Since the publication of our Newsletter in May IAUNRC has worked to provide workshops for teachers in a new, virtual format. All workshops were presented in collaboration with other IU NRCs and IU School of Education specialists.
17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
For its first part in June, the K-8 HLS Summer Institute used the UN Sustainable Goals Framework to explore how today's challenges are experienced in local communities and around the world. The second part of the Institute spanned over four weeks in fall and consisted of both asynchronous (filmed) presentations that teachers watched at a time convenient for them and synchronous (live) sessions where educators got a chance to ask questions and discuss presentations directly with the presenters. Sessions were organized around three larger topics: people (social sustainability), planet (environmental sustainability), and prosperity (economic sustainability).
Each presenter was asked to give a 15-minute presentation about a regional case study to explore how a specific country or local context was addressing one of these themes. Emily Stranger, an advanced doctoral student in Central Eurasian Studies, presented on the Aral Sea disaster, the focus IAUNRC had chosen. Emily recorded her presentation on Kaltura and submitted it to the workshop coordinators who then uploaded it to Canvas. Teachers were able to watch the video on their own time and then post questions and comments on a discussion board so that Emily could provide answers.
Several teachers commented that they had never heard of the Aral Sea disaster and looked forward to sharing the information they learned with their students. In addition to the online video, the IAUNRC also provided teachers with resources to use in their classroom, including several lesson plans on the Aral Sea that were created by other IAUNRC graduate students.
Teaching in Times of Crisis: Learning from Educators from Around the World
This series of workshops in July/August 2020 was also presented by IU NRCs in collaboration with the School of Education. The series consisted of four webinars:
Webinar 1: Teaching in Times of Crisis: Challenges and Opportunities (July 17, 2020)
Webinar 2: Supporting Teachers in a Crisis: Teacher Well-Being and Self Care (July 24, 2020)
Webinar 3: Supporting Students in a Crisis: Psychosocial Support and Social Emotional Learning (July 31, 2020)
Webinar 4: Going Back to School: What it is Like to Teach in a Continuing COVID Crisis (August 6, 2020)
A high school teacher from Kazakhstan presented on behalf of IAUNRC.
The webinars attracted unprecedented attendance: 75 educators attended the first three morning webinars and 65 the last one, which took place rather late, from 7-9pm.
Below, note a few testimonials provided by participants in the evaluation survey:
Meeting with teachers all over the world truly helps to understand that we all are trying to figure out new strategies for remote learning.
I loved the creativity of teachers and the feeling of buoyancy that came from knowing we are not alone!!
LOVED hearing from other educators! It was really affirming that we all are doing our best no matter where we are. There is something special about genuine educators. :-)
The sense of community was evident among the presenters and participants; hearing stories from presenters and other participants that made me feel less alone in our current situation
For over a decade, IAUNRC has been one of several Title VI centers at IU partnering with the IU School of Education to provide Social Studies workshops for middle and high school educators, each year focusing on a different Geography and History of the World standard.
This year, seven workshops entitled “Cultural Hearths: Cases from Around the World” were offered over the course of the year—first in person, then online. Three of them were presented in fall. In each workshop, area studies specialists presented on topics relevant to the theme with the aim of providing material to complement existing curriculums, as well as offering new content and ideas to help educators diversify their Social Studies teaching.
Cristina Palmer from the Department of Central Eurasian Studies at IU presented on the Eurasian steppe and the nomadic cultures and empires it shaped, looking in particular at the formation and legacy of the Mongol Empire. The workshops also featured presentations from the Center for the Study of the Middle East, the Russian and East European Institute, the East Asian Studies Center, the African Studies Program, the Institute for European Studies, and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Content presentations were followed by a Q&A session with presenters. The educators also had an opportunity to work with a teaching methods specialist from the School of Education to explore how the topics addressed might be presented in the classroom and to share creative teaching ideas.
These and similar workshops offer an exciting professional development opportunity for teachers, and IAUNRC hopes that they will help increase Central Eurasia’s profile in Social Studies teaching and inspire greater interest in this world region among students and educators alike.