By Casey Graham Brown, University of Texas at Arlington
In 2005, Thomas Friedman wrote about global interconnectedness in The World Is Flat. In the past few months, we have been directed to “flatten the curve” to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Scientists who are recommending distancing ourselves from one another also acknowledge the critical and ever-growing connections among the peoples and countries of the world.
Supporting students’ growth in international and global perspectives is an important objective, and it has become even more timely today with the global pandemic. In April, a group of faculty and administrators who prepare elementary and early childhood teachers across the country participated in an online “AAQEP Collaborative Conversation” centered on AAQEP Aspect 2d (support students’ growth in international and global perspectives). I was happy to facilitate this session with the goal of discussing program-specific assessments and rubrics that faculty use in their preparation programs and brainstorming ways to meet the specific AAQEP aspect.
The AAQEP conversation grew out of discussions among colleagues from different programs who were trying to navigate how to document that candidates and completers were successful in this aspect—and even what exactly this aspect means. Candidates in some programs participate in study abroad, which is a great option, but AAQEP Aspect 2d goes beyond candidates’ travel experiences. It really looks at how candidates and completers support their P-12 students’ growth in international and global perspectives.
During the April session, the 23 participants discussed program-specific assessments and rubrics being used in their preparation programs and discussed effective practices and strategies for providing evidence to meet Aspect 2d. Some programs have developed activities that address this aspect, and others are just beginning to consider it, so participants in the conversation brainstormed approaches together and shared a range of ideas and questions.
Cross-curricular ideas were discussed, including activities that can be participated in during P.E. classes. Topics of discussion included funds of knowledge, holistic thinking, and code switching. Some participants shared about formal relationships with schools abroad to which their clinical teachers travel and share best practices; others have “bookbag” projects to provide students with books written by out-of-country authors.
The most challenging parts of addressing this AAQEP aspect may be determining how completers are meeting it once they are in the field and how candidates/completers know that their P-12 students are experiencing growth in international and global perspectives.
The next step for participants is to share ideas of assignments, rubrics, and approaches to collecting data from candidates/completers. If you have an example of an assignment or rubric for this aspect and would like to enter the discussion, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.