Global Learning Fellowship


Congratulations to the 2018 NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellows! Learn about the 48 new Fellows by clicking Meet the Fellows below.


NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellows


The NEA Foundation recognizes that in order for students to prepare for the global age, the educator must first be equipped with the knowledge, skills and disposition needed to teach in the global age. By participating in the Global Learning Fellowship program, educators have an opportunity to lead the profession by acquiring the necessary skills to integrate global competence into their daily classroom instruction, advance pedagogy in their school/district, prepare students to thrive in the flattened global age, and thus contribute to the closing of the global achievement gap.


We are no longer accepting applications for the 2018 Global Learning Fellowship. Applications for the 2019 Global Learning Fellowship will launch fall 2017.

The NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellowship offers educators 12 months of professional development opportunities to support educators as they cultivate global competence skills and build global lesson plans that are shared with educators around the world.



Over the course of one year, Fellows are supported by the NEA Foundation staff, partners, and other field experts, as they work through the following:

Each Fellow will be enrolled in an online professional course on preparing students to be active global citizens. The course will cover themes such as how to weave global content into daily instruction, and how to be an effective advocate for the scaling of global education in schools and districts. Through this online course, Fellows will also have access to a wide variety of global classroom resources and scholarship on global education.


The Global Learning Fellows have completed online learning focused on integrating global content into their core instruction. They created more than 70 global-focused, K-12 inquiry-based lessons which can replicated. Download these free, global lesson plans, and find additional lessons on


What Makes a Plan Lesson Global?


"I designed “The Power of Homelands” as my first unit introducing the challenges of global citizenship to students in my world literature class. This mini unit introduces diaspora literature, exploring the struggles and experiences of those populations displaced from their homelands. … I felt I would need time to establish students’ feelings about their own homes, build empathetic conversation about the importance of homes, and reveal current global problems related to population displacement. After establishing these foundations, I would then be able to launch into compelling world literature, connecting students to many global issues throughout the term.”

Continue reading Karen Toavs' guest blog.






"In thinking about designing my unit plan, “Global Unrest,” I wanted to bring the experiences I had in South America into my classroom and make that connection. As a social science teacher, it is far too easy to get wrapped up in dates and facts while losing sight of the human struggle often underlying these events. When we talk about the Roman Plebeians rebelling for their rights and equal treatment, I want students to think of the Brazilians I met and their struggle.”

Continue reading Josh Stumpenhorst's guest blog.




Global Learning Fellows Ning Site: All Fellows are provided with access to the Fellowship’s Ning online social platform. This site contains a country-specific resource guide that has 12 pages of thematically grouped resources such as videos and articles regarding education, culture, history, government, geography, and more. The guide provides Fellows with a framework to examine the historical and cultural legacies on contemporary global societies and educational systems. In this vein, Fellows are given the agency to self-drive their global competency education and synthesize their learning. 


Webinars: Throughout the duration of Fellowship, there are three scheduled webinars. The first webinar takes place in the fall and provides an introductory overview of the Global Learning Fellowship components. The second webinar is scheduled for the spring and will be led by an expert in global educational systems. Thirdly, there will be a webinar few months after the Fellows return from the field study trip to allow for trip reflections and ways to move our work forward.

The workshop includes sessions led by leaders in global competency and country-specific knowledge.

The Global Learning Fellowship field study is designed to focus on the themes of global competence, education (both practice and issues of international, national, and state policy) and economics. The trip will provide Fellows with structured opportunities to observe high quality instruction and to interact with global educators, students, administrators, and policy-makers. Fellows will also have opportunities to investigate the historical and cultural significance of the destination country and engage in a service-learning project with a local community organization. Previous field study destinations have included China (2011, 2012, 2014 and 2017), Brazil (2013), Peru (2015 & 2016). The anticipated field study destination for the 2018 Global Learning Fellowship is South Africa. This trip will take place in late July 2018. 

