Eleven area elementary teachers spent a recent Saturday learning about global literacy and sharing classroom materials they had developed for their students. The Global Literacy Invitations workshop was the second of the school year, part of a project meant to encourage using picture books from various parts of the world so that both teachers and students can become more globally competent. Teachers chose what books they wanted to use during the first workshop in October. For this session, they shared the lesson plans they had implemented from the books, along with their students’ work.
“Teachers themselves get to learn about the people and cultures depicted in those books. By inviting the students to work with the global literacy classroom materials, the students get to explore values, beliefs, and traditions of cultures that they may not have explored before. Additionally, the teachers were familiarized with how to use the Indiana academic standards and make connections across the content areas by using their picture book,” said Vesna Dimitrieska, Director of Global Education Initiatives with the Center for P-16 Research and Collaboration.
Dimitrieska organized the workshops, which were facilitated by School of Education Professor Emeritus Leana McClain and assisted by mentor teachers Wendy Tamborino, Karen Goldstein and Rachel Melnick, who previously completed the program.
“We wanted to serve the teachers from MCCSC in a way that is meaningful and rewarding for the teachers and the students,” Dimitrieska said. “Teaching globally should not be considered an add-on and a one-time thing but rather a way of teaching that integrates the global ideas across the content areas.”
Upon the completion of the project, each teacher received 20 picture books from various regions of the world. This was made possible through the School of Education, as well as the many schools and organizations around IU that supported the workshop, including the Hamilton Lugar School of International and Global Studies, the African Studies Program, Center for the Study of the Middle East, East Asian Studies Center, Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, and Russian and East European Institute as well as the Foundation for Monroe County Community Schools.