SCHOOL PRIZE | 2005 RUNNERS UP
Richmond Elementary School, Portland, OR
Portland Public Schools’ Japanese Magnet Program was founded in 1989 with two kindergarten classes at Richmond Elementary, an urban, public school in Portland, Oregon. 60% of the student body is white and over 20% are of Asian or Pacific Islander heritage. Since its inception, the program has been expanded to a full K-5 sequence, serving approximately 300 students.
It is a model early language program, using partial immersion as the central organizing principle: children spend half the day learning in Japanese and half learning in English. The language curriculum encompasses oral language, written language and culture, with clear emphasis on children not only learning how to read and write, but also how to understand aurally and speak. Each grade level is team-taught, with both English and Japanese instructors. Language proficiency is assessed using one-on-one interviews, which are videotaped and monitored at the end of each year. By the 5 th grade, students are assessed according to Oregon Japanese Oral Proficiency Assessment procedures, resulting in a 15-minute ratable performance sample. Richmond’s Japanese Magnet Program has become a premier example of how immersion programs, particularly in the early grades, produce much stronger levels of language competency than other approaches to language learning.
Japanese culture is woven throughout all disciplines: math, reading, writing, social studies, language arts, music and art through the study of Japanese holidays. Students perform skits, songs and poetry in Japanese during all-school morning assemblies, and some students have been invited by the Japanese Consulate to speak as part of an annual speech contest. Students participated in fundraising drives and wrote letters of sympathy after the earthquake in Niigata, Japan, and in response to the tsunami. Richmond Elementary families also have the opportunity to host Japanese exchange students and interns from sister schools in Japan, who spend time in Richmond Elementary classrooms. Oya No Kai, a parent-run non-profit organization, raises funds for an annual trip to Japan for 5 th grade students. Students learn how to produce Japanese characters by typing combinations of English letters on computers and create multi-media self-portraits to share with their email pen pals in Japan.
| 2005 RUNNERS UP
Newton North and Newton South High Schools, Newton, MA
The two public high schools in Newton, Massachusetts, Newton North and Newton South, have a long-standing commitment to integrating international content into the curriculum and the extracurricular experiences of their students. Combined they serve approximately 3,500 students, predominantly Caucasian with about 12% Asian and 5% African American students. Following several major curricular reviews in the last fifteen years, the schools have sought to balance once Euro-centric social studies and English courses with focus on other world regions and authors. The mandatory two-year world history course for all grade 9 and 10 students covers units on Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Electives include regional studies courses on East Asia, the Caribbean, and an environmental studies course using regional case studies.
The centerpiece of the Newton district’s international education focus however is its strong world languages program, which offers courses in Chinese, French, Italian, Russian and Spanish, for grades 6 through 12. Each language is complemented with a study abroad option, facilitated by partnerships with schools in China, France, Italy, Mexico, Spain and Cuba, and Russia. The China exchange program, the oldest of its kind in the country, is founded on a 25-year relationship with the Beijing Jingshan School. On both the U.S. and Chinese side, students and faculty live with host families, are immersed in classrooms, lead presentations and demonstrations, and engage in extracurricular activities, all in the language of their host country. Newton students are selected ten months in advance of the exchange to allow for in-depth orientation, semester-long preparatory courses with visiting Chinese teachers, and six-week summer language program. Preference is given to students with prior Chinese language training.
The exchange program’s success has had repercussions both within the district and throughout the state and country. It served as a catalyst for district-wide curriculum reform, bringing the study of Eastern cultures into different academic disciplines—from social studies to science. It has also led to the creation of an affiliated China Exchange Initiative that now replicates the Newton model in states from Maine and New Hampshire to North Carolina and Oklahoma.
The winning of the Goldman Sachs Prize for Excellence in International Education has led to the establishment of a grant program in the two high schools to encourage international education. Grants have been used to establish a school partnership with a school in Tanzania for a service project in support of poverty alleviation; an Internationl Form Lecture Series; a curriculum project on globalization in Mexico; and a can recycling project at the schools. The recycling project aims to raise $100/mo to support a lunch program for a primary school in Belize. This program will be used to build awareness to make a community service exchange to Belize in 2009.
EDUCATION PRIZE| 2005 RUNNERS UP
Over the course of the last three decades, Indiana University has developed key international components within different areas of the school, providing long-term capacity-building initiatives for pre- and in-service teachers, and K-12 students.
The School of Education offers the Overseas Student Teaching Project as an optional supplement to conventional student teaching requirements. Following an in-depth, yearlong preparation and ten weeks of in-state student teaching, pre-service teachers spend an additional eight weeks teaching in primary and secondary schools abroad. Partnerships with schools and education officials in thirteen different countries, including Costa Rica, India, Ireland, Kenya, Russia and now China, allow candidates to learn about education, culture and life outside the United States at a formative phase of their training as K-12 teachers by spending time teaching abroad. The program has reached nearly 2,000 pre-service teachers and is open to candidates from other college campuses.
