Global idea sharing: International teachers to attend University of Nevada, Reno

Grant from U.S. Department of State brings teaching fellows from 21 countries for intensive professional development to the College of Education

Teaching fellows from all over the world arrived in Reno last week as part of a Teaching Excellence and Achievement grant.


9/17/2018 | By: Nicole Shearer |

Teachers from all over the world have arrived in northern Nevada. In an exchange of cultures, teaching practices and friendship, these teachers will bring worldly experiences into the community and the classroom.

For the seventh consecutive year, the University of Nevada, Reno College of Education received the Teaching Excellence and Achievement grant from the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Administered by IREX, this grant offers the University, partnering with the Northern Nevada International Center, the opportunity to host 21 teaching fellows from 21 different countries.

"We are taking innovative steps in teacher, school counselor and principal preparation," Kenneth Coll, dean of the University's College of Education, said. "It is a privilege to welcome excellent teachers from throughout the world as part of a genuine exchange of ideas and sharing of practices that enhance the quality of teaching. We are honored to have been selected as a site for this international exchange."

The teaching fellows will attend workshops in the College of Education and shadow mathematics, English and foreign language teachers in middle and high schools within the Washoe County School District.
The fellows are highly experienced master teachers in their own countries who must compete in a rigorous application process for selection. Countries represented this year include Armenia, Bangladesh, Costa Rica, India, Jordan, Mali, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Venezuela.

"Having the fellows here just really brings the world to our door," Jennifer Mahon, project director and associate professor in the College of Education, said. "It really is a win-win program. Not only do the TEA fellows learn about the U.S. and our educational system, but they also broaden our understanding of a wider variety of cultures and of teaching and learning practices. Students and teachers from kindergarten to college get the opportunity to work with these wonderful people."

The program allows the international teachers to learn different teaching approaches, use technology in the classroom and better understand the education system in the United States, while at the same time share their own culture and expertise with a wide array of people from northern Nevada. In addition to their activities at the University and the middle and secondary schools, the fellows will complete community service activities, be hosted by local families and take part in cultural activities.

"We all understand that our world has become global and complex," Mahon said. "It is one thing to visit with people from other countries through social media, but it is an entirely different and deeper experience to have them on our campus, in our classrooms, and in our homes for six weeks. We hear so much in the media about this country and that country. One of the greatest thing about this program is that both the fellows and Americans get to know about our everyday life, about things we share - what it's like to go to work, put dinner on the table, or do homework, and to talk about our families, about the hopes and dreams we have for our kids...then I think people get a true understanding of the magnitude of this program."

Fellows and teachers from the Washoe County School District will be welcomed by Provost Kevin Carman and Dean Coll at the program kick-off event at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18 in the Joe Crowley Student Union.

For more information about the event at the University, contact Jennifer Mahon, at jmahon@unr.edu.

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