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GLOBAL ISSUES IN LANGUAGE
EDUCATION NEWSLETTER
December 1995 - Issue No. #21 (p. 17)

Global Education Summer School in York, England

by Margot Brown (Center for Global Education, York, UK)

The first day or so we all pointed to our countries.
The third or fourth day we all pointed to our continents.
By the fifth day we were aware of only one earth.


- Sultan Bin Salmo al-San, Arab astronaut

This quotation, from "Learning from Experience" by Miriam Steiner (Trentham, 1993), is the opening statement in the small handbook produced by the first ever Global Education Summer School held specifically for teachers from Japan at the Center for Global Education of the York St. John College in St. John, England from July 30 - August 9, 1995. The quotation captures the sense of oneness and the importance of interdependence which was a key theme of the summer school.

Many workshops on global education have taken place in Japan conducted by experts from overseas, but these have, of necessity, been short, single workshops. The exciting proposal which emerged from the Japan visits of British global educators Miriam Steiner (1991) and Margot Brown (1994) was to hold a ten-day summer school in York which would enable Japanese teachers to explore both the process and the content of global education in more depth.

This event finally took place this summer, planned by Miriam Steiner (World Studies Project), Yutaka Okazaki (University of York), and Mergot Brown (Center for Global Education). Teachers were accommodated on campus at the University College of Ripon & York in the shadow of the city's medieval walls.

The aims of the Summer School included giving the participants time to explore the interrelatedness of different areas of global education; an opportunity to try out a variety of new teaching techniques and adapt them for the Japanese classroom; a chance to share experiences with fellow teachers, and, of course, to explore York and its surroundings.

Ten committed, lively, and adventurous teachers (including six language teachers) from different areas of Japan attended and shared their enthusiasm and expertise. The program fell into three main sections: a formal program of workshops and lectures, educational visits, and cultural and leisure excursions.

The College-based workshops involved explorations of interdependence, images and perceptions, active learning, gender and human rights, and education for a culturally diverse society. Aspects of development, environmental, and futures education were also covered. Japanese global educators Yutaka Okazaki, Kazuko Otsu, and Masahiro Furugawa gave invaluable lectures. Excursions included a visit to the house of anti-slavery activist William Wilberforce (where teaching packs on slavery are available), a day at the Manchester Development Education Project (with workshops by Miriam Steiner & David Cooke), and an environmental education field-trip.

It was a busy and energetic ten days with many lasting memories and friendships. The teachers found the Summer School very impressive and full of wonderful surprises. They took away practical ideas and a renewed commitment to global education. The groups continues to keep in touch through a "Network York" they have developed in Japan.

The big decision now is when to hold the next Global Education Summer School. Should summer schools alternate with one year in the UK and one year in Japan? How long should they last? Suggestions from JALT readers would be very welcome. We would like to see the links forged by this first Summer School strengthened and teachers from the UK and Japan engage in a dialog to help create a better world.

A Participant's View

by Keiko Yamamoto

I was one of ten participants from Japan who took part in the 1995 Global Education Summer School at the Center for Global Education in York, England. The ten-day program consisted of global education workshops, guest lectures, educational visits, and cultural excursions. The workshops included activities such as "world view brainstorming", "gender picture matching", and "conflict resolution" while speakers spoke to us about slavery, development education, and "the shape of the world". Each of us took home many useful teaching materials and resources for classroom use. We have now formed our own global education network of teachers in Japan called "Network York". Please contact me if you'd like to know more about our meetings.


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