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ITEP Global Education Forum

Exploring Issues in International Education

The International Training and Education Program (ITEP) Global Education Forum (GEF) has two aims. First, it focuses on identifying the most pressing issues in education globally, as reported by renowned experts from academia, public policy, government, and the non-profit sector across the globe. Second, it examines whether and how undergraduate and graduate student education and training should change in order to prepare students to address these issues.

The GEF defines education broadly-including formal, informal, and experiential settings in schools and outside the classroom. It centers on traditional educational topics such as access, equity, and achievement, and also on education as it relates to such global concerns as public health, extremism, and the environment.

Stayed tuned for details on the Fall 2023 Global Education Forum.

Spring 2023 Global Education Forum
“Learning to Teach Controversial Issues in Divided Societies” with Dr. Judith Pace

February 9, 2023
The 2nd Annual Charles Tesconi Lecture [A Virtual Event]
Dr. Judith Pace, a teacher education professor in the School of Education at the University of San Francisco, gave a virtual talk, “Learning to Teach Controversial Issues in Divided Societies.”

Dr. Pace utilizes project-based learning, case studies, and elements of practice-based teaching in courses such as Learning and Teaching, Curriculum Currents and Controversies, Curriculum Development and Design, and Teaching Controversies.

She has studied classroom authority relationships and academic engagement, teaching for democratic citizenship in government classes, social studies under high-stakes accountability, and teacher preparation for teaching controversial issues (Source: USFCA). Read her full bio at the University of San Francisco website.

***A video recording of this event is not available.

Other events:

  • April 3, 2023: Book Launch and Talk for Dr. Elizabeth A. Worden’s New Book, Citizenship Education in a Divided Society: Lessons from Curricula and Practice in Northern Ireland
  • April 21 and 22, 2023: Annual ITEP Gathering; In-Person Reception and Panel Discussion: Friday Evening (4/21) from 6-9pm; Online Sessions: Saturday (4/22) from 9am-12pm

Fall 2022 Global Education Forum
“Critical Approaches to Education Research: A Conversation on Engaging with Adolescent Girls in the U.S. and Zimbabwe”

November 14, 2022
[A Virtual Event]
Keynote Address by Sabrina J. Curtis, Ph.D., Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies professor at the George Washington University, and Ellen Chigwanda, Project Manager and Advocacy Advisor for CARE USA.
Moderator: Jisun Jeong, Ph.D.
The video recording of this discussion can be viewed here.

Advancing Education in Muslim Societies:
Implications for Policy, Pedagogy, Training, and Development

November 11-13, 2022
[Virtual and In-person at American University]
Explore education systems and practices in Muslim societies and the Muslim diaspora with scholars across fields and disciplines who will share their research on education and its implications for global societies by attending this 6th annual symposium.

Keynote Address, “Universities in Muslim Societies: A Call For Resistance and Responsibility” by Nuraan Davids, Ph.D. / Watch the video recording.

Dr. Davids is Professor of Philosophy of Education in the Faculty of Education at Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa. Dr. Davids presented the keynote address: “Universities in Muslim Societies: A Call for Resistance and Responsibility.” In her address, she argues that “a university is at risk when it fails to see itself as a place of argumentation, resistance, and responsibility. For universities in Muslim societies, this risk is compounded when one considers the ethico-religious responsibilities placed on what it means to be educated.” Dr. Davids argues “for a preparedness to being reflectively open to new considerations and fusions of knowledge; a pedagogy of resistance and dissent that could enhance intellectualism; and a responsiveness to broader social malaises as a fulfillment of education as a human responsibility.”

Strategic Planning Using Systems Tools in International Education and Social Justice

Imagine two unique creative organizations working to adapt and evolve to achieve difficult goals in a rapidly changing world, one at global level in a network, the other at the hyper-local level in East Africa… do they approach long-term planning and plotting a course forward in fresh new creative ways? View here!

Panelists: Fassil Mirriam, Executive Director of the Child Rights Violence Prevention Fund – East Africa (CRVPF); and Professor Frank Adamson, Sacramento State University on the Private Education and Human Rights Global Consortium (PEHRC)

Moderator: Tahniat Saulat

Inaugural Charles Tesconi Lecture: Rita Kohli Discusses Teachers of Color

Education scholar and teacher educator Dr. Rita Kohli discussed her recent book “Teachers of Color: Resisting Racism and Reclaiming Education,” at the inaugural Charles Tesconi Lecture. Kohli documents the hostile racial climate that teachers of color experience over the course of their academic and professional lives—first as students and preservice teachers and later in their classrooms and schools. She highlights the tools of resistance these teachers employ to challenge institutionalized oppression and the kinds of professional development and support they need to thrive. View here!

