“Education at the Edge: Global Challenges in the Classroom and Beyond”

For three days this summer, about 50 area high school teachers and librarians listened to speakers and participated in round-table discussions around the theme of “Education at the Edge: Global Challenges in the Classroom and Beyond.”

The workshop was sponsored by the Illinois Global Institute, Center for African Studies; Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies; Center for Global Studies; Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies; Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies; European Union Center; Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies; Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center; and Women & Gender in Global Perspectives.

Topics included “Banned Books and Politicization of Education,” “ChatGPT in the Classroom,” and “A Black/Africana Studies Response to Curriculum Bias, Distortion, and Assaults on Heritage Teaching.”

Brian Ndumila (graduate student in African Studies), a former high school teacher in Kenya, moderated the session on banned books, noting that the issue is of relevance both in the U.S. and in Kenya, where books that challenge the government are banned.

“There are dangers to offering students only a single story; they are best educated when they hear multiple viewpoints and are allowed to make up their own minds,” Ndumila said.

This event was part of the Annual Global Educators Workshop. Past themes have included “World Languages and Area Studies: Challenges, Opportunities, and Future Perspectives, (2022)”; “Education in Uncertain Times: How to Prepare for the New Normal Around the World (2021)”; and “K-14 Education During Covid-19 in the US and Abroad (2020).” Educators can receive Professional Development Hours and certificates of attendance for participating. More information can be found at https://tinyurl.com/mrj3bj7k