School of Education welcomes Bourne Community College of England

Students and teachers from Bourne Community College in England traveled to Indiana as part of an exchange program with Batchelor Middle School in Bloomington

Monday, November 16, 2015

Middle school students from the Bourne Community College of England got a little taste of the IU campus last week. The group traveled to Indiana as part of an exchange program with Batchelor Middle School in Bloomington.

School of Education Interim Dean Terry Mason welcomed the group of 20 students and two teachers, including IU School of Education graduate Haley Zimmerman. Zimmerman began her work at Bourne as a student teacher through the School of Education’s Global Gateway for Teachers. This program provides student teaching opportunities with schools in 18 countries, including the Bourne Community College in England.

"The experiences that our student teachers gain through this program are immeasurable," said Global Gateway Director Laura Stachowski. "It’s also gratifying to play a role in connecting educators from these two middle schools who have developed a program that provides their students with a cross-cultural opportunity to share information and collaborate on school projects."

That relationship began in 2010, when Stachowski introduced the Deputy Head teacher of The Bourne School to leadership at IU’s European Union Center. Batchelor Middle School was in the process of developing a new student project through a grant from the center, and both schools were interested in developing a program that allowed students to interact with students from other countries.

"We started a weekly Skype and a Blog that connected the students," said Batchelor teacher Jeff Rudkin. "But the ultimate goal of the collaboration was to create a student exchange program, and we achieved that in 2013 when two teachers and 10 students from Batchelor traveled to England to spend a week at the Bourne School." Later that year, students from the Bourne school traveled to Bloomington to spend a week with Batchelor students. The second weeklong exchange between the two schools occurred this year.

In addition to Skyping and blogging, students with both schools have successfully developed projects, including a video project that received national recognition from the International Student Media Festival and the International Student Film Festival. The two schools continue to Skype on a weekly basis and have now added a New Zealand school to the partnership.