Boulder Valley teacher to tour Brazilian schools with national educator group

Kristin Donley

Kristin Donley
Boulder Valley EA

The NEA Foundation has named Kristin Donley, science teacher at Monarch High School in Boulder Valley School District, as a 2013 Pearson Foundation Global Learning Fellow. With this honor, Donley joins a unique class of 36 award-winning public school educators who will build their global competency skills, or the capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance. Donley was Colorado’s nominee for the NEA Teaching Excellence Award last year.

“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 acquire the necessary skills to integrate global competence into their daily classroom instruction, and 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:

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

The tour of Brazil, June 19-27, includes visits to schools in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro to provide educators with structured opportunities to observe classroom instruction and to interact with Brazilian teachers and administrators. It also includes opportunities to investigate Brazil’s rich historical and cultural landmarks. The tour is sponsored by the Pearson Foundation and the NEA Foundation and is designed by Education First.

In preparation, the fellows will complete an online course to provide them with a framework to contextualize their experiences in Brazil by examining the impact of its historical and cultural legacies on contemporary Brazilian society and educational system. The NEA Foundation has also partnered with Rosetta Stone to provide the fellows with basic Portuguese language training. “As we know, language is the road map to other cultures, and therefore an important tool for building global understanding,” Sanford said.

Together with the Pearson Foundation, the NEA Foundation will share the fellows’ experiences and observations through blog posts and photos as they travel.

At the conclusion of the Pearson Foundation Global Learning Fellowship, educators will begin working on a final project to 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, the educators are contributing to an increasing field of knowledge on this topic. Further, they are positioned to lead their profession by advocating for global learning and global competence within their schools, communities, and districts.

The NEA Foundation is a public foundation supported by NEA members’ dues, corporate sponsors and others interested in public education.

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