Launched in 2019, the Cleveland Council on World Affairs’ Bridges to the World professional development program trains middle school and high school educators to confidently integrate global education and current events into their classrooms. The program is called Bridges to the World because it builds “bridges” that connect classrooms in Northeast Ohio to events, issues and people around the world.
Throughout the semester-long program, participating educators examine the key elements of global education and explore resources to foster global competence in their classrooms. “It was incredible to collaborate with like-minded educators from diverse backgrounds and different ways of thinking, while focusing on a relevant topic like U.S.-Russia Relations or the Middle East. The collaboration of the participants and the process by which the information was delivered was top-notch,” reflects Kristen Niedzwiecki, a teacher from Chardon High School and participant in the Bridges to the World fall 2019 cohort.
CCWA’s professional development program combines workshops, well-vetted curricula, interactive resources, and speaker presentations to support and train educators to tackle global topics in the classroom. These resources and lessons learned are particularly relevant in today’s environment: “As we transition to remote learning, I am integrating the virtual resources shared in Bridges to the World. These are incredible resources to have at my fingertips during this time,” notes Kristen.
Educators around the world are rethinking how to adapt to the rapidly changing and complex world. Kristen is a proponent of global education and constantly seeks to infuse global awareness into her classroom: “Bridges to the World was a wonderful, unique opportunity to consider how to integrate global education into my courses and to disseminate this information to my colleagues.”
CCWA will host our next Bridges to the World workshop series during the 2020-2021 academic year. The focus of the next Bridges to the World workshop series will be on global challenges like Climate Change, Global Health, and Immigration and Global Migration, topics that we selected to reflect the new realities of a post-pandemic world and school environment.