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 Bringing Costa Rica to U.S. classrooms: Cases of global experiences and teachers’ pedagogies Gerardo Joel Aponte-Martínez Comparative and International.

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Presentation on theme: " Bringing Costa Rica to U.S. classrooms: Cases of global experiences and teachers’ pedagogies Gerardo Joel Aponte-Martínez Comparative and International."— Presentation transcript:

1  Bringing Costa Rica to U.S. classrooms: Cases of global experiences and teachers’ pedagogies Gerardo Joel Aponte-Martínez Comparative and International Education Society 2014 Annual Conference Toronto, Ontario, Canada

2 Overview  Introduction  Global perspectives and pedagogies  Experiences abroad/Translations at home  What it means to teach about the world  Discussion

3  Introduction Costa Rica: A cross-cultural experience

4  “[Before the GPA to Costa Rica], I didn't know about Pura Vida. I'd heard this as a welcoming or greeting, not as a philosophy, but it very much sums up how I am. I have, or I try to have, a very relaxed, fun-loving atmosphere ”  “I wanted to use Pura Vida as a [language] object to practice the infinitive ‘For me, Pura Vida is….’ but I also wanted to set a classroom culture, that lifestyle, of accepting what comes and taking life as it is.” Lisa

5  Looking with depth on teachers’ global cross-cultural experiential learning (Wilson, 1982) and the pedagogical implications of these experiences.  What are best teaching practices for global education? (Wilson, 1983; Merryfield, Jarchow, & Pickert, 1997; Gaudelli, 2003)  Pedagogical reasoning for curriculum development (Shulman, 1987)  Goals (cognitive, affective, pedagogical) for global education  Disciplinary and school community influences on pedagogies for global education  What is the educational value of the cross-cultural professional development experiences? The Study

6  Cross-cultural experiential learning: planned, affective, individual, and thoughtfully evaluated experience in which a person from one culture is immersed in another culture. (Wilson, 1982)  Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad (GPA) in Costa Rica.  Cultural and language immersion for five weeks, summer 2013  9 in-service and 3 pre-service U.S. secondary teachers (Spanish, Language Arts, and Social Studies)  Theme: UN Millennium Development Goals and their implementation in Costa Rica. Cross-Cultural Experiential Learning (Wilson, 1982)

7  Activities: Language training, U. Peace workshops, meetings with government officials, private large- and small-scale organizations, rural community development association, teachers, and community members  Goal: Building teacher capacity and skills needed for teaching in, and preparing students for, an increasingly interdependent and global world.  Participants created curriculum materials to teach these global issues in U.S. classrooms. Cross-Cultural Experiential Learning (Wilson, 1982)

8  Research Uncovering teachers’ experiences abroad and their translations for a home audience

9  Three of the Costa Rica GPA participants:  Lisa teaches high school Spanish in a suburban school in New Jersey  Christina teaches middle school Spanish in a rural school in northern Michigan  Nancy teaches high school social studies in an international school in New Mexico  Participants were selected through judgment sampling based on level of participation and reflection during in-country activities and commitment to future engagement in the topic. (Marshall, 1996) Participants

10  Narrative inquiry within the naturalistic settings: in-country activities as teachers experienced Costa Rica and the school buildings where they teach about it  Data sources:  In country Journals (prompted and unprompted entries)  Interviews:  At the start of the school year (goals for the unit)  During implementation of the unit (reactions to/from students, adaptations to the unit)  After the unit (reflections, learning experiences)  Observations during implementation of the unit Methods

11  Theoretical Framework Bringing global issues into the classroom

12  Five dimensions of a global perspective (Hanvey, 1975)  Perspective consciousness  “State of the planet” awareness  Cross-cultural awareness  Knowledge of global dynamics  Awareness of human choices  Two dimensions of a global perspective (Case, 1993)  Substantive dimension that includes knowledge or topics that students should know  Perceptual dimension involving dispositions and attitudes. Global Perspectives

13  Ukpokodu’s (2010) framework for global perspectives pedagogy emphasizes infusing global perspectives in everyday learning experiences, going beyond having a global topic to include skills, classroom dynamics, and instructional strategies.  Six areas to infuse global perspectives:  Course objectives and descriptions  Content integration  Knowledge construction and reconstruction  Instructional resources and materials  Delivery strategies  Assessment of self-transformation Global Perspectives Pedagogy

14  Findings What it means to teach about the world

15 Spanish TeachersSocial Studies Teacher Intent of participating in the GPA was specific to disciplinary purposes -Practice/improve their language skills - Bring back cultural artifacts (dialectic differences, cultural norms and traditions, traditional objects) -Explore perspectives from MDG stakeholders -Create case studies for students tied to curriculum Teaching global issues defined within disciplinary goals -Spanish as a tool to broaden an individual’s perspective by teaching about Spanish-speaking cultures (Curricular goals) -Students become more open-minded on domestic, international, and global issues -Solving problems relevant to the country -Drawing connections to other countries and global trends as outlined in Human Geography curriculum Disciplinary framing

16  Five dimensions of a global perspective (Hanvey, 1975)  Perspective consciousness ✔✔✔  “State of the planet” awareness ✔✔  Cross-cultural awareness ✔✔✔  Knowledge of global dynamics ✔  Awareness of human choices ✔✔✔  Two dimensions of a global perspective (Case, 1993)  Substantive dimension that includes knowledge or topics that students should know ✔  Perceptual dimension involving dispositions and attitudes. ✔✔✔ Disciplinary Framing ✔ Lisa ✔ Nancy ✔ Christina

17  Ukpokodu’s (2010) framework for global perspectives pedagogy emphasizes infusing global perspectives in everyday learning experiences, going beyond having a global topic to include skills, classroom dynamics, and instructional strategies.  Six areas to infuse global perspectives:  Course objectives and descriptions ✔  Content integration ✔✔✔  Knowledge construction and reconstruction ✔  Instructional resources and materials ✔✔✔  Delivery strategies ✔✔  Assessment of self-transformation Global Perspectives Pedagogy ✔ Lisa ✔ Nancy ✔ Christina

18  Passion and shortcuts to knowledge were identified as the value added by the experience.  In-country self-reflection and group debriefings, especially in pedagogical areas, were key to developing their personal understanding and later their instructional decisions. Experience as the key to bringing global perspectives

19  Discussion

20  Implications for the design of study abroad programs for teachers: importance of participants’ training and reflection.  Evidence of how negotiating school culture and context allows teachers’ global perspectives pedagogies to flourish  Nuanced perspective of the role of disciplinary knowledge and structures on global education as an interdisciplinary topic Significance

21 Contact information: Gerardo J. Aponte-Martínez Doctoral Student & Instructor Department of Teacher Education Michigan State University Questions?


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