World View equips K-12, community college educators with tools to prepare students

In the summer, when the rest of Carolina’s campus slows down, the World View staff kicks into high gear with the Global Education Leaders’ Program. The 33 participants who came to the June 16-20 session at UNC’s Center for School Leadership Development traveled from Charlotte and Durham as well as Onslow, Guilford, Warren and Cabarrus counties.

Charlé LaMonica, the director of World View, still considers herself a teacher, she told this year’s class in its opening session. “I want us to take students as far as we can in North Carolina. Our mission at World View is to equip K-12 and community college educators with global knowledge, best practices and resources to prepare our students to live in this interconnected and diverse world.”

No surprise – these educators are lifelong learners. In five days, they got a crash course in global and cultural issues with lectures by prominent UNC faculty members like Jim Johnson of the Kenan-Flagler Business School, Christian Lundberg of the department of communications studies, James Peacock of the anthropology department, and Layna Mosley of the department of political science, to name just a few. This year’s topics included hot spots like Africa, the Middle East, China, Cuba and Russia and issues such as food security, terrorism and universal education for girls.

“The world and learning about it inspire me,” said Aimy Steele, assistant principal at Cox Mill High School in Cabarrus County. “I also want to evaluate what we’re currently doing with global education at our school.”

Since 2001, World View has been offering the Global Education Leaders’ Program, this five-day window on global issues for K-12 and community college educators, preparing students for a rapidly shrinking world. Not even students in the most rural areas of the state can live in isolation as technology, communications, entertainment and business bring the rest of the world to North Carolina. If these students are to succeed, they need to be able to think globally.

“I believe we have to think beyond the here and now. We have to know what it means to be global citizens,” said Avis Williams, executive director of secondary curriculum and instruction for Guilford County schools.

But while the Global Education Leaders’ Program is World View’s flagship program, it is far from being the only one.

World View also hosts an annual seminar to help educators learn more about their Hispanic students and strategies for teaching them. In October, the more general “Moving North Carolina Forward” symposium brings together K-12 educators for two days to discuss global education. In November, World View’s community college symposium will focus on “The Global Economy.”

World View even goes on the road to bring its global education programs to its 143 partner schools and colleges. On Aug. 13, World View staff will be in Asheville for a one-day program focused on global and STEM education. They also provide educators with on-site classes and workshops that qualify for professional development Continuing Education Units. Through a program called Global WebFriends, World View arranges ways to connect scholars currently studying abroad with classrooms in North Carolina. World View is also developing a Global Distinction Initiative with North Carolina community colleges.

At the class graduation on Friday, Carol Tresolini, vice provost for academic initiatives reminded the educators that – far from being the end – this was only the beginning of their work with the program. “At World View, they not only give you knowledge,” she said, “they also provide the resources to apply what you’ve learned in your community college and school systems.”

By Susan Hudson, UNC News Services.

July 15, 2014.