In celebration of International Education Week, the UNC-Duke area studies centers (UNC African Studies Center, UNC Carolina Asia Center, UNC Center for European Studies, Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies, and the UNC-Duke Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies) partnered with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) on November 2, 2019 to host a one-day workshop for K-12 teachers. A joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, International Education Week is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and global exchange.
The daylong program, “Global North Carolina: Bringing International Competencies to Teachers and Classrooms” held at Duke University, provided training for teachers to navigate global issues in the classroom. The workshop was designed in collaboration with NCDPI to address the State Board of Education’s vision for all graduating students in North Carolina to “become lifelong learners with the capacity to engage in a globally collaborative society.” In total, 28 public school teachers participated in the workshop, along with two independent school teachers and two college/university instructors. Participants traveled from as far as Gastonia, Morehead City, Newland, Tarboro, and Wilmington to attend the program.
Sessions in the workshop addressed immigration trends, cross-cultural communication and collaboration, as well as diverse cultures, histories and perspectives of different global communities in North Carolina. The workshop provided important global professional development for North Carolina teachers through content and skills- presentations designed to improve cultural competencies.
“When participating in global learning teachers and students alike become excited and inspired by inquiry into the world around them. This workshop …facilitated the learning to become meaningful for the participants because it was not limited to the textbook and the classroom but extended to real people and the ways in which we all live and interact within a global society that is often reflected in our own state, communities, and schools,” said Michelle McLaughlin a K-12 Social Studies Consultant at the N.C. Department of Public Instruction
Teachers also received materials and strategies for integrating global content into their classrooms. In a session with Jenny Marvel, head of school and community programs at the Ackland Art Museum, educators learned about the benefits of using art to teach about the world, engaged in global art-related activities, and discussed how to integrate the activities into their curricula.
The program ended with a panel discussion with immigrant students from China, Egypt and Honduras to allow teachers to hear firsthand accounts from students about living in another country. “I really enjoyed hearing from the student experiences,” said Joshua Gallagher, middle school social studies teacher at Ravenscroft School in Raleigh. “It provided great insight into what students in our classrooms are experiencing at school, home, and in the community they live in.”
The workshop was funded by the Duke University Center for International & Global Studies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education.