Meet the 2018 Global Learning Fellows

The class of 2018 includes educators from 47 states and the Department of Defense. They are a diverse group, representing kindergarten through twelfth grade level and subject areas. Over the course of the year, in addition to various readings and webinars on country-specific studies, Fellows will complete an online global professional development course.They will convene for a professional development workshop this fall and travel on an international field study next July.

Reflections Series

In this series, we hear from NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellows about how a global professional development experience, such as this one, has the power to transform practice and learning, at home, in school, and throughout communities. What does it mean to educate students for life and work in the global age? Read on to find out. (Use the links below to navigate.)




The best lessons are learned in unexpected places

By Jonathan Gillentine, Class of 2012 Global Learning Fellow

Preschool-inclusion educator at Reverend Benjamin Parker School

Kaneohe, HI


The causes of disputes across the world are often because of misunderstandings of people who have differences among their culture, language, religion, sociopolitical beliefs, and ways of life. I believe that the more we know and understand about global issues, the better we can comprehend the troubles and perhaps offer solutions to those involved in those disputes. It is imperative for educators to have a global perspective, therefore, in order for them to be able to challenge their students with difficult questions about the world we live in.  



When teachers are able to engage in international travel, either for study or for their own personal benefit, they are able to share their learning experiences through social media with their students. The students can experience a personal interpretation of how various places in the world are different than where they live while they gain an understanding that people all over the world have many of the same needs and goals in their lives.  



As a long-time resident of Hawaii, I have enjoyed experiences with individuals from Asia, Polynesia, and other Pacific regions. Nothing, however, could have prepared me for a visit to China as a NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellow. Interacting with Chinese people in parks and on the Great Wall were unforgettable experiences. 


My most memorable encounter was in a long corridor at the Summer Palace. By chance, a seventh grade girl approached me in the masses of people. She asked me to help her and her friends as they completed an assignment for their summer day school. I repeated their phrases in Mandarin while they nodded with my moderate success. I was thrilled as I walked away, but I wanted to give something to them. I rifled through my backpack and found two Hawaii flag pins. I raced back, finding them among the throng. I told the girl who spoke English that I was a teacher and I was very pleased with their work. I gave pins to her and the girl that had coached me in Mandarin. The English speaker translated to her classmate, who embraced the other girl in return. I felt their embrace and smiled. They were teachers and I was their student!

It seems that there has been a recent surge in the appeal of authentic learning experiences for children and youth across America. Project-based learning has become more common; problem solving is highlighted as an essential skill for success in these types of activities. But we must look beyond the building of robots, the creation of community gardens, and inclusion of students with disabilities into the mainstream of life on our school campuses. While these programs are profound in their impact, we have the potential to do more. We must find ways to engage our students globally with authentic learning experiences that will connect them with others around the world. 


We cannot lose sight of the fact that one of our students, or a few of them, or a whole multitude can speak to our hearts as the next Gandhi, demonstrate the persistence and passion of a new Martin Luther King Jr., or work endlessly for democracy as another Aung San Suu Kyi. If we can open our eyes to the possibilities and challenges that the world offers, perhaps we can help our children open their eyes too. Are we willing to take our teaching and learning out of the classroom and around the world? My teachers from the Summer Palace offer me a great sense of hope.


Download Jonathan Gillentine’s lesson plan:


What Brazilian educators had to teach me

By Loryn Windwehen, Class of 2013 Global Learning Fellow

Seventh grade educator at Harris Middle School

San Antonio, TX


Before traveling out of the country, I thought I understood the world. I thought I understood education and the true purpose of it, and I thought I understood myself. Little did I know, my understanding was undeveloped because it was viewed under a limited perspective. 


International travel enables us to broaden our perspective, viewing the world with a clearer lens. I entered Brazil as an American educator, and I returned home an inspired Global educator – one who seeks to educate and learn from people of all ages in all parts of the world.

I seek to understand people by working with them; I strive to teach others by empowering them to collaborate and strengthen each other's gifts. It is crucial that we not only realize the power that lies in understanding other cultures, systems, resources, and arts all over the globe, but it is more important that we share this understanding with others. When we gain an understanding of others’ values, beliefs, and cultures, we are able to make a true connection. It is in this connection that education takes place. 


