For the Media

How the NEA Foundation is Growing Global Mindsets

How the NEA Foundation is Growing Global Mindsets
By Meghan Berka, NEA Foundation Program Assistant

“One of the best things about teaching kids is that I have a profession that is set up to make me better. The kids demand – and deserve – a teacher with energy, with passion, and who knows her content and her kids. The only way to be successful and impactful is to continually work on these attributes”

-2018 NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellow

The 48 members of the 2018 cohort of the NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellowship are a diverse group. They teach all grade levels, and almost all subjects. They come from rural, suburban, and urban schools from all over the country. They are National Board Certified, curriculum coaches, IB coordinators, foreign language speakers, and more.

If our Fellows have one thing in common it’s that they approach their roles as educators with a sense of curiosity and a drive to channel their growth into the growth of their students.

In this spirit, we gathered in early October to kick off the professional development component of the Fellowship with a workshop. We invited a range of facilitators and speakers who are passionate about global education to share their knowledge with our Fellows. Included on our guest list was Dr. Ariel Tichnor-Wagner of ASCD, who led a facilitated goal-setting session using her Globally Competent Learning Continuum as a starting point.

“I am committed to the process of learning.”

-2018 NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellow

Our Fellows used Dr. Tichnor-Wagner’s continuum as a reflection tool to identify how they can grow using 12 elements that are foundational to global citizenship, like “Empathy and Valuing Multiple Perspectives” and “Understanding the way the world is interconnected.”

While our cohort is clearly already a group of global citizens, they also recognize that there is no final destination on this journey. That is why the tool is framed as a continuum – to encourage continual reflection. The wealth of experiences that these educators are already bringing to the table is admirable. Collectively, they serve in roles that require them to be tireless advocates, empathetic mentors and engaged community members, but the expertise that allowed them to take on these roles was cultivated through their openness and willingness to listen and learn.

“As a teacher, I am always a student with many chances to learn from this awesome responsibility.”

-2018 NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellow


The 2018 NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellows will continue their study of global learning journey with an online global education course with contributions from global learning expert Dr. Fernando M. Reimers of Harvard Graduate School of Education. The Fellowship also includes webinars designed to accelerate learning and deepen Fellows’ understanding of global education. We work with experts in the field to help Fellows understand the various dimensions of global competence before they depart on their international field study.

If you’re as fascinated as I am by global learning, read on. I’m sharing a few resources you’ll want to explore.

– Find educator tested global learning lessons created by NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellows here.

– Explore the ASCD continuum here.

– Read “Empowering Students to Improve the World in Sixty Lessons”  by Dr. Reimers and a team of graduate students from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. This book is written for educators and school districts as a guide to cultivating young global citizens.

Interested in joining the 2019 cohort of the NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellowship? We’re accepting applications through Feb. 5.