Maryland has used its Race to the Top grant strategically to bolster education programs that get students ready for the world. Read on.
Maryland’s winning Race to the Top grant allowed the state to include a project that implements Arabic and Chinese world language and dual immersion Spanish programs in elementary schools. This has resulted in eight new elementary language programs in local school systems. Arabic, Chinese, and Spanish STEM curriculum modules have been developed for grades K and 1; summer curriculum workshops will create modules for grades 2 and 3.
While some counties have implemented content-based Arabic and Chinese day time programs, others provide partial Chinese immersion experiences (Allengheny) or after-school opportunities to learn Arabic (Anne Arundel, Cecil and Harford).
Teacher Preparation and Professional Development
The University of Maryland College Park (UMCP) College of Education is proceeding with internationalization of the teacher education program for elementary pre service students with support from a UISFL grant from the U.S. Dept. of Education. This effort also involved the Principals' Academy for internationalization and the GATE Fellows programs. A new program was initiated within the College of Education to promote international study and program interests of graduate students. The Global Graduate Fellows program had a very successful first year, with 10 graduate student fellows from various fields engaged in both regular seminars and individual research and development projects. The UMCP Office of International Initiatives was able to help fund more than a dozen faculty and graduate students who presented papers and engaged in collaborative research in foreign countries during this past school year. The UMCP College of Education hosted additional cohorts of Distinguished International Fulbright teachers in the following Fall semesters. These exceptional educators, sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of State and coming from eight countries, spent five months in College Park taking graduate courses, working in partner elementary and secondary schools, conducting individual action research and other creative projects, and linking with the community.
Each fall, UMCP hosts an international summit and invites practitioners, pre service students, government education staff, and non-profits to engage around the topic of integrating global understanding into the current environment. This summit also allows GATE fellows to present their research. The first of these meetings resulted in a strategic plan that focused on teacher preparation, licensure, standards and classroom engagement.
Global Competence Resources
Asia Society Partnership for Global Learning and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) partnered to define global competence and the skills and abilities that students need to demonstrate to be globally competent.