Eleven teachers from five countries will be at IU for the fall 2014 semester as part of the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program.
Sponsored by the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State, the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program recognizes and encourages excellence in teaching in the U.S. and abroad. It is part of the overall Fulbright Program, which promotes mutual understanding among people of the U.S. and other countries.
The Global Teacher Programs Division of the Institute of International Education awarded $224,036 to the Center for International Education, Development and Research at the IU School of Education for its first time running the program. The Fulbright grant awarded to IU was the only one given in the U.S. this year.
“For the federal government to think that we have something to offer these incredible teachers speaks volume about Indiana University’s School of Education,” IU graduate student and Fulbright scholar Hope Rias said.
The educators are from several countries, including India, Morocco and New Zealand. They will attend classes in the IU School of Education, share insight with IU faculty and students from their own countries and interact with teachers and students at Bloomington High School North and University Elementary.
Nine of the International Fulbright Teachers are secondary teachers and two are primary teachers.
“All of them are master teachers who are concerned about achievement gaps in their home counties, and dedicated to changing it,” Rias said.
Patricia Kubow, the Center for International Education, Development and Research director, said IU will provide a broad range of programs and resources in the teachers’ fields of teaching expertise.
“The teachers will have access to graduate level classes and a customized seminar to help them reflect on their learning, particularly as it relates to working with underserved populations,” she said in a press release. “It prepares them to share their new knowledge with teachers and education officials in their home communities.”
Rias said she and Keith Barton, the coordinator of Curriculum Studies, will teach a special seminar for all Fulbright Scholars about the history of education in the U.S. and across the world. She said the teachers will also visit local schools in Indiana to see firsthand what education looks like in America.
“Comparing experiences from very different countries helps educators not only understand other parts of the globe, but deepens and extends their understanding of their own contexts,” Barton said.
In addition, Kubow said teachers complete a capstone project of their own design and lead seminars or master classes for U.S. teachers and students that draw on their own expertise and best practices from their home ?countries.
Kubow said some of the proposed capstone projects include learning how to teach English in large classes, how to use digital technology in English classrooms, comparative education studies of science classrooms to create active learning and how to retain and engage learners in secondary classrooms.
The final capstone project will be presented in ?December to IU faculty and students and the general public, she said.
“These are people coming to us who are leaders in education, showing that there is a lot to learn no matter where you teach in the world,” Kubow said.