Dr. Kohli is an associate professor of teaching and teacher education in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Riverside (UCR). Building on her experiences as an urban public middle school teacher and a teacher educator, she has spent the last decade researching race, power, and in/equity in the professional experiences and well-being of teachers of color. Committed to praxis, she is also a cofounder and codirector of the Institute for Teachers of Color Committed to Racial Justice.

Charles Tesconi, Jr., was a Professor of Education who served as AU’s Dean of the School of Education from 1989—1993 and 1996—2000, and Director of the International Training and Education Program (ITEP) from 2006—2013. He is deeply missed though he has left an inedible legacy.

Welcome: Dean Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy

Introduction: Janice Wright

Moderators: Elizabeth Worden, Cam Brown, Drea Rachel

Education for Peace and Human Rights

Dr. Monisha Bajaj discussed her current book Education for Peace and Human Rights: An Introduction and the challenges and opportunities in implementing human rights and peace education in diverse communities and contexts around the world.

Moderators: Maddy Crawford and Adam Medadi

Bullets to Books

Jok Abraham Thon, an activist and displaced person in South Sudan, established a school that helps youth caught up in the South Sudan conflict abandon violence, access a safe and supportive second-chance education opportunity, and engage with other youth as ambassadors of peace. Jok will share his experience as the founder of the “Bullets to Books” school. He spoke with several collaborators, sharing how they have worked together in this joint project and how efforts like it can contribute to durable, just peace. View Here! Speakers include:

  • Gail Prensky, an artist, producer and founder of the Jüdische Kulturbund Project that shares the story of the German Jewish Kulturbund group that resisted Nazi oppression through art and music, and works with current-day artists to encourage empathy and understanding of the issues of artists living under oppression and how they respond through their art
  • Former US Ambassador to South Sudan Tom Hushek, an advocate for soft diplomacy and people-to-people exchanges like the Bullets to books program
  • Stephanie Mercedes, a DC artist committed to transforming tools of violence into works of art, who is designing art for Jok’s school.

Moderator: Michael Gibbons

Answering the Hard Questions in International Education & Development

Students from Comparative and International Education class asked leaders in the field of international education and development hard questions on promoting educational equity and development. Questions for the speakers:

  • How has your institution acknowledged deep and historical power differentials in the field of international education and development?
  • In what ways is your institution thinking about decolonizing education or anti-racism in your work?
  • What efforts are you institutions taking to help support local solutions to educational and development dilemmas with the countries you support?

Moderators: Dara Doss & Cam Brown

Panelists: Sirtaj Kaur, Global Partnership for Education Public Policy Specialist; Mark Canavera, Director of the Care and Protection of Children (CPC); & Ghazal Keshavarzian, Leader of Reconstructing Children’s Rights Institute

(A)Broad in Education: Thinking Critically about Cross-cultural and International Exchange

Tiffany Lachelle Smith discussed about her podcast, which is on a mission to decolonize imaginations through diverse migration stories.

Moderators: Cam Brown & Emily Morris

Advancing Education in Muslim Societies

The International Institute of Islamic Though (IIIT) shares the results of an empirical study among students in secondary schools and higher education as well as teachers and university instructors in 14 locations in Muslim majority societies. The research, conducted in 2019-2020 academic year, surveyed close to 20,000 participants’ attitudes and beliefs about constructs that promote developmental values and competencies such as empathy, sense of belonging, gratitude, meaning making, and emotional regulation and others. View Here!

Welcome: Dr. Ahmed Alwani, Vice President, IIIT

Moderator: Dr. Cynthia Miller-Idris, American University

Panelist: Dr. Ilham Nasser, IIIT

New Developments in Nonformal Education

Nonformal education (NFE) is an under-studied but vital component of education systems around the world. In fall 2020, graduate students explored the history, tradition, principles, and examples of NFE in action. They studied examples of both established and new social movements. The team of graduate students and experts presented on the results of their studies on the evolving NFE phenomenon. View here!

Moderator: Michael Gibbons

Panelists: Jessica Coke, Eden Rivera, Abby Todd, & Beck Waghorne

SOE Collaborations: Panama Bilingüe & Panama Teach

The School of Education’s Institute for Innovation and Education (IIE) will highlight its ongoing collaboration to increase bilingualism in Panama. Hear about the success of the Panama Bilingüe program and how SOE partnered with schools across DC to host Panamanian teachers who observed classroom practices and interacted with students. The new Panama Teach program will share the advancement of continuous professional development for Panamanian teachers. View here!

Welcome: Corbin Cambell, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, SOE

Panelists: Dr. Jermain Griffin, Project Manager, Panama Teach; Danilelle Gervais Sodani, Director of Institute for Innovation in Education; & Dr. Nadia de Leon

Nonformal Education and Popular Media from Sub-Saharan Africa

This panel featured three leading educational media organizations that have been developing creative programming for children, youth, and adults through television, radio, social media, and mobile phone apps and messaging. The demand for distance education programming has soared since COVID-19, and these media pioneers shared some of their innovative approaches and lessons learned. View here!