I believe that in order to be a truly inspiring educator, we must no longer consider ourselves as citizens of the towns or cities in which we teach, but we must consider ourselves citizens of the globe. Viewing ourselves as such will help our students gain the same perspective, thus empowering them to make a global impact. In order to do this, we must have a deep knowledge and understanding of other countries, traditions, resources, languages, and cultures. After returning to the United States from my travel abroad, I appreciated my country more. I appreciated the resources I used to teach my students after observing teachers in Brazil create lessons out of scraps I would usually discard. Additionally, I now have a concrete connection to the globe in which I live that inspires me to teach my students with more passion. For example, my lessons on energy conservation are more sincere after observing Brazilian schools function exceptionally well in hot, humid environments with an open window serving as their air conditioning.


I didn’t know what to expect when traveling abroad. I hoped to make connections with teachers in a new country so that I could be a resource to them. My perspective changed very quickly when I saw educators there teaching me how to be better. Their passion to be incredible educators for their students outweighed the fact that they had limited resources. I was inspired to do more, and learn more. I saw, firsthand, that the mark of an inspiring educator was one of intense passion for what they did, and sincere compassion for whom they taught. Many Americans travel abroad to serve others in the hopes to help them in some way. What we actually discover is that they help us. They give us a new perspective on life. When we travel, we better ourselves in the pursuit of creating relationships and new experiences. I believe that the most effective educators are the ones who are truly confident in themselves. When we travel outside of our comfort zone, where so much is new, it forces us to rely on our own self-confidence, values, and beliefs, and truly examine who we are and why we do what we do. I believe that by traveling, we discover ourselves. 



It is impossible to take all of one’s students all over the world to gain these rich experiences, but it crucial that we, at the very least, begin cultivating the foundations of global perspectives for our students. In order to lay the most solid foundation, we as educators must have a meaningful global perspective by which we can grow our students. The greatest way we can achieve this perspective is through international travel. I will never be the same after my experience abroad. I am confident that I am a better teacher, because I am a better person for it.


Download Loryn Windwehen’s lesson plan:


How global exposure leads to creative solutions

By Joshua Parker, Class of 2013 Global Learning Fellow

Compliance specialist at Baltimore County Public Schools

Baltimore, MD


Teachers must have a global perspective because we are a global world. Technology, trade and advancements have knocked down walls and have instead built bridges across the world. Additionally, a global perspective helps one to appreciate and recognize the diversity that is within their community. 


And of course, as you value the diverse perspectives and cultures of your own students, bridges can also be built between students and teachers in a way that is instructive and successful. International travel grants students the opportunity to be connected to something larger than themselves. To be able to stare out on the ocean or see the Christ the Redeemer statue is to realize that you are a part of an international network of humanity that is capable of enjoying natural beauty as well as creating it. How can one build the next Christ the Redeemer statue if one's never seen it? Exposure enlarges the mind and gives birth to creative solutions for the betterment of the human condition. 

The global innovation age is an age that is powered by freedom, creativity and exposure. In this innovation age, the currency is ideas and these ideas are best fostered in classrooms that honor the culture and potential of each student. Additionally, by exposing the student to different cultures and ways of thinking, the student begins to understand the responsibility he/she has to the community and the world at large. 




If we defined the world as a mixture of cultures, one need-not travel far to replicate it. If traveling beyond the borders isn't possible, perhaps a journey inward is first important. As an educator, you could get in touch with the cultures that shape you. Study their origins via the internet and multimedia projects/experiences. Once this inward journey is complete, maybe the next logical step is to see the cultures and countries that live around you. Exploring the cultures of students in your school will further serve as a microcosm of the global community itself. At its core, global education is mostly about exposing the traveler to lands, people and traditions that have their own back-story.


