Laura L. Stachowski, Ph.D., is the director of the Global Gateway for Teachers (formerly Cultural Immersion Projects) in the School of Education at Indiana University, Bloomington.
She administers and supervises student teaching placements in national schools of Australia, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, England, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Tanzania, and Wales (Overseas Program); in Navajo Reservation schools in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah (Navajo Nation Program); and in Chicago Public Schools (Urban Program). She also offers the Overseas Program for Experienced Teachers, which provides in-service educators with three-week overseas school experiences during the summer.
In-depth preparation, cultural exploration and study, community-based service learning, and structured academic reports and reflections complement the full-time teaching experience and are hallmarks of all Global Gateway programs. Additionally, as of 2012, Stachowski now secures overseas school placements for student teachers enrolled at partnering universities and colleges around the U.S.
Her passion for international education began as a student teacher in Preston, England in 1979, participating in the IU program she now directs. Following two years of teaching in northern Indiana, she returned to IU as a graduate student, working with the Cultural Immersion Projects under the mentorship of program founder, Dr. James Mahan. The completion of her doctorate in 1994 coincided with Mahan’s retirement, and Stachowski became director in 1995. Since then, she has extended considerable effort to expand the opportunities student teachers have through Global Gateway programs, for example, by developing placement sites in 14 countries and creating the Urban Program in partnership with CPS.
A faculty member in Curriculum & Instruction, Stachowski writes about, publishes, and presents on cultural immersion in student teaching and the important outcomes and transformative process of such experiences.