Fostering Global Competency in U.S. Students

AFS-USA and AFS International had the distinct privilege to participate in a recent teacher professional development workshop at the Bank Street College of Education in New York City, as a steering committee member of the Global Education Coalition of New York City (GEC-NYC).

A partner organization, Global Concerns Classroom, reflected on the GEC-NYCs’ events on October 25th and 26th below.  Their blog post originally appeared here (re-posted below with their permission):


Girl Rising panel from left to right: Dr. Edwin H. Gragert, Chernor Bah, Dr. Virginia Casper, Dr. Bernadette Anand, Basbibi Kakar, Nora Fyles

Girl Rising panel from left to right: Dr. Edwin H. Gragert, Chernor Bah, Dr. Virginia Casper, Dr. Bernadette Anand, Basbibi Kakar, Nora Fyles

On Oct 25-26, members of the Global Education Coalition NYC (GEC-NYC) held two exciting events hosted by Bank Street College of Education. On Friday night, over 60 people attended the film screening of Girl Rising, a documentary produced by 10×10 that follows the stories of 9 girls from 9 countries. The film was followed by a panel discussion where the themes of access to education and girls’ rights were further explored.

The following day, GEC-NYC members partnered with Bank Street College Continuing Professional Studies to offer a day-long professional development workshop on “Fostering Global Competency in our Students“. The workshop focused on providing formal and non-formal educators and school administrators a deeper understanding of global competency along with tools and resources to practically apply it in various school settings.

Specific topics were explored through break-out sessions which focused on integrating global competency into Common Core curriculum, building global citizenship in after school and expanded learning programs, and using face-to-face and virtual exchanges to foster intercultural learning. Participants were also given time to collaborate and work on action plans to implement global competency in their relevant areas of work.

Allison Finn, a participant and GEC-member from Global Nomads Group, commented: “Whereas many trainings focus on bringing in new programs and technologies, this session encouraged teachers to transform their classrooms using existing resources and frameworks, building on their skills and opening their classroom walls through partnerships with NGOs and schools from around the world. The GEC Global Competency PD gave me the chance to learn from teachers working in vastly different contexts and find areas for collaboration.”

Laura Tajima from One to World's Global Classroom introducing the global competency workshop

Laura Tajima from One to World’s Global Classroom introducing the global competency workshop

From the two events, Donna Linton, Lower School and Middle School Director at Lawrence Woodmere Academy (LWA), highlighted: “My colleagues and I were so thrilled to attend the Girl Rising screening on Friday evening. We were so moved and inspired to see the triumphs that the young women in the film experienced in their journey for freedom and education. We want to have the opportunity to share this film with our students soon.

Saturday’s conference was an incredible professional experience. LWA is working on launching a Global Studies program and our team took away so many practical tools and frameworks to help us prepare our school for the exciting program that we are developing. We especially benefited from the What, Why and How frameworks presented by Honor Moorman from World Savvy and the concepts Amanda Ruckel from Global Concerns Classroom and Suzy Sorensen from One to World’s Global Classroom presented about how to think about lesson planning. They were specific and addressed our needs. The presenters were so fully informed and clearly communicated their messages. Networking with the other participants added richness to the experience. Everyone had much to contribute. We felt we had gained exactly what we had hoped for in this day of professional development.”

For more on the Global Competency PD workshop, including power point presentations from all the sessions, visit the GEC-NYC website.

Thanks to the following GEC-NYC member organizations for leading the events: AFS-USA, IVECA International Virtual Schooling, Global Concerns Classroom, Global Nomads Group, New York State After School Network, One to World’s Global Classroom, TeachUNICEF, and World Savvy.

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