Maymester Study Abroad in Carpi, Italy for Education Majors
2009 Heiskell Award Winners: Study Abroad
Nomination submitted by: Dr. David Reinking, Eugene T. Moore Professor of Teacher Education, Clemson University; Dr. Barbara A. Bradley, Assistant Professor, Reading Education, University of Kansas; Dr. Kathy Headley, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, Clemson University
As American schools become increasingly diverse in relation to students’ cultural and linguistic backgrounds, teachers must possess the global skills and disposition necessary to effectively manage cultural differences in the classroom. The Maymester Study Abroad in Carpi program, a joint initiative between Clemson University and the University of Kansas, provides future teachers with these skills by immersing them in an Italian classroom, ranging from preK to 8th grade.
During the 4-week program, students apply skills learned during their academic training and gain first hand knowledge of what it is like to learn and live in a culture where they do not speak the language. “In short, the beneficial tension of living and learning in new environments heightens their potential in addressing the individual needs of each child in their future classrooms,” explains Doris R. Helms, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at Clemson University.
This program serves as a model for all practitioners seeking to develop a hands-on study abroad program that prepares students for the increasingly global workforce. “Given the recent U.S. Census Report data that indicated that by early in the decade of 2040, minorities will be the majority in the nation’s urban schools, with a high percentage of these students being English language learners, programs such as this one take on greater importance than ever before,” says Richard W. Lariviere, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor at The University of Kansas. Since the program’s inception in 2000, 165 students from a variety of universities have participated and many report going on to earn certification for teaching non-English speaking students.