Professional Development for Global Teaching and Learning

Faculty development in colleges of education is a necessary step to develop a culture within the college that is supportive of  internationalization efforts.  In an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Madeline Green stresses “I tell presidents, if they have any money at all for internationalization, faculty development is the place to put it."  

Professional development is available at the national level.  NAFSA:  The Association of International Educators offers a Colloquium on Internationalizing Teacher Education as part of its annual conference and faculty conversation webinars that provide faculty and deans with resources and support for their internationalization efforts.  Under the leadership of Betty Soppelsa, Deputy Executive Director for Conference Planning at NAFSA, these efforts bring together leaders in the field of internationalization of teacher preparation to share ideas, network, and develop partnerships in the US and abroad.

Some universities offer internationally focused professional development at an institutional level.  For instance, Northeastern State University in Oklahoma offers an International Faculty Development Program comprised of  competitive faculty development seminars designed to increase international awareness on campus and promote internationalization of courses.

In teacher education programs, faculty members who bring their global expertise into their teaching play a key role once teacher candidates begin taking professional development courses at their institutions.  Teacher preparation programs should support faculty in internationalizing their teaching in order to help their students learn to do so.

Deans and professors interviewed in To Leave No Teacher Behind:  Building International Competence into the Undergraduate Training of K-12 Teachers agreed that faculty development was the top internationalization strategy. Virtually all respondents wanted facilitation of course revisions, and 75% liked the idea of joint Arts and Sciences and Education faculty workshops to address specific curriculum issues related to internationalization.  In a recent study entitled The Role of Faculty Development in Curricular Transformation for Internationalization, researchers noted that “Internationalizing curriculum is…an exercise in transforming faculty perspectives and increasing their global competence” (p. 2), but found that faculty often do not  internationalize their courses because of bias or lack of global competence.

Team teaching among Education and Arts and Sciences is a popular notion among faculty, although To Leave No Teacher Behind found this to be a more expensive strategy.   Team teaching efforts do exist, however.  Miami University in Oxford, Ohio offers “Field Studies in the Czech Republic,” team taught by faculty from the Theater Department and the Teacher Education Department. Teacher education and theater students work together in an intensive cultural immersion experience in the Czech Republic. Course activities include living with Czech families, teaching conversational English in Czech middle schools, traveling with Czech peers to Prague, Cracow, and Auschwitz, and two weeks of small-group (Czech and American) travel and study.

The SUNY Global Workforce Project (GWP) offers an online faculty training curriculum workshop for faculty who wish to internationalize their courses.  The workshop instructs faculty in all disciplines on how to integrate the GWP's ten module Globalization 101 curriculum into their courses in order to provide students with the knowledge and skills that will prepare them for careers in a global economy.

The University of Maryland College Park’s Global Awareness in Teacher Education (GATE) Fellows Program provides stipends to faculty to support curriculum development for teacher preparation. The program started in 2007, and is designed to address the “global knowledge gap” and begin building a cohort of enthusiastic faculty dedicated to the continued internationalization of the College of Education. Fellows receive a $2,000 stipend and a modest budget for curriculum development. They participate in a series of meetings and in projects developed together over the course of an academic year to support increased attention to global awareness and expertise in teacher education. Projects include integrating international perspectives into early childhood education courses, science and reading methods, and creating virtual partnerships with colleagues in other countries. Since its inception, the program has sponsored over twenty faculty.

Teacher education faculty members from William Paterson University, Queens College, and Iona College with little to no professional training in Asian studies a program to integrate information about Asia across the teacher preparation curriculum. Funded by a grant from the United States Department of Education Undergraduate and International Students and Foreign Language Program, faculty members receive support as they modify their courses and develop new course offerings to include stronger Asian and international content in order to prepare future teachers with knowledge about Asia. The group attended faculty development workshops at the Asia Society and shared information with colleagues on their own campuses and at other institutions, including area P-12 teachers.

 

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