Tearing Down the Walls: Creating Global Classrooms through Online Teacher Preparation Programs

By Grant, Allen C. | Distance Learning, March 1, 2010 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Tearing Down the Walls: Creating Global Classrooms through Online Teacher Preparation Programs


Grant, Allen C., Distance Learning


INTRODUCTION

Flexibility, accessibility, and enhanced instructor/student communication are commonly cited as the primary benefits of distance learning (Choy, McNickle, & Clayton, 2003); however, a new benefit is quickly taking center stage. The proliferation of cultural and global awareness is an advantage to online learning that cannot be overlooked. Even the nation's leadership has taken notice. President Barack Obama has included the preparation of students to compete in a global economy as a prime tenet in both his Race to the Top educational stimulus act (U.S Department of Education, 2009) as well as his proposed reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (U.S. Department of Education, 2010), further strengthening long-held beliefs that global awareness is one of the hallmarks of modern educational thought and reform (Postman, 1995). This recent revelation is not just idealistic. Evidence exists that America's classrooms are slowly becoming less culturally insular and more reflective of student interests and ideals. Preservice teacher education delivered online better positions classroom instructors to prepare our nation's digital youth for the emerging global community as compared to traditional brick and mortar teacher education programs.

FAILING TRENDS IN GLOBAL EDUCATION

Compelling statistical trends support the need for improved global education in America's schools. In 2006, native nonHispanic Whites were the minority among students enrolled in kindergarten through the 12th grade in Western states. Furthermore, in 2007, immigrants accounted for one in eight U.S. residents, with 10.3 million having arrived since 2000 (Camarota, 2007). Changing domestic demographics combined with the proliferation of the digital age has increased the interaction between people of different cultures to a degree never imagined. The commercial sector has taken notice as well. In Ohio, business and industry leaders have partnered with the State Board of Education in calling for increased curricular emphasis on critical thinking skills, language acquisition, world geography, and politics. Their goal is simple: to place the state in a strategic position to be globally competitive (Howe, 2008).

Unfortunately, the current report card on global education in American schools is poor. In 1994, the National Council for Social Studies established a broad set of standards related to global interdependence, but their incredible forethought failed to take hold. Only a few states and school districts initially established graduation requirements related to global education. The National Center for Education Statistics showed that only seven states required either world history or world geography for graduation in 2002. Today, only a slight majority of states require world history for graduation (Rabb, 2009), with national assessment standards not on the assessment radar until 2018. Foreign language studies are also bleak. Only 16 states require a foreign language for graduation or have a plan for its future implementation (National Center of State Supervisors of Languages, 2008). Complex cultural curriculum is lagging as well. According to the College Board (2007), student scores on Advanced Placement exams that assess global issues are marginal at best. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest, the mean grade on the European history exam is 2.82, while the mean score on the human geography exam is 2.95.

THE DIGITAL CLASSROOM OF TODAY - CHANGING PRACTICES

Despite our historical failure to teach a global curriculum in America's schools, our students are becoming cultural consumers right under our noses. Today's modern student is firmly entrenched in twentyfirst century social technology tools. Students are collaborating on cell phones, personal digital assistants and, much to the tech coordinators' bane, in school's computer labs. Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are some of the social tech tools that increasingly fill our youth's busy schedules.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Tearing Down the Walls: Creating Global Classrooms through Online Teacher Preparation Programs
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?