Download Joshua Parker’s lesson plan:


“I thought I was doing enough; I was wrong”

By Mary Eldredge-Sandbo, Class of 2012 Global Learning Fellow

Biology educator at Des-Lacs Burlington High School

Des-Lacs, ND


I have a lot to learn. I have always believed it is vital for me to help my students appreciate diversity, value unity, and see the beauty of the world and all of its inhabitants as they explore the privileges and responsibilities of being global citizens. Believing was a good first step, but was I really helping my students increase their global competence? Was I teaching in a way that guided and urged my students to develop “the knowledge of other world regions, cultures, economies, and international issues, the skills to communicate . . . and the values of respect for other cultures” to thrive in this global innovation age? I thought I was doing enough. I thought I understood. I was wrong.


Two years ago, I travelled to China as part of the NEA Foundation’s Global Learning Fellowship. The field study in China was not just a sightseeing trip, nor was it focused exclusively on teaching strategies. For me, the opportunity to visit a place so far away and so seemingly different from where I live awakened a sense of urgency to change how I teach. As I saw the sights, talked to the people, tasted the foods, touched the history, listened to the sounds, and savored the beauty of China, my heart changed. What I knew in my head – that it is important to teach from, and to, a global perspective – increased, not only in urgency, but also in possibilities. 


Further, visiting classrooms, and seeing how many similarities exist among the differences inspired me. Exchanging ideas, concerns, and passions about teaching were valuable beyond words. Reflecting on the experience showed me that I can improve the way I teach biology and help my students increase their global competency.


I now know it is not enough to do just one activity with a global perspective, although focused activities are definitely important. I must also embed opportunities throughout the year so my students can examine, understand, and appreciate the myriad connections between themselves, the content they are learning, and their world. 


I have found guidance as I work toward becoming a globally competent teacher. The NEA Foundation, Council of Chief State School Officers, and Asia Society, among others, provide abundant resources with suggestions, examples, and rationales for helping students “investigate the world, recognize perspectives, communicate ideas, and take action.” 


It isn’t easy, and I don’t do it perfectly, but step by step and by working with others, I am changing and learning with my students as we increase our understanding of how each of us can make this world a better place.  


Download Mary Eldredge-Sandbo’s unit plan:


Why a global perspective matters for students at all levels

By Mary Pinkston, Class of 2011 Global Learning Fellow

Mathematics educator at Brandywine High School

Wilmington, DE


One of my students recently asked me, “Ms. Pinkston, where are you going this year? Australia?” Another student exclaimed: “Wow, is there anywhere that you haven’t been?” These types of inquiries spark conversations with my students that are the true “teachable moments” that they remember long after high school. 


Many of my students may forget the Law of Cosines from Pre-Calculus, but they will remember the examples I set and the global stories that connect to them. Moreover, many of my students will travel abroad—and I eagerly encourage them to do so; however, most, realistically, will not. My experiences could be one of the few glimpses into another world that they may not otherwise have access.  



When I returned from my international field study with the NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellowship, I discovered that I had taken over six hundred photographs. I am by no means a “tech” person, so I had the prints developed the old fashioned way and put them into photo albums.  I added other “artifacts” to one of my scrapbooks: 20 Yuan, 20 HK dollars, Coke and Pepsi wrappers, an empty box of French fries from Shanghai, etc. These simple mementos have become teaching tools – not only for my students to learn from, but also for my colleagues to share in a snippet of the world. Personally, these tools have become an opportunity to reflect on how much my view of the world has changed since the Fellowship.  



I find it important to share these experiences, particularly to dispel misconceptions and stereotypes some people may hold towards others. As an outsider while traveling, I felt this firsthand. Being an African American female, I attracted a lot of attention in China. But I saw it as an opportunity to perhaps be a bridge between people there and here in the U.S. The students I met in Beijing were so much like my own—their behavior was just as I always know any high school student’s behavior to be. They experience the same emotions—joy, sadness, competition, happiness, heartache, stress, pressure to fit in, etc. My challenge now is to have my students understand this. 

At home, I also try to draw connections and highlight similarities between our cultures. I present frequently in my school to students and colleagues about the school systems in China, and I have also presented at district-level and state-wide functions, such as the Delaware Council of Teachers of Mathematics fall dinner meeting. 