Indiana University is also the home of The Center for the Study of Global Change and the East Asian Studies Center. The Global Change Center connects the university’s extensive international resources, scholars and students directly to Indiana’s K-12 classrooms through live interactive video technology. The Center also offers summer institutes for teachers around international topics ranging from trade and global climate change, to populations at risk and conflict resolution.
The East Asian Studies Center (EASC) places great emphasis on its teacher outreach, with two flagship programs: the East Asian Literature workshop for high school English teachers and National Consortium for Teaching about Asia workshops for middle and high school teachers, which have reached nearly 700 educators combined. EASC has become the go-to teacher training center in the region for professional development resources on East Asia, and recently began leading study tours to Asia for educators. Both the Global Change Center and EASC actively develop curriculum resources for teaching about Asia and global affairs in Indiana classrooms.
Delaware and Kentucky (co-recipients)
Delaware is recommended as the co-recipient of the Goldman Sachs Foundation Prize for Excellence in International Education in 2005 for its distinguished recent track record and current leadership to promote international knowledge and skills in the state. These include local examples such as the Wilmington Friends School, Tally Middle School- Pre- International Baccalaureate School and Mt. Pleasant High School.
The state of Delaware under the leadership of Governor Ruth Ann Minner, State Superintendent Valerie Woodruff and a multi-sector team convened by the state and the Delaware Trade Council recently conducted a baseline analysis of the state’s capacity in international education. The results were released in a report that gained wide interest from policymakers and business leaders across the state. Recommendations focused on both curricular and professional development reforms that are now underway.
Two new professional development clusters have been formed using innovative distance learning techniques to prepare teachers in international topics, one focuses on Asia and the other on technology and international studies. Delaware is also one of two states preparing a new standards-based curriculum that will integrate international education across major subject areas. As leader in the first phase of the National Governors Association Honor States Grant Program, Delaware is also working to strengthen its overall high school reform plans by reviewing its graduation requirements to reflect a new emphasis on global knowledge, by expanding the number of students participating in IB Diploma Programs and Advanced Placement examinations, and by creating an internationally themed web-based and curriculum portal to be accessible statewide in 2006. For more information visit the State Directory page.
Kentucky is the co-recipient of the Goldman Sachs Foundation Prize for Excellence in International Education in 2005 for its current leadership to promote international knowledge and skills in the state. In October 2003, the Kentucky Department of Education and other key stakeholders convened the first-ever International Education Summit. Participants from the governor’s office, business, and universities created a wide-ranging action plan on which great progress has been made in the past two years. The state legislature passed a concurrent resolution encouraging support for curriculum materials, travel experiences and other information that “increases the awareness of Kentucky educators and students of other cultures, languages, economies, and systems of government.”
Among the most innovative program initiatives in the nation launched this year is the Kentucky Virtual International High School. Students from any public school will be able to receive an international curriculum and diploma while still enrolled in their regular school. Students will be required to complete courses in international economics, geography, world history and comparative government, demonstrate proficiency in a language, and participate in both an international travel experience and service project. A Memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese Ministry of Education has been signed to help create a virtual Chinese course, and to help expand Chinese language and cultural professional development activities statewide. The state has also expanded support for ten model elementary schools to provide world languages and arts experiences for young children, and has integrated international topics into ongoing intensive Teacher Academies. Incentive grants have been provided to encourage higher education partnerships with K-12 schools to develop units of study and school internationalization plans.
For more information visit the State Directory page.
AND TECHNOLOGY PRIZE | 2005 RUNNER UP
Global Nomads Group
Global Nomads Group (GNG), founded in 1998, is committed to improving students’ international knowledge and understanding through the use of interactive technologies like videoconferencing, remote broadcasting and webcasting. By facilitating “face-to-face” meetings between American students and their counterparts across the globe, GNG seeks to increase young people’s knowledge of the world, increase collaboration among students of different cultures and provide a framework in which students are both “the learners and the teachers.” Past projects have focused on critical world issues, including HIV-AIDS, climate change and genocide, and have sought to provide youth with tools to take direct, collaborative and sustainable action through fundraising and advocacy following program completion.
To date, GNG has connected thousands of students for dialogue, in over 30 countries in one of several ways: the primary audience that participates directly in every broadcast, asking each other questions and preparing with their teachers ahead of time; a secondary audience of classrooms watching the broadcasts live online; a tertiary audience using the archived broadcast as part of later classroom discussions on the issue; and the broadcast audience that view parts of the dialogue aired on national television programs like ABC’s Good Morning America or PBS’s In the Mix. Past programs have included: “Crisis in Sudan: Never Again, Again?” which provided a live broadcast from a Sudanese refugee camp to 50 schools in the U.S., and involved 20 classrooms participating in the dialogue from New York, and “Rwanda Alive” which was a six-week program produced by GNG connecting high school students in the U.S. and Rwanda during the ten-year anniversary of the genocide there.
GNG is committed to empowering students to act in service to society and to become more engaged in addressing its greatest needs. Through its interactive programs, students gain critical communication skills and a broader perspective on their world.