USD Offers Website to Globalize View of Education

For three years, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego has been gathering videos to help teach educators how to incorporate global views into their K-12 classrooms.

The Globalizing Teacher Education project (sites.sandiego.edu/globaleducation/) was created as an expansion of the School of Leadership and Education Sciences’ longstanding commitment to strengthening global education, says Heather Lattimer, an associate professor and the Learning and Teaching Department chairperson.

“The website was created as an extension of these on-site experiences, providing video case studies that students and faculty in our university courses can view and analyze together, allowing for facilitated discussions of how best to adapt global learning to a range of contexts, grade levels, and content areas,” she says.

The videos, which can run from five to 20 minutes, feature a range of grade levels and content areas (language arts, science, social studies, even physical education) as well as background materials for the video clips and discussion questions that help viewers think through how they might use them in their own classrooms.

While designed as a teaching tool for USD’s students and faculty, they are being used by other teacher education initiatives as well.

“Faculty in university-based teacher education programs across the country as well as teacher professional development leaders in K-12 schools and districts have shared that they find the videos helpful in supporting teacher learning in their contexts,” Lattimer says.

In a typical video, Carlsbad, Calif., teacher Michele Ward works with her second graders to understand how stories are used in various cultures. In the short segment featured, Ward walks her students through the book Suki’s Kimono, about a Japanese girl, and talks with the students about how it connects to their lives.

Then there is a follow-up video that includes an interview with Ward talking about her goals, how she prepared the students for the lesson, the challenges of making the lesson work, and how she assessed what the students took away from the lesson.

“I think it is so important, so valuable, for teachers to make sure they are teaching with global-mindedness,” Ward says in the video.

There are also discussion questions for exploring how the global focus is used in the curriculum, and there is a link to the full lesson video.

The development of the site and the video modules was made possible through a grant from the Longview Foundation.

Lattimer says it is important that global education gets support in a time of many competing priorities.

“One of the challenges that advocates for diversity education face in the United States is that, during a time of common core standards and increasing standardization of curriculum, multicultural and global education are too often seen as lesser priorities by administrators and teachers facing the pressures of standardized testing,” she says.

“What we hope that the site demonstrates is that educators need not consider this an either/or choice between skill development or global learning. Thoughtful educators who have a deep understanding of their disciplines recognize the many ways in which to engage in globally-focused learning while also nurturing students’ development of literacy, numeracy, and critical thinking skills.”●