Monday, July 9, 2007

Day Two: International Studies Summer Institute

Our first full day is drawing to a close. It certainly feels as if we have been here longer, as our day provided at least a week's worth of thought provoking exercises and practical lesson models that will definately find their way into my classroom.

In teaching international studies to middle school students, one is immediatly met with a series of challanges. For example, demonstrating the relevance of global issues to students is essential if one hopes to move beyond the simple memorization of facts and figures.

Just as important is demonstrating the connection between various important international issues. Examining issues in a vacuum severely limits the students' ability to fully understand how the various issues are interconnected and how practical remedies can be devised to confront the underlying root causes of global problems.

Today's activities included a number of lessons that can be applied to a wide array of issues and concepts. As the files come available I will post detailed descriptions here. I will certainly leave Indiana with my belief in professional development more deeply ingrained. Only in an environment such as ISSI can teachers access the methodological creativity developed by many educators over many years.

And that was only the first day.

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