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I have been an elementary and secondary school teacher and administrator. Currently, I am a faculty member in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. My M.Ed. and Ph.D. had a focus on the educational and linguistic experiences of children who moved from other countries to Canada.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Global Perspectives in Education Conference - Fredericton, NB

Last week, I gave two presentations at a conference which brought together 7,000 scholars from across Canada and around the world.  The focus of my first presentation was on the significant difference between how universities and high schools conceptualize "internationalization" and what it looks like in practice; often our goals are lofty but our practices are market driven.  The second presentation was based on research I did on how a professional development course on global education can impact classroom practice.  I received good feed-back on the presentation and will be turning it into a paper to submit for publication this summer.

I was amazed at how many different times people talked about connecting the global and the local.  I started counting references to this concept over the four days of the conference and stopped counting once I reached 20.  It's evident that people are thinking along these lines - making the connection between what happens "there" with what happens "here" (t/here), understanding that traveling to other countries does not necessarily make you a global citizen (and that some can be global citizens while never leaving their local community), and recognizing that within local communities are injustices which mirror those which take place in more distant contexts.  One of the draw-backs of a conference is that there is lots of talk.  We need to continually be reminded that a changed mind/heart needs to be "operationalized" by a changed lifestyle.

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