Originally posted: July 2012
This is one of the best professional development opportunities I’ve ever participated in! Also terrific networking opportunities.
Thank you for organizing this amazing two-day workshop!
In early July 2012 The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, in partnership with the Northwest International Education Association (NIEA), offered the 9th annual Community College Master Teacher Institute (CCMTI) at the University of Washington (UW). Nineteen faculty, from as far away as Spokane, participated in an effort to increase international content in their courses. This year’s institute was entitled, Global Education for a Sustainable Future.
Representing a wide-range of disciplines from sociology to geography to biology, the faculty expressed a need to prepare college students to deal with the global challenge of sustainability. “How can we teach global studies when our students have little background to understand the issues?” “How do we make complex global issues relevant to our students?” “How do we make peace between the efficiencies of business and economics while attempting to live sustainably?” These were just some of the opening questions discussed by the group of community college educators.
David Fenner, former Assistant Vice Provost for International Education at the U.W., set the tone for the day with a keynote lecture that argued for the critical importance of integrating international content into all college courses and for study outside the U.S. David noted that it is only when students are introduced to course materials that are global in nature that they can begin to actually tackle critical international issues in an effective manner.
Presentations covered a broad range of climate change impacts focused on Indonesia, Darfur, Canada and the Arctic, Central Asia, China, and Japan. Celia Lowe, Anthropology and JSIS, discussed the conceptual differences between food security and food sovereignty and their relationship to climate change. Frederick Lorenz, JSIS and UW Law School, provided a presentation, The Environment as a Source of Conflict: Darfur Case Study. Nadine Fabbi, Canadian Studies Center, discussed how the Inuit in Canada have changed the way we understand climate change by presenting it as a human rights abuse. Brett Walton, Circle for Blue, provided an overview of the connection of water to food, energy and health particularly in Central Asia. Anu Taranath, UW Department of English, provided a thought-provoking discussion on an analysis of the language used in global studies and how language is infused with meaning and how we see the world. Dan Abramson, UW Urban Design and Planning, presented on International Service Learning for Resilient Communities: Field Studios in Urban Planning and Design, and outlined how he conducted studio-abroad courses in China and Japan and drew comparisons between community integrity in Chinatowns in Vancouver, Canada, and Washington State.
A focus on the Inuit of Canada and their role in the politics of climate change formed a key part of the Institute. Nadine introduced educators to the growing awareness of human induced climate change over the last 20 years and to the role of the Inuit in Canada in making a link between climate change and human rights. Nadine pointed out that in 2005 Canadian Inuk political activist, Sheila Watt-Cloutier, along with 62 Inuit hunters from Canada and Alaska, filed a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights charging the United States for human rights abuses. (The United States was singled out as it accounts for only 5% of the world’s population but produces about 25% of the world carbon emissions.) The petition effectively changed the politics of climate change and how the issue is perceived.
Faculty were provided a number of articles on climate change and human rights including the summary of the petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights presented by Sheila Watt-Cloutier. The following day Nadine led a discussion about how to incorporate the Inuit perspectives on climate change into their community college courses.
NIEA is a consortium of community colleges dedicated to increasing student and faculty opportunities for international education, training, and exchange. In 2003 Tamara Leonard, Center for Global Studies, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, founded the Master Teacher Institute with NIEA. Since then, over 250 faculty from dozens of community colleges across Washington State have participated in the workshop benefiting from the expertise of Jackson School faculty and affiliated researchers.
This year Eva Dunn, Center for West European Studies and Tikka Sears, Southeast Asia Studies, co-chaired the Institute with Tikka acting as the facilitator throughout the two days. Jackson School students, Monick Keo, Canadian Studies Center and a major in Japanese Studies, and Eric Damiana, Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asia Studies, served as student assistants.
Funding for the Community College Master Teacher Institute was provided, in part, by grant allocations from the National Resource Center Programs, International and Foreign Language Education, U.S. Department of Education and the Northwest International Education Association.
The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies is home to eight National Resource Centers: Canadian Studies Center, Center for Global Studies, Center for West European Studies, East Asia Center, Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies, Middle East Center, South Asia Center, and Southeast Asia Center.