In Bridgewater-Raritan Education Association (Somerset County), Global Classrooms takes Hillside Intermediate School students beyond one-shot cultural foods and festivals to provide them with ongoing experiences that help them develop a deeper understanding of their own communities, while also broadening their focus to the lives and cultures throughout the world. A team of teachers from Bridgewater-Raritan School District were awarded a $10,000 grant to carry out the project. The team includes educators Katrina Macht, Kiran Masud, John Hingelberg, Taryn Prince, Sarah Wolf, Michele Bruenjes, Christine Lewis, Andrea Attanasio, David Zas and Anthony Sgro.
Throughout the year, teachers guide students through research-based investigations that incorporate issues-based themes related to environmental and social justice. Partner classes meet via video chat at least monthly to explore and select issues that resonate with each of their own communities. While students ultimately select their own issues to address, they follow the same “Learn-Think-Act-Reflect” service-learning structure. Students create and post digital artifact packages on the social learning site to educate their partners about themselves and their communities.
A select group of students audition and work with a resident teaching artist to explore the use of performance as a vehicle for advocacy and develop dramatic presentations for issues being researched. The teachers on the grant team meet weekly to plan, coordinate, and assess the project, as well as share skills and expertise. The team is committed to continuation of the program after the initial grant funding.
Formative and summative evaluation methods are used to measure student progress for each of the project goals.
For further information, contact:
908-231-1905, ext. 220 (school)