A Thriving Global Education Program - Mid-Pacific Institute

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A Thriving Global Education Program

Research Study Reports: "Mid-Pacific has a thriving global education program"

Posted on December 18, 2015 by Scot Allen

By Laura Davis

Dr. Christina Hinton, Lecturer at Harvard's Graduate School of Education, recently presented the findings of a global education research study conducted at Mid-Pacific across the 2014-2015 school year. This study is the first published as part of an ongoing relationship between Mid-Pacific and the Harvard Graduate School of Education's International Research Schools Network.

"Mid-Pacific has a thriving global education program," Hinton announced to the faculty gathered in Bakken auditorium. She went into detail to explain how her research team has used cutting-edge research to bolster the program.

Baseline Survey
Elementary, middle, and high school students took a baseline survey in April 2014 assessing the state of global education at Mid-Pacific. This pre-survey allowed the researchers to identify four areas for growth:

1) Engaging students in schoolwork related to global issues.
2) Encouraging students to learn from culturally diverse peers.
3) Leveraging technology to connect with other students in different parts of the world.
4) Engaging all students in "real world" global actions that benefit a global society.

"Mid-Pacific is committed to using cutting-edge research to inform teaching and learning at their school," said Dr. Christina Hinton, Harvard Graduate School of Education. "Among other initiatives, they have partnered with our research team at Research Schools International (RSI) to carry out collaborative research, professional development, and dissemination of findings. Through this work, they serve as thought leaders that inspire research-based innovations in education."

Teacher Education
Striving to improve along the four identified strands, Mid-Pacific teachers took a global education course over the span of four professional development days. Readings and learning activities trained teachers in global understanding, intercultural understanding, and global identity.

"I felt myself making so many connections with my personal life, as an academic, with my responsibilities as a teacher, and my responsibilities as a global citizen," one teacher reported about the course.

In February 2015 visiting researchers led a workshop helping teachers create plans to implement global education initiatives in their classrooms. "The workshop gave me a new lens in regard to curriculum, interactions, my ignorance, and personal attitude towards education and cultural difference," wrote one teacher in an anonymous workshop evaluation. "It'll have an impact on how I practice professionally and has enlightened me personally."

Post-course Survey
After teachers integrated their new awareness of global education to daily teaching practices the researchers conducted a follow-up study in May of 2015. "We've seen significant change over that time in the extent to which students are engaged in schoolwork related to other cultures, countries, or global issues, and the extent to which students are engaged in real-world global action," said Hinton.

Moving Forward
Hinton closed with tips about how the school might use the study's findings to continue developing the global initiatives. "The school can take full advantage of its multicultural community by providing more opportunities for students to learn about other cultures from their peers," she said, referencing Mid-Pacific's extensive international student population. Mid-Pacific is also invited to "participate in our global exchange program, which connects students in our partner schools around the globe to nurture global awareness, intercultural understanding, perspective taking, and an appreciation of our common humanity."

The partnership with Research School's International will grow and evolve as Mid-Pacific continues to build relationships with international schools in the Pacific region.