Global Educators Meet Locally in the Teacher Forum

Camila Chaudron '08

August 27, 2014

Fifty educators from around the world gathered for the second annual Global Education Teacher Strand, an on-campus workshop which ran from July 28 – 31, 2014. The program, which intentionally coincides with the two-week Student Global Leadership Institute, began as an initiative to gather the insights and perspectives of the teachers accompanying SGLI participants. It has since evolved into a forum for discussion and action planning for teachers interested in integrating a global perspective into their school environments. So, while half of the teacher participants are connected to SGLI, the other half are educators who came to the program independently.

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Director of Wo International Center Emily McCarren, who facilitated the event, explained that the teacher strand “is like a diverse think-tank. It brought together a really remarkable group of educators,” she said, adding that teachers came from the mainland U.S., China, Japan, Denmark, Jordan, India and Sweden, among others, to participate. Teachers from American schools were actually in the minority in the program.

“Although the projects varied in scope and scale, they all explored the role that local realities play in global issues,” McCarren explained. Teachers were encouraged to attend the event in groups of two or three, with the aim of creating an action plan to implement in their community. Many came with a particular question or issue they hoped to address.

For example, a teacher from Castilleja School, an independent school for girls in California, sought input and support for a bike workshop he hopes to establish at his school. Although it’s a small-scale project, the ramifications can be seen through a global lens: cycling promotes a decreased dependence on energy. Creating a space for young women to fix bicycles also teaches them a valuable manual skill and the confidence that accompanies those abilities.

Another teacher, Roddy Davis, came to Punahou for the teacher strand from a high school in Tokyo to discuss his plans for a student-run online international film festival. Here, he met a teacher from RDFZ Xishan School in Beijing who provided Davis with new ideas and direction, given his experience with the well-established student film festival at his school. Through the international aspect of the film festival, students are exposed to different cultures in an engaging artistic context.

This regional collaboration was not the only precipitated by the global program: two teachers from Denmark and Sweden also formed a partnership during the teacher strand. They hope to continue an exchange with other regional educators to expose their students to the diversity present within Scandinavia.

At the conclusion of the program, each teacher created an “I will” poster, a visual and written testament to their commitment to enhancing students’ experience of global education. Participants also vowed to share their experiences with their school, mobilizing to continue the international cooperation established through the program by working with administrators, parents and students.

Comments

  • 11/3/2014 1:14:24 AM

    It seems like a wonderful forum for global educators to meet and network locally and globally. – Eng Lye, Ooi


    Reply
  • 11/24/2014 10:19:37 PM

    I am inspired by the passion I can feel from the article and would love to participate in the 2015 program. Where can I get the details? – Yumiko Bendlin


    Reply

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