Our world is increasingly interconnected economically, politically, technologically, ecologically, and socially (Merriweather, 1998). Our schools worldwide must prepare students for work, private, and public life in a global society (The New London Group, 1996). This means that in addition to college, career, and civic ready, students must also be global-ready. Global-ready means ready to work, live, and interact with anyone in the world from anywhere in the world (Zhao, 2010).
Experiential Learning for Global Competence
Experience is the primary to the learning process (Kolb, Boyatzis, & Mainemelis, 2002). Direct experiences with people of different cultures has been reported by teachers as the most influential means of gaining cultural understanding about different cultures (Merryfield, 2000). This has lead 4 THE WORLD to create experiential professional development in Central America. 4 THE WORLD’s Global Experiential Learning Excursion takes educators to schools in rural Belize and Guatemala on spring break. US teachers experience life in the developing world and learn the history, culture, and contemporary issues of our Central American neighbors.
4 THE WORLD’s global learning model is listen, learn, and act. In professional development sessions, teachers consider issues of importance in Belize and Guatemala by listening to teachers, students, and community leaders in-country. Teachers then identify a pressing problem to investigate and learn about the issue from diverse perspectives. After assessing the possible solutions, the teachers facilitate collaboration for students in North America and Central America to partner and take action to implement a solution. The process then starts over, as the teachers and students listen to those affected and assess the solution, identifying strengths and weaknesses and learn from the experience in order to improve the world one project at a time.
How You Can Help
This March, 6 teachers from North Carolina would like to experience this professional development opportunity. But, as you probably have heard, North Carolina teacher salaries rank near the bottom of the states. Airfare will cost $750 for each teacher. You can contribute $100, $25, or even $10 to help out. This helps not only these teachers become better teachers but in turn benefits the 100s of students they have every year.
To make a Donation:
1. Go to
2. Fill out the form on behalf of NC Teachers
3. Share with your friends so they can do the same!
Kolb, D. A., Boyatzis, R. E., & Mainemelis, C. (2001). Experiential learning theory: Previous research and new directions. Perspectives on thinking, learning, and cognitive styles, 1, 227-247.
Merryfield, M. M. (1998). Pedagogy for global perspectives in education: Studies of teachers’ thinking and practice. Theory & Research in Social Education, 26(3), 342-379.
Merryfield, M. M. (2000). Why aren’t teachers being prepared to teach for diversity, equity, and global interconnectedness? A study of lived experiences in the making of multicultural and global educators. Teaching and teacher education, 16(4), 429-443.
Partnership for 21st Century Skills & VIF. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.p21.org/our-work/global-education
The New London Group.(1996). A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Designing social futures. Harvard Educational Review, 66(1), 60-92.
Zhao, Y. (2011). Preparing globally competent teachers: A new imperative for teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 61(5), 422-431.