Working to globalize rural science education

As global trends change, so too does the need for more transformational, international learning, especially in science education. A new project from the IU School of Education will help prepare teachers for this need.

The project, A Peer-Led-Teaming Approach to Globalizing Rural Science Teacher Preparation in the United States, will be funded through a $24,998 grant from the Longview Foundation. Its goal is to prepare science teacher educators to include locally-driven, yet globally-focused science education in their rural science teacher preparation programs. The team will accomplish that by increasing science teacher educators’ level of global competence, increasing science teacher educators’ efficacy toward preparing rural teachers to teach global science education, increasing the frequency and quality of the use of global science education in rural schools and developing a community-of-practice in regard to global science education.

By specifically engaging in action research aimed to globalize rural science teacher preparation across the United States, we fill the gap of efforts of this kind.

Vesna Dimitrieska

Project participants include 14 science teacher educators and professors from 13 different U.S. academic institutions who all prepare pre-service teachers to teach in rural areas. Four IU School of Education Ph.D. students specializing in science education will also join the project, providing timely and useful engagement for their future careers.

Although efforts to internationalize teacher preparation programs are not new here at the School of Education, Global Education Initiatives Coordinator Vesna Dimitrieska said she and her colleagues, Associate Dean for Research and Development Gayle Buck and Professor of Science Education Valarie Akerson, realized globalizing rural science education needed to be addressed.

“By specifically engaging in action research aimed to globalize rural science teacher preparation across the United States, we fill the gap of efforts of this kind. Rural science education and rural teachers in general lack access to resources, opportunities and experiences to engage globally and yet with local importance and impact,” Dimitrieska said.

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