We are all curious about each other, and we have a lot to learn. I feel blessed to have been given the opportunity to explore my own curiosity. I will continue to share as much as I can, with the hopes that my students will one day be able to travel far and wide as well. 


Preparing young students to go global

By Melissa Collins, Class of 2013 Global Learning Fellow and the NEA Foundation Senior Fellow

Second grade educator at John P. Freeman Optional School

Memphis, TN


When I was in Brazil, I witnessed first-hand how Brazilian educators prepare their students for competing in the global job market. Many of the schools that I entered were technology-driven, teaching students to create gaming and coding systems, conduct research, and use media sources.


English language classes were part of the curriculum; one teacher stated, “If I teach them English, they can go anywhere.” After returning home, I was left with this question: Are we preparing our students to compete in an ever-changing global society?



Teachers are on the front-line when it comes to educating our students and it is important that our students are equipped with the knowledge, disposition, and skills to gain a global perspective. Through the development of a global perspective, teachers can promote tolerance, appreciation for culture, traditions, and language. This goes hand in hand increasing rigor in their curriculum and planning.  

Students benefit when educators open their doors to global awareness. Gaining a global perspective permits our students to acquire information, analyze data, become problem solvers, communicate with global networks, and build historical awareness. These are the skills that our students need in order to be innovators in the global age. To close the achievement gap, we have to expand opportunities for all students as they venture into this new world. 



 There are many engaging ways to build global perspectives in our classrooms! Here are a few ways my students love expanding their world:


  • “Throwback Thursday”: Every Thursday, students analyze historic events we are already covering in our core curriculum content, but from the perspective of people in other countries impacted by these events. 


  • Pen-pals gone digital: On, students collaborate with diverse students from around the world, and with real time free technology, like Skype and Google Drive. Students collaborate on projects, working together across borders to grow understanding and skills. 


  • Virtual fieldtrip: Use apps like Google Earth to help students see where these places are, and what the view is as they walk down the street into the museum, all while staying in their own classrooms.


  • Celebrate: Cultural fairs are great ways for students to share their research on other countries. Think bigger, work school-wide and study a country by linking inquiry around an age appropriate theme; In the early grades, this might look like a study of what a school day is like in Japan, while upper grade students may focus on deeper project-based inquiry activities. Partner with community members and organizations to share their expertise on these places and cultures, moving beyond just food and clothing. 


The possibilities are endless. What matters is that we start. It is my hopes that all schools will see the importance of implementing global education. We live in a globalized world, there is much to learn!


Download Melissa Collins’ lesson plan:


The other side to the story

By Sarah Johnston, Class of 2011 Global Learning Fellow

English and language arts educator at Mountain View Middle School

Alamogordo, NM


Growing up in Louisiana, I learned about the Civil War from a Southerner’s perspective. What my teachers placed in front of me, I memorized for a test. I never challenged or questioned what they taught me. I sat passively, learning about various events. Attending college in the Pacific Northwest gave me a whole new insight into the Civil War. I had never considered the impact a change in perspective can have on how a story is told and the lessons that can be learned from recognizing the differences. Now as an educator, I realize the importance of presenting my students with as many perspectives as possible from as many cultures as possible. 


My students are growing up in a world that was unimaginable when I was their age. Today’s Facebook culture is global by default. While I remember painstakingly searching through Encyclopedias to find information, outdated information at that, my students pull out their phones to quickly search the answers to their questions. They have easy access to all kinds of information; however, information without context is useless and easily susceptible to manipulation. As an educator, it is my responsibility to teach my students how to interpret this raw data, to think critically, and to inspire their curiosity. A global approach while teaching is necessary in order to properly form opinions, draw conclusions, and communicate ideas to an ever expanding audience. By approaching my class with a global perspective, I know my students will take greater ownership of their learning through recognition of how invaluable effective communication truly is. 



