Evanston Township High School, Evanston, IL
Township High School (ETHS), a suburban public school
located outside Chicago, Illinois, has a student body
of just under 3,100, approximately 50 percent of which
is white, 38 percent African American, seven percent Hispanic,
and five percent other. In 1992, ETHS instituted a one-year
international studies requirement for graduation. A team
of teachers developed a series of interdisciplinary courses
on the history, literature and art of Asia, Africa, Latin
America and the Middle East. Every student must enroll
in at least two semesters of study of other world regions.
From the beginning, internationally oriented courses have
developed in many departments. The school is particularly
known for its simulation activities in which students
play the role of, for example, a participant in the Berlin
Conference of 1885, or the creator of an NGO designed
to address a contemporary world issue. Outside the classroom,
students participate in extracurricular clubs including
Model United Nations, Islamic Culture Club, Tea Ceremony
and Amnesty International.
offers world language courses in Japanese, Hebrew and
Latin in addition to Spanish, French and German. Technology
is used to connect language classes to native speakers
and for online discussion with students in other countries,
such as Pakistan and Zimbabwe. The quality of the program
stems from the school's commitment to professional development.
The school has developed relationships with area studies
centers at three local universities and the Chicago Council
on Foreign Relations to give teachers access to scholarship
and expertise. ETHS is recognized as a leading example
of best practices in international education featuring
"teaching and learning" teams for curriculum development
and community outreach by students. In 2003, Evanston
sponsored a Global Studies conference for schools in Illinois
to share curriculum and teaching strategies.
Read on for an interview with Paula Frohman, Department Chair, Media and Instructional Technology Services:
Q. How has winning the Goldman Sachs Prize had an impact on your school or organization ? On the wider community?
A. We offer seven global studies courses for students. As a result, providing resources and professional development for new teachers is essential. This Prize has allowed us to provide materials and professional development opportunities for new teachers who would not have been able to travel to countries they teach about without these subsidies. These experiences have allowed us to keep up the quality of the teaching in our global studies courses.
Winning the prize brought the school national attention. As a result of this national attention, students became very involved in bringing in speakers to discuss global issues.
Additionally, the Christian Science Monitor (see left column) did a great article about our program which caught the eye of Rush Lumbaugh who attacked our program. Our students who responded about the need for global education received some very good press. It brought the discussion of the need for International Education to the forefront. The National Attention brought a great deal of credibility/status for our global studies program. As a result, we have been able to build relationships with local teachers and share our successes with schools that have contacted us after finding out that we received the Prize. Through the Middle Ground Club, we were able to bring in speakers and performers to the school about hot topics such as Iraq War. Overall, as budget cuts became more prevalent, we were able to support the global studies program and continue our rich curriculum and excellent teaching.
Q. What advice do you have for others trying to engage K-12 students in learning about the world?
A. First, start where you can in your curriculum. Second, reach out to the universities/museums for resources, and third, reach out to other schools that have successful programs for ideas on how to organize the class.