What's worth teaching and how to teach it are two questions we constantly pose to ourselves. As we ponder these, we inevitably run into two other questions: how to engage those who are less than fully motivated and how to involve students in learning about a world which is so incredibly complex and where virtually all issues are so globally interdependent. Because of the conditions of complexity and interdependence, we label ourselves global educators and what we do as global education.
George initially became concerned with these problems as a middle school teacher in Colorado. Later, as director of the Center for Teaching International Relations (CTIR) at the University of Denver, he was involved in developing strategies for student centered, interactive learning.
Steve has taught political science at a state university in California. Several years ago, he became convinced that the input, lecture based mode of learning he employed was terribly inadequate. So the search began for alternatives which eventually led to meeting George and to our subsequent collaboration.
The purpose of this article is to share some of the activities we have found to be successful in addressing our concerns. These activities have been used in a variety of settings: residential programs for approximately 35 high school students from all over the country, held at Las Palomas de Taos; the Tennessee Governor's School for International Studies, which is a four week, summer program for 150 high school students; workshops for elementary and secondary educators; and a variety of college courses including Global Politics American Government, and Public Policy Making.