How does one teach for a global perspective? Here are a few methods that work in my classroom:


  • Investigate the world: In my classroom, global learning starts from day one with a unit on mandalas, or rituals/symbols. Students investigate different symbolism and archetypes, while exploring the tradition in other cultures. They tend to be especially fascinated with the Tibetan Monk tradition of creating sand mandalas. In past iterations of this lesson, many students made connections and identified with the idea of ‘capturing a moment in time’ because life is temporary; their eighth grade year is temporary. Once students create their own mandalas, I ask them to explore mandalas created by students from all over the world collected by the Mandala Project. Each student chooses their favorite, composes questions, and emails the artist as a way to practice communicating ideas across cultures. I hope to submit some of them to the Mandala Project, as well. 


  • Recognize perspectives: I bought a beautiful reversed-perspective map for a large wall. This is my anchor for teaching perspective. I use the Rights Balloon as a base to discuss perspective, open-mindedness, and differences of opinion. For example, a lot of my students said the first right they would drop out of their sinking hot air balloon is the right to vote. This led to a great discussion about thinking about a person who moved here from a country without the right to vote. I made a poster to remind all of us that it is okay to have a differing opinion about what matters the most to each one of us. The idea came from Teachers Pay Teachers. I consistently refer to the map and the balloon, especially when discussing perspective. As the year progresses, I notice that students refer to the map on their own, trying to locate different countries. 


  • Communicate across cultures: Socratic seminar is perhaps my favorite way to incorporate critical, creative, and reflective thinking. During seminar, I am an observer. Students prepare questions and observations based upon a text. One of my students’ and my favorite text is “The Monsters are Due on Maple Street”, a tele-script from a “Twilight Zone” episode. Students pick up on the universal theme about fear of new or different people/cultures, which opens dialogue about the world. I also try to draw upon some of the experiences my students have had either as immigrants or being a part of a military family. These students bring in their favorite texts from their homes and share it with their peers and me as another way to dive into for seminar. 


As for connecting to the world, I am still working on that piece. I hope to involve my students in a global online collaborative project, enabling them to take action in a new way. Thinking about global competency has stretched my thinking as an educator. It has made me a learner again. I think about each unit, and try to wrap my mind around a way to make it more global, even if it is just a little at a time. 


We have a tendency to hide in our neighborhoods, our own communities, because they are easy to navigate and comfortable. Educators owe it to their students to provide more. We, as educators, can show them more by pushing ourselves out of our comfortable lives, stretching ourselves to travel, to learn. Once back in the classroom, we can share our global perspective by telling our stories. Hopefully, these stories will inspire our students to reach out of their own comfort zones. When I tell my stories about traveling to China, Colombia, Mexico, and Europe, I give them that little seed; I plant the idea that they can go and be part of the bigger world. When I teach for global competence, I enable and equip them with the means to do so.


“Prepare our students for the world they will inherit”

By Scott McKim, Class of 2013 Global Learning Fellow

Science and mathematics educator at Sheldon School

Sheldon VT


Now, more than ever, teachers need to teach with a global perspective; Without doing so, we are short-changing our students and not properly equipping them for a competitive, global work force, not to mention ill-preparing them to be open-minded and knowledgeable global citizens. Education remains the panacea for many U.S. students born into poverty and social injustice— their ticket out of the unfortunate but all-too prevalent circumstances can be, and still is, a quality education. A quality education, an education steeped in a global perspective that prepares our youth for the ever-changing circumstances of the world, requires education to be taught through a global lens. Knowing only about our own country is no longer good enough.


Before educators can teach through a global lens, they themselves need to have a global perspective. There is no better way to do this than to experience the world through travel, be marinated in other cultures, and experience life through the eyes of how others live it. It often takes travel to a foreign land to realize your castle is at home – you cannot fully know your home without looking it at from the outside, necessitated by travel abroad.  


My educational product has been greatly enhanced by my international travel, something that would not have been possible had I not done that traveling. As an educator, I am able to couch lessons and learning targets from a different viewpoint, something I believe greatly enhances my students’ knowledge and global citizenship acumen. We all do not have the privilege and opportunity to travel abroad; however, if an educator is given this opportunity, he/she has the power to spread that experience to their students, effectively multiplying the positive effect of their travel in a much more cost-effective and long-lasting way.



