Apr 28, 2017
15 candidates were selected from a grand pool of qualified applicants to participate in our short-term program for German teachers to the U.S. For many it was their first experience in the so-called “land of opportunity.”
For the second time we partnered with the University of Connecticut (U Conn) and its Neag School of Education to offer a two-week immersion into campus and school life.
The teachers who come from various German schools and teach a number of different subjects, learned about the K-12 education system, technology use in the classroom, and intercultural learning and teaching, to name just a few topics that were covered by educational experts from the University of Connecticut. This learning experience was complemented by a look behind the scenes of American elementary, middle and high school education through actual school visits and exchange with American colleagues. The group also enjoyed a number of extra-curricular activities such as trips to Amherst and Boston, Massachusetts and Mystic, Connecticut, the latter including a whaling tour.
Upon returning to Germany, the feedback provided is very positive and many participants come away with a boost of motivation for their work. One teacher describes the different way of acknowledging accomplishments as one highlight that she takes home:
“I was impressed by the culture of appreciation practiced at all levels of human interaction. University professors express overtly their admiration and respect towards their colleagues while teachers celebrate students' abilities and help them become aware of what they are doing well. Developing student agency, empowering people by pointing out their strengths and talents is admirable and I am planning to implement this practice in my daily life - both privately and professionally.”
For another participant the “The Fulbright program broadened my horizon both personally and from the educational perspective. It gave me insight into international education and the classroom observations and the exchange with all the teachers and staff members provided me with the incentive to try new things and supplement dry educational material to improve my lessons at home.“
These comments clearly show the important and transformative impact seminars like the “Diversity in the Education”-program have on both the German participants and their American counterparts.