intentional focus on supporting educators as they strengthen their global competencies: investigating the world beyond one’s immediate environment; recognizing multiple perspectives; communicating ideas effectively with diverse audiences; and taking action to improve conditions.”

The fellowship expands on the NEA Foundation’s mission to advance student achievement by investing in public education that will prepare all students to learn and thrive in a rapidly changing world. It is designed to help educators, all recipients of the NEA Foundation’s Award for Teaching Excellence, acquire the necessary skills to integrate global competence into their daily classroom instruction, advance pedagogy in their school/district, prepare students to thrive in the interconnected global age, and thus contribute to the closing of the global achievement gap.

The Fellowship builds a structured and collaborative learning experience that supports educators as they acquire global competence skills. Over the course of one year, Fellows are supported by the NEA Foundation staff, partners, and other field experts, as they work through the following:

  • Readings and webinars to introduce global competence and country specific concepts;
  • Online coursework on global competence and country specific concepts;
  • Introductory language learning;
  • A two-day professional development workshop with sessions led by leaders in global competency and country-specific knowledge; and
  • An international field study designed to focus on the themes of global competence, education (both practice and issues of international, national, and state policy) and economics.

The international field study in China, from June 20-28, 2014, included visits to schools in Beijing and Xi’an to provide educators with structured opportunities to observe high quality instruction and to interact with Chinese teachers and administrators. It also included opportunities to investigate China’s historical and cultural significance.

In preparation, the Fellows completed an online course to provide them with a framework to contextualize their experiences in China by examining the impact of its historical and cultural legacies on contemporary Chinese society and educational system.

The NEA Foundation also partnered with Rosetta Stone to provide Fellows with basic Mandarin language training. “As we know, language is the road map to other cultures and is therefore an important tool for building global understanding,” Sanford said.

In the upcoming weeks, the NEA Foundation will share the Fellows’ experiences and observations through a series of blog posts on neafoundation.org.

At the conclusion of the NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellowship, educators create a lesson plan, unit plan, or full curriculum integrated with global competency skills. By creating this plan, and then sharing with educators around the world via an open source platform, Fellows are contributing to an increasing field of knowledge on this topic. Furthermore, the Fellows become positioned to lead the profession by becoming advocates for global learning and global competence within their schools, communities, and districts.

Educators from around the world can access last year’s NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellows’ plans via an open-source platform, BetterLesson.com, with dozens of global lesson plans created by previous fellows that can easily be replicated.

Names and photos of the 2014 NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellows are posted on the NEA Foundation’s website. Find other details about the Fellowship here.

ABOUT THE NEA FOUNDATION

The NEA Foundation is a public charity supported by contributions from educators' dues, corporate sponsors, and others who support public education initiatives. We support student success by helping public school educators work with key partners to build strong systems of shared responsibility. Visit http://www.neafoundation.org for more information.


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