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Building a Global Community of Educators

Dear SED Community,

Fall 2017 is already upon us! As with the commencement of a new academic year, we welcome new students, and we begin the final push for some of our students toward their graduation. Wherever you are in your studies, we wish you luck this semester.

As a learning community, we are committed to our short and long-term professional development.  With great pleasure, I can announce that our Voices from the Field Speaker Series will be in its fifth year!  Our fall lineup of speakers include:

  • Marietta Bradinova on Engaged Learning (October 5 from 3:30-4:30pm)
  • Joy Peyton on the Practicing Nonviolent Communication (November 2 from 3:30-4:30pm)

The Voices from the Field events are free and open to the public, so I hope that you will consider joining us.

I am also pleased to announce that, upon approval of the faculty and advisory board, we have established the School of Education’s motto: Building a Global Community of Educators.  This motto represents us in so many ways including the scope and intent of our programs, the diversity of our learning community, and it also reflects our growing network of alumni who are spread across the globe.

This semester, we also continue to develop strong relationships with partners across the globe. Over the summer, our academic coordinator Victoria Fedorets, helped to establish memoranda of understanding on her trip to Ukraine. We will work to continue establishing such relationships with partners that represent our mission and values of providing an accessible education with a global perspective.

What an amazing year we have ahead of us!

I wish you all the best this semester.

Kevin J. Martin

Associate Dean, School of Education

Virginia International University

International Students in Higher Education: More Than a Fish Out of Water

Congratulations to Kevin Martin, the Associate Dean of the School of Education, on his chapter, International Students in Higher Education: More Than a Fish Out of Water in Cultural Awareness and Competency Development in Higher Education.

ABSTRACT: The world continues to experience rapid advances in technology and transportation that increasingly expand opportunities and accessibility for international students to study in ways that were not possible even a few decades ago. Such changes create both challenges and solutions for the modern higher education institution in the U.S. With the goal of higher education to work toward opening minds and creating a space for sharing and learning within an open and diverse learning community, it is imperative that international students be incorporated in a way that engages and invigorates the quality of learning on campus. Some of the challenges to this notion include a variety of learner variables influencing how international students integrate into the broader learning community. This chapter focuses on some of these variables impacting international students with an emphasis on the problems, potential solutions, and critical areas for future research.

Access to the chapter can be found here: http://www.igi-global.com/book/cultural-awareness-competency-development-higher/172413

Is Education Lacking in the Humanities and Social Sciences?

A recent report by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Commission on Humanities and Social Sciences demonstrates the importance of a balanced education in the modern world.  The educational focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is a necessary part of building the economy and improving the United States’ stance in the world; however, losing sight of the humanities and social sciences can have a dramatic impact upon the future of the country and the world at large.

Focusing on the need for the humanities and social sciences (languages, music, art, history, political sciences, anthropology, sociology, and many more) provides students with a well-rounded education.  The report suggests that K-12 education with a focus on the humanities and social sciences provides a well-prepared and participatory citizenry.  Through a shared partnership between K-12 education and higher education, there will be the emergence of a “true teaching network—from kindergarten through higher education—[that] will collect and share new methodologies, new discoveries, and new student needs” (25).  Through these partnerships, teaching methodologies will be dramatically improved, and teacher training programs can learn from the on-the-ground needs expressed by primary and secondary teachers.

The need for STEM education is indeed important in developing and improving both the current and long-term economy, but what is likely needed is a balance of the humanities and social sciences with STEM education.

Check out the video: https://vimeo.com/68662447