Thinking Globally, Teaching Locally: Educating for Active Citizenship
Masters in Teaching 2009-2011
The Evergreen State College
The planet we inhabit is facing unprecedented challenges as we approach the second decade of the 21st century. For the lone individual, it can be overwhelming to consider positive actions to counter the dramatic effects of climate change on the environment; of huge pockets of people living in poverty who long for basic material needs; of nation-state relations marked more by the devastation of war than by peaceful cooperation; and of the oppression of people based on their racial and ethnic identification, gender, physical and mental abilities, sexual orientation, and class. Teachers occupy a unique position, from which they can help a new generation of young people become locally active, globally conscious citizens. As an educator at any level and in any subject, you have the opportunity to help your students develop the attitudes, knowledge and skills that will empower them as active and compassionate citizens. This is as true for the teacher of kindergarten as it is for the teacher of high school, as true for the teacher of math as it is for the teacher of social studies.
The Evergreen MIT program takes seriously the charge from the state of Washington to prepare teachers who are able to place learning in a social context. The state wants teachers to use what they know about learning, development, communication and diverse learners to inform their teaching. They also want teachers to purposefully “seek information from multiple communities; consider student learning in the context of social, political, environmental, and economic systems; and create opportunities for students to participate in responsible civic engagement, including developmentally appropriate self-governance.” 2009-2011 Cohort Theme Thinking Globally, Teaching Locally: Educating for Active Citizenship.
This rigorous program will prepare you to engage in reflective practice in order to support the learning of diverse students; to critique educational research and practices; and to advocate for social justice. In that light we will examine the following questions together:
- What is involved in supporting the development of students’ knowledge and skills in the specific area(s) you plan to teach?
- What insights on learning informed by (a) cognitive, social, and emotional development, (b) cultural context, (c) motivation, and (d) recent brain research can we use to inform our teaching practices?
- What is involved in adapting, creating, and implementing interdisciplinary curriculum that (a) connects to the assets and interests of local communities, (b) emphasizes citizenship that is responsive to human needs in a pluralistic society, (c) reflects a world shared with diverse populations with diverse needs and aspirations, and (d) provides all students an equitable opportunity to gain access to the tools they need for empowerment in the world in which they live.