Courses that focus on specific content areas provide the most direct avenue for helping future teachers learn how to integrate knowledge of the world into their teaching. All subjects, not just social studies and languages, can be taught with the world in mind. Learning to do this well, to go beyond “food, flags, and festivals,” takes time, reflection, and guidance. It requires support for teacher candidates to deepen their knowledge of global issues, world regions, and cultures, and to learn new pedagogical practices they may not have experienced as students.
Collaboration among faculty in education and arts and sciences can be particularly beneficial for revising instructional methods classes. Teacher educators for instructional methods courses can guide future teachers’ pedagogical practices so they can help their own students understand and engage with the world in meaningful ways. These practices include:
- Seeking accurate information from a variety of sources, especially primary sources, about other countries and cultures
- Rejecting stereotyping and “exoticizing” of unfamiliar people and practices
- Exploring multiple perspectives on complex issues
- Developing meaningful real or virtual contact with people from a variety of backgrounds in schools, communities and in other countries.
There is a wealth of resources available to help teachers bring the world into their classrooms, and tools and opportunities are now being created to help them sift through these resources. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction published Planning Curriculum in International Education and developed a web resource for international activities and connections. Under the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI program, UCLA developed a website for pre-collegiate materials prepared by the Title VI National Resource Centers. The Asia Society released Going Global: Preparing Our Students for an Interconnected World, and provides a directory of teaching resources. In addition to publications and websites, in-service teachers of all subject areas are coming together to share how they are internationalizing their classrooms.
The SUNY Global Workforce Project provides comprehensive resources for internationalizing undergraduate courses, including a faculty training program and ten module globalization curriculum. Each of the curricular modules focuses on a different theme - such as Global Health and Gender and Globalization - that can be incorporated into any course. The modules were developed in partnership with over 50 faculty on two SUNY campuses.
Global Campaign for Education-US (GCE-US) offers multiple resources for educators at all levels, including Lesson for All - a set of two units focused on the right of education and the barriers that youth around the world experience when trying to access a quality education. Each lesson is mapped to the Common Core State Standards and the Global Competence Matrix, and includes multi-media components. Teacher educators can use and adapt resources like these to educate future teachers about global issues.
At the University of Denver, the Center for Teaching International Relations’ International Studies Schools Association holds an annual conference called “All Classes through Global Glasses.” The Asia Society’s “Partnership for Global Learning” annual conference brings together both policymakers and practitioners concerned with this field. The Global Workforce Project also offers conferences on internationalizing undergraduate curriculum.
As pre-service programs begin to globalize their instructional methods courses, teacher candidates are learning about these materials and practices before they begin to teach. Michigan State University’s College of Education has created an online database of instructional materials and is revising courses required of elementary education students in science, social studies, math, and literacy to infuse them with global dimensions. Kent State University led a three-campus consortium to build a similar online tool. Both colleges plan to continue this process for other courses in the future.
In spite of significant resources in a few places, there are too few examples of systematic efforts to internationalize instructional methods courses for pre-service teachers. The activities and ideas described in this section, some of which are drawn from work with in-service teachers, may be helpful to institutions embarking on such an endeavor. We invite you to actively participate in this section and add examples, outlines, and syllabi from your courses so that a collective resource can be built to support all who desire to internationalize their coursework.