|Wecome reception to be held for international educators|
The UND College of Education and Human Development will host 27 international educators for six weeks. The teachers will be studying with the College’s Department of Teaching and Learning under a U.S. Department of State Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program (TEA) grant.
The selected educators arrive on campus Thursday, Sept. 24. There will be a reception for the group from 5 to 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 25, at the North Dakota Museum of Art.
The purpose of the grant is to provide the educators opportunities of collaborating with U.S. educators at UND, and the Grand Forks School District, and developing expertise planning and teaching skills. The experience will also allow the educators to increase their knowledge about the United States and its educational systems as well as develop productive relationships among the international group and with their American counterparts.
The educators include two social studies teachers and 25 English-as-a-Foreign-Language and English teachers from 12 countries around the world. The group includes nationally recognized educators from Argentina, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Senegal, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
UND’s TEA coordinators are Donna Pearson, assistant professor of social studies education, and Anne Walker, associate professor of literacy and English language learning education. Pearson and Walker conducted a similar program in 2006 with Russian educators.
“The competition for this State Department grant was extensive (16 other universities submitted proposals) and I simply did not anticipate UND being selected,” said Pearson. “This is such a humbling experience. I am both honored and excited that we with the collegial support of the Grand Forks School District will be able to share in learning more about the rich cultures of our international educators as they learn more about our culture and educational system.”
The grant ($168,559) assists in sustaining the professional development program: academic sessions, and English language course, a technology course, and a Mentor-internship in the Grand Forks Public Schools.
“The College of Education and Human Development has earned a national reputation for providing outstanding professional development experience for international teachers,” said Dan Rice, dean of the UND College of Education and Human Development.
“This is our third award from the U.S. Department of State for this purpose. Thanks for our faculty and the Grand Forks School District for competing at a national level to bring international teachers to UND and Grand Forks,” he continued.
Additionally, the TEA educators will participate in other cultural activities that include a football and hockey game, a local school board meeting, International Night at the University, a production at the Chester Fritz, a trip to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and a capitol tour in Bismarck with other historical sites.
“Having teachers here from 12 different countries is a fantastic opportunity to learn about cross-cultural communication and how education varies around the world,” said Walker. “The many UND professors, Grand Forks teachers, students and others involved will hopefully develop lasting relationships with their international colleagues."
UND was selected for the TEA grant this year along with three other U.S. universities: George Mason University, Purdue University, and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
TEA is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.
-- Juan Pedraza, Writer/Editor, University Relations, email@example.com, 777-6571