Friday, September 26, 2008

Funding for Exciting Research Project

Dear Socios,

Many of you know about the Stevens funding that came through in the spring and the exciting GL research/travel project that it will support. However, in order to ensure that everyone is up to date, here is the news…

In April, thanks in large part to good wishes, prayers, support and positive vibes sent by many of you, I was awarded a Mary Elvira Stevens Traveling Fellowship, an award available to alumnae from Wellesley College. I am going to use the fellowship for a new Global Learning research project starting in January 2009.

With Stevens funding, I will travel to Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Uganda, Kenya, and Thailand in order to learn with educators using empowering pedagogy that is similar to what we are using in Global Learning programs. I will visit three types of educational settings: progressive schools, outdoor education organizations, and refugee camps.

In each location, I will gather and share best practice teaching techniques that help students think, learn, believe in themselves, and be active world citizens. I feel very thankful for the opportunity to collaborate with our global colleagues engaging in best practices and look forward to returning to GL with valuable ideas from around the world to strengthen and improve our teacher training and educational programs.

Upon return, my intention is to work with GL volunteers to write a user-friendly handbook to help improve education in underserved communities. Targeted at educators and parents, it will be a manual of tangible student-centered techniques field-tested in the developing world that anyone could use to improve children’s learning and life preparation, even with minimal material resources. Hence, this exciting project will not only inform and strengthen GL programs, but also will enable us to share student-centered best practices with a much larger audience.

I will be traveling for approximately one year, with a few visits to our California office and current GL sites in Latin America worked into the itinerary. These visits will enable me to touch in and contribute, but I will need assistance with many of my duties as GL’s executive director in 2009. I am very grateful to the many Global Learning volunteers who have stepped up to make room for me to work on this new project. Regional coordinators and volunteers in Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and in the United States will add to their already heavy workloads next year to keep the GL wheels turning. We will have many experienced volunteers return in 2009 to guide the leadership training and school enrichment programs. I would like to offer special thanks to Nessa Mahmoudi, Jessie Anderson, and Roberto Vargas Sanchez who have committed themselves to taking over most of my administrative duties while I am traveling.

The solid, self-sustaining nature of GL’s current stage of development is a testament to the hard work and commitment that hundreds of volunteers have contributed. Thank you! I am grateful to work within our unique and passionate community and look forward to moving adelante with all of you in 2009.

With gratitude,

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Congratulations Jana on the fellowship! That sounds like it will be an amazing opportunity to gain new educational perspectives from all around the world. Look forward to hearing more GL news in the future!