Perhaps this is best said through an example. As a seventh and eighth grade science teacher, I spend a lot of time teaching about the energy crisis the world is facing, getting students to think about where our energy comes from, what that picture will look like 10-20 years from now, and what solutions we as a society can develop to mitigate our current thirst of nonrenewable sources and our reliance on an untenable energy portfolio. Because of experiences I’ve had in Africa, Central and South America, Europe and Antarctica, I am able to bring into my classroom the energy picture from these locations, bringing to life through personal stories, photos, and experiences the global energy picture in ways that the internet and textbooks are not able to do. 


My students were blown away to know that small-scale farmers in Costa Rica are harnessing energy from the effluent of their cattle to cook dinners and heat their homes. The photos of these small farmers that I was able to show them, with stories including the farmers’ names and personalities acted to bring the learning targets home for my students. I am therefore teaching from a perspective of an informed global citizen, something that not only increases the knowledge and preparation of my students, but that gives me “street cred” and buy-in from my 21st century students, a clientele is that is used to being entertained and is often the product of our seductive-technologic society.  


Place-based learning is a hot trend in education today, acting to connect classroom learning with the local culture, environment, economy, and resources. This approach to synthesizing learning units reaps huge rewards as it makes the learning relevant to students and acts to involve the local community in being a part of the education of the community’s youth. While I’m a huge advocate of this approach and its benefits, this does not negate the importance of leveraging the wider world as an important realm to which students’ education and progress should be posited in. I’d go so far as to say that if we only concentrate on the local and dismiss the wider importance of making educational global and allowing our students to see their place in the wider world, we are short-changing the next generation.


Another great method of creating global learning experiences for our students is by leveraging social media and other technologies that can connect classrooms across countries and continents. Through travel, I have made connections with educators in Kenya, Brazil, and even in widely disparate parts of our own country, and my students have had the opportunity, with the aid of technology, to interact with these students from other parts of the globe. Through Facetime, Skype and other such applications, this is easier than ever before and immediately removes the obstacle of travel. Through these experiences, centered on very concrete and specific learning projects with partner classrooms in other countries, my students have gained immense knowledge of other cultures, different ways of thinking--and perhaps more importantly, friendships that span ethnic, demographic, and even language barriers.


Equipping educators with a global perspective allows for huge gains in the classroom.  These gains will prepare our students for the dynamic world they are inheriting from us.


Download Scott McKim’s lesson plan:


The NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellows represent a large network of award-winning educators. Alumni Fellows remain active, collaborating with other Fellows from across cohorts on different global learning projects, presenting at national conferences on the importance of educating for global competence, and acting as advisors to new Fellows. Here's where they've been!


Lima and Cusco, Peru (2016)


In June 2016, 30 Fellows participated in an international field study to Lima and Cusco, Peru. There, they had the opportunity to  meet with local educators and students,  learn from the multinational business leaders of GM Peru, visit historical sites such as Machu Picchu , participate in a service learning project, and donate over 1,000 books to students in need in rural Cusco. Learn more from the Fellows:



Lima and Cusco, Peru (2015)

NEA Intenational Field Study to Lima and Cusco Peru


In June 2015, 31 Fellows participated in an international field study to Lima and Cusco, Peru. There, they had the opportunity to meet with teachers and students, learn from multinational business leaders, visit historical sites, and participate in a service learning project. Learn more from the Fellows:



Beijing and Xi’an, China (2014)


In June 2014, 30 Fellows participated in an international field study to Beijing and Xi’an, China. To prepare, they completed various readings and webinars, as well as an online course focused on China’s history and modern legacies. Learn more from the Fellows:



Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2013)



35 Fellows participated in an international field study in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There, they learned firsthand about innovations in the country’s education system, its history, contemporary society, arts and culture, and economy. Learn more from the Fellows: