Helga Fasciano, Special Assistant for Global Education, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, wrote about the process that her state went through to take stock of current global education initiatives and make a sustainable plan to build upon them. Today she shares the new policies currently being put in place.
The North Carolina State Board of Education (SBE) recently adopted action items recommended by their Global Education Task Force, which provide the framework for a strategic global education plan. The action items of the plan are framed around five commitments, which take a holistic approach to ensuring our students are globally competent high school graduates.
Commitment 1: Robust and Cutting-Edge Teacher Support and Tools
This commitment focuses on providing resources and content for all educators which embed global themes and issues while addressing the state content standards. These are now being identified, vetted, tagged, and made available in the state-wide instructional platform. Simultaneously, we are working with colleges of education across the state to provide teacher candidates the training to embed global content while teaching the state standards.
The Global Educator Digital Badge for Teachers policy was approved in October 2014. This process allows teachers to focus their annual professional development plan on the global awareness elements in the state teacher evaluation rubric. In addition, teachers complete a Capstone Project (content instructional unit/s) that demonstrates the ability to foster student global awareness while teaching their content standards. The Capstone Project is observed by the supervising administrator and vetted by the school, district, and state for inclusion in the statewide resources. The teacher has up to two years to complete the process. Upon completion, the state awards the digital badge and the information becomes part of their educator profile.
Commitment 2: Leading-edge Language Instruction
This commitment focuses on expansion of dual language/immersion opportunities for elementary through high school students. It also includes statewide access to language instruction for public school students. Importantly, we are working with institutions of higher education to increase the supply of world language educators. Work is being done with current high school world language curriculum to provide an additional focus on global challenges, economies, and intercultural.
Commitment 3: New School Models
North Carolina is focused on embedding global education utilizing new models such as internationally themed residential high schools, transformation models, technology-enabled international partnerships, as well as through general redesign efforts. Potential partners in these efforts are being identified.
Commitment 4: District Networking and Recognition
These action items are focused on providing the infrastructure for identifying and supporting global education ready schools and districts. In January 2015, the SBE adopted the Global-Ready School Designation rubric, which will be used by schools applying to receive a global ready designation. The rubric is based on the action items listed above such as the Global Educator Digital Badge, global education embedded content in instruction, experiential global learning opportunities, K-12 world language opportunities for all students, and school and district infrastructure to sustain global education. In addition to the school-level rubric, the SBE is scheduled to approve a Global-Ready District Designation rubric at the May 2015 meeting, allowing both designations to be available in 2015.
Commitment 5: Strategic International Relationships
This commitment is to work with other state agencies, along with key business and education partners, to develop a strategic focus on international relationships consistent with the global education priorities.
All of this work is being accomplished through a unique partnership between the State Education Agency and three global education partners in the state (Center for International Understanding, VIF International Education, and World View) that have been working with school districts for the past ten years to globalize their curriculum and provide professional development for educators and policymakers.