Read the article through this link or copied below:
What do you think? Is being mono-linguistic a deficit in the global world today?
Training for the Future: Northeast Ohio schools think globally with curriculum
Elizabeth Lundblad, The News-Herald
and Jean Bonchak, The News-Herald
Posted: 12/10/13, 1:01 AM EST | Updated: on 12/10/2013
Michael Allen Blair/ MBlair@News-Herald.com Ted Krejsa, Russian teacher and world language department head for Kenston High School, teaches a Russian II class Wednesday at Kenston High School.
EDITOR’S NOTE: With the world continuing to shrink thanks to improved communications and transportation, students can no longer wait until college or job training to think globally. This is the second in a three-part series looking at how high schools are now taking a global perspective.
The globalization of education is growing as technology tightens the connections of people around the world.
One way in which students are being linked to other cultures is through the expansion of foreign language offerings.
Ted Krejsa, who teaches Russian in the Kenston School District, favors the following quote attributed to Gregg Roberts of the Utah State Office of Education — “Monolingualism is the illiteracy of the 21st century.”
Krejsa added that the knowledge of world languages is beneficial in many career paths, either through direct use, enhancement or providing further opportunities.
Rather than focusing on grammar as was the case some years ago, more of an emphasis is being placed on communication and proficiency, he said.
Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin School Assistant Principal Denice Teeples said NDCL follows a similar strategy.
“Our World Language classes not only focus on the language, but on the culture of the people,” she said. “With globalization it will be critical for our students to understand the social culture of other countries to make them effective communicators and collaborators with a diverse population.”
“We have a pretty substantial foreign language class structure at the high school,” said Heather Miller, director of curriculum and instruction at Euclid Schools.
Perry High School students have French and Spanish available to them on campus. And students interested in learning a different language have the option of taking language classes at local colleges through the school’s dual credit program, where students earn both high school and college credit, said Betty Jo Malchesky, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment at Perry Local Schools.
World influencing courses
Perry students also can expand their global footprint is through the Credit Flex program.
“Credit Flex is an opportunity for students to dream of what their interests might be and it might be a dream of pursuing a subject that we have right here on campus but doing it in a unique way,” she said.
Malchesky said she’s had a student who combined Perry’s chemistry and environmental science objectives and went to study those courses with his family in Peru. Taking the school’s standards, that student was able to enhance his own study of the material.
“How do you say no to that?” she added.
When reviewing curriculum offerings, Melissa Mlakar, director of curriculum and instruction for Riverside Schools, said the administration doesn’t specifically use increasing globalization as a frame of reference, but the district isn’t ignoring the realities facing today’s students.
“It is always in the back of our minds that no matter what our students want to do in the future, we want them to be prepared to do it,” she said.
“They’re interacting with a multitude of people and places ... as part of our strategic plan, we’re looking at our elective offerings to see if we can get the kids some of these new experiences. We’re not necessarily looking to add programs but how we can improve or change what we already have.”
With another nod toward globalization, Teeples said NDCL is taking a different approach to the subject of geography.
“For example, no longer will we teach ‘geography,’ it will be ‘human geography’ which will focus on the culture of the people within the context of geography,” she said.
Business classes also are feeling globalization’s effects.
“No longer can people enter a career and expect to be ‘managed,’ ” Teeples said.
“In order for our students to be globally competitive, (they) must learn to think critically, be creative, work collaboratively and communicate effectively with a diversity of people.”
Euclid and Mayfield Schools offer several classes in business that cover a wide range of topics such as entrepreneurship, finance, business law, business Web design, international business and more.
Mayfield Schools Assistant Superintendent Joelle Magyar said she anticipates a focus on international studies and business in the future.
“I see more application for international business … coming more from project-based learning, and setting up a situation and having kids research and understand the concepts behind that … rather than just providing a course,” she said.
Creating global classrooms
Miller said some teachers in Euclid Schools are interacting globally with other students around the world to promote international communication and teach students more about different cultures.
“There are some teachers who do some blogging and connect with others through social media,” she said. “We do have distance learning labs with a camera set up. They are not used on a regular basis, but they are an option for teachers.”
Teeples said that even though NDCL is “just a small dot on a world map,” through technology and innovative teachers the school is shrinking the globe for students to learn with and about others around the world.
“Teachers and administrators at NDCL are keenly aware of the challenges we face to educate our students to be globally competitive in a rapidly changing world,” she said.
An international program was begun to bring a world diversity to NDCL. Video conferencing to interview international students from China during the admissions process is used. Currently enrolled are four students from Germany, eight from China and one from South Korea.
E. Andreas Johansson, director of Technology Integration & Curriculum in Kenston Schools, said that “by participating in local and global learning communities like professional learning groups within a school building or district, attending educational conferences and EdCamps, seeking feedback on Twitter and through other social media, and using a multitude of platforms that weren’t available even 10 years ago, teachers are able to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning. This allows teachers everywhere to gain new knowledge from other connected educators around the world, thereby contributing to the effectiveness, vitality, and self-renewal of the teaching profession, of our schools, and of the Kenston community as a whole.”
Educators agree that today job-seekers no longer compete only with those from the U.S., but also with people around the globe.
“It is clear that the world is changing, it has been and will continue to change,” Teeples said.