Teacher Candidates, Mentors to Tour Tanzania Together

January 31, 2013

TanziniaA group of future teachers from Michigan State University — and their mentor teachers — will travel to Tanzania during summer 2014 for a unique experience in learning to teach global perspectives. The university has received funding under the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program to offer the five-week trip, along with related activities before and afterward.

The goal of the project is to help educators gain expertise for teaching about Africa in K-12 schools. Each of the selected teacher candidates will be paired with their mentor teacher for the forthcoming internship year (2014-15), during which they will integrate what they have learned through lesson plans and other interactions with students.

“In this way, both the teacher and the mentor can develop as teachers who are able to teach for global competence,” said Margo Glew of the Department of Teacher Education. Glew is co-directing the project with John Metzler of the MSU African Studies Center. The Center for Advanced Study in International Development (CASID) is also a partner.

Prior to the trip, participants will take a spring semester course specifically developed for the program. Their tour of Tanzania will provide in-depth understanding of history, culture, politics, economics and more in Eastern Africa. Overall, they will learn how to situate that knowledge within the major themes of social studies and humanities across the K-12 curricula, including new state standards and benchmarks.

Laura Apol, associate professor of teacher education, serves as curriculum director for the program and will join Metzler on the tour in Tanzania. Kyle Greenwalt, also a faculty member in teacher education, is a consultant.

All education students at MSU, and particularly members of the Global Educators Cohort Program (GECP), are encouraged to broaden their knowledge and perspectives for teaching through international travel. Glew, who coordinates GECP, said pairing teacher candidates with their mentor teacher for study abroad is unusual.

“We are really committed as a program to making these global experiences as accessible as possible, not only for GECP students but for all teacher candidates in our program. All teachers need to be able to teach today’s children for tomorrow’s world.”

Students can apply for the Tanzania program starting in fall 2013. Contact glewmarg@msu.edu for more information.

Another experience: Costa Rica

Some College of Education students will be going to Costa Rica this summer as part of another Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad program for teachers. That trip, led by Kristin Janka Millar of the MSU Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, will empower both practicing and pre-service teachers to explore the UN Millennium Development Goals using Costa Rica as their laboratory. Participants will be immersed in the Spanish language and stay with local families.

Recruiting is now underway, and some slots have been reserved for GECP students. Contact kristin@msu.edu for more information.