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Area Studies Centers Host Virtual K-12 Global Education Programs

August 11, 2020
UNC Global
Zoom call gallery view of participants with 14 profile squares

Virtual teacher session organized by the area studies centers at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke

The area studies centers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University collaborated to host a series of global education outreach programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Held during July, the virtual events connected teachers with relevant, digital resources to inspire them to incorporate more global content in the coming school year.

The series was designed based on feedback from teachers on the UNC-CH and Duke University Area Studies Teacher Advisory Council, a group of educators who evaluate and support the direction of the six area studies centers’ K-12 outreach. The council requested a summer program that would provide a networking and resource-sharing opportunity for globally oriented educators who are navigating the challenges of online teaching

Each hour-long Zoom program was centered on a theme to address different teacher interests; “Teaching Globally in Rural Settings,” “Arts-Based Global Education” and “Global Teaching and Digital Learning.”

The sessions commenced with a presentation by a member of the advisory council. Teachers presented on their classroom experiences, digital pedagogy and global education resources. Participants were then placed into breakout groups based on their grade levels for the remainder of the program, allowing time for sharing stories and useful resources, and reflecting upon their experiences in global education.

The series attracted a diverse group of educators, varying in levels and subjects taught, with teachers joining from across the state and country.

The UNC-Chapel Hill staff leading the program observed energetic breakout group discussions and the exciting ideas exchanged about leading young people into thinking globally. One math teacher from Pamlico County Middle School in North Carolina said that she was inspired by ideas of how to encourage her students to think about the wider world and that the discussion affirmed her belief in the importance of global education.

“We at the UNC area studies centers recognize the tremendous work that educators have been doing in this moment, and we are trying to support them in new ways as they continue to infuse global components into their curriculum,” commented Kevin Fogg, associate director of the Carolina Asia Center and an organizer of the series. “I was so inspired by all the conversations I heard in the events across three weeks, with participants sharing pedagogical strategies for these unprecedented times, and getting excited about new resources for teaching global topics.”

The series was a collaboration between the UNC African Studies Center; Carolina Asia Center; Carolina Navigators; Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies; UNC Center for European Studies; UNC Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies; and the UNC-Duke Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. The area studies centers are a part of the College of Arts & Sciences and remain committed to deepening students’ understanding of the world and the importance of global education during a new era of digital teaching and learning.

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