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New Certificate Program: Global Perspectives

August 21, 2008

For several years, the School of Education has required its students to take three credits of non-western contemporary culture to help expose students to a globalizing world. But Associate Dean Ken Zeichner and his colleagues thought students deserved to learn even more about the interconnected world in which they would soon be teaching.

“The idea is that teachers in the public school should be teaching from a global perspective. We thought the three-credit requirement was not enough,” Zeichner explains. “We wanted a broad certificate that focused on non-western history and contemporary culture. We want all undergraduates to have the opportunity to gain more global perspective.”

The certificate, which is open to all School of Education majors, consists of 21 credits, including 12 non-western courses and a three-credit capstone as well as six additional credits.

In addition to teaching new global values, the School of Education will also be studying its own program to see if it prepares students to teach from a global perspective. As Zeichner explains, many schools have been focusing on globalization but few have investigated how this change affects students. The School of Education will be tracking students of the certificate to see how it affects their readiness to teach.

“This certificate is an opportunity for undergraduates to develop a more comprehensive global view, to view themselves as world citizens. For all undergrads, it will build a respect for diversity and treat all people with dignity and respect,” Zeichner says. “Today we need to develop their cultural competence.”

CONTACT: Ken Zeichner, (608) 262-6136 or zeichner@facstaff.wisc.edu

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