Moderator: Emily Morris, Former Radio Education Producer and Developer

Panelists: Doreen Bateyunga, Ubongo; Ben Fiafor, Farm Radio International; & Farida Nzilani and Rob Burnet, Shujaaz

Reimagining International Education in the time of COVID-19

From university study abroad programs to primary schools around the globe, the COVID-19 Pandemic has dramatically altered the landscape of Comparative and International Education. ITEP was excited to bring together international education professionals from CIES, NAFSA, and USAID to discuss the challenges and opportunities that the pandemic has presented. The speakers address the ways which COVID-19 has impacted their current and future work from international development to cross cultural exchange. View here!

Moderator: Elizabeth Worden

Panelists: Iveta Silova, Professor, University of Arizona, President of CIES; Croshelle Harris-Hussein, Director, Education Office, USAID Mali; & Heather MacCleoud, Director, Academic Affairs, NAFSA

Collective Storytelling: Creative reflection and Musical Creativity

Veronica Quillien is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer at Language Attitude. Under her tribal name Sandjock Likinè, Veronica, traces her lineage to the Bàsàa people of Cameroon. She is the Peace Elephant Warrior Princess, Bridgeweaver. Her scholarship particularly explores the re/making of culture and she expresses her practice through spirituality, creativity, and orality. In this lunchtime chat, participants explored narrative analysis through creative creation storytelling. View here!

Moderator: Emily Morris

PUSHOUT Virtual Screening

Attendees joined the School of Education at American University for a screening of PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools. This powerful documentary takes a close look at the educational, judicial and societal disparities facing Black Girls. Inspired by the groundbreaking book by renowned scholar, Monique W. Morris, Ed.D., the documentary confronts the ways in which the misunderstanding of Black girlhood has led to excessive punitive discipline which in turn disrupts one of the most important factors in their lives, their education.

Watch the recorded panel discussion moderated by School of Education Dean, Dr. Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy with panelists from Washington College of Law and School of Education at American University.

“All American Weekend Event” – A conversation with girls’ education experts on learning across a lifetime

ITEP was honored to welcome the 2019 Echidna Global Scholars to present their research on gender sensitivity in early childhood in India, STEM education for rural girls in Bangladesh, and girls’ transitions into the workforce in Nepal. The Echidna Global Scholars Program is hosted by the Center for Universal Education (CUE) at the Brookings Institution and aims to build the research and analytical skills of NGO leaders and academics working to further girls’ education in the Global South.

Welcome: Dean Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy

SOE Moderator: Dr. Vidyamali Samarasinghe

SIS Panelists: Echidna Global Scholars Anil Paudel, Nasrin Siddiqa, & Samyukta Subramanian

The Role of Education in Migration from the Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras)

The news is flooded with narratives on why young people are leaving the Northern Triangle for the US and how international policies have influenced their decisions to leave. Participants joined a conversation on the role education has played in this migration. This included hearing from a college student who migrated as an unaccompanied minor, an advocate for migrant youth, a communications analyst, and a government representative on how this crisis has evolved and the complex situation we are in today.

Moderator: Dennis Stinchcomb, Center for Latin American and Latino Studies

Panelists: Gilson Argueta, Prince George’s County Community College student; Angela Gonzalez, DC Mayor’s Office, Latino Affairs (formerly with Maryland Multicultural Youth Centers); Rafael Flores, Communications Specialist, Polaris (and formerly Embassy of El Salvador); & Sonia Umanzor, Community Affairs Director, Embassy of El Salvador to Washington DC

ITEP Faculty Research in Action

Elizabeth Worden, ITEP Associate Professor presented initial findings from her current research project on citizenship education, curriculum change, and teachers in post-conflict Northern Ireland.

Emily Morris, ITEP Director discussed her 13-year research study with the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training in Zanzibar, Tanzania on the gendered reasons students are pushed out of school.

Advancing Education in Muslim Societies: The Mapping the Terrain Study (An International Education Week Event)

The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) and ITEP have partnered to examine education issues across Muslim communities. This study of over 25,000 participants from fifteen countries explores how secondary school and university students, parents, teachers, and administrators value skills such as empathy, forgiveness, moral reasoning, and community-mindedness. Publicly available for the first time, the research team presented the study’s results and lead a discussion on the implications of this important exploration for advancing education in Muslim societies.

Welcome: Dr. Corbin M. Campbell, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the School of Education and Dr. Ahmed Alwani, Vice President of IIIT

Moderator: Dr. Elizabeth Anderson Worden, American University

Panelists: Dr. Ahmed Alwani and Dr. Ilham Nasser of IIIT; Dr. Cynthia Miller-Idriss of American University; Dr. Jehanzeb Cheema of George Mason University; & Dr. Qamar-ul Huda of the Center for Global Policy

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