CIE encourages students to participate in a wide range of professional development activities outside of courses as part of their degree programs at CIE. Students undertake consulting, work on projects, attend training sessions, participate in workshops and do field research, all as part of CIE's commitment to producing Scholar Practitioners - graduates who can effectively combine academic and theoretical knowledge with practical skills.
Recently, CIE students David Epstein, Yaëlle Stempfelet, Christina Chen, and Stephen Richardson, and CIE faculty member Jacqi Mosselson attended the Unlearning Violence: Evidence and Policies for Early Childhood Development and Peace Conference at Tufts University Fletcher School, just outside of Boston, Mass. The conference provided a forum for scholars and practitioners to share their work related to early childhood development, violence, and peace, as well as engage in dialogue with conference attendees.
The case was made for early childhood development from a variety of perspectives including neuroscience research on the positive effects of early childhood education, an address from Harvard's Dr. Steven Pinker, and cautious cultural considerations for both research and practice from Columbia University's Dr. Michael Wessells. Topics of rampant use of corporal punishment by parents and teachers, child trafficking, gender-based violence, and sexual exploitation were brought to light highlighting the complexities of violence around the world which is complicated by the rise of intra-state conflicts. Still, the conference theme called on attendees to consider how insights from early childhood education can provide evidence for education policies that can help mitigate and break the cycles of violence. Attending CIE members were engaged in the dialogue as the conference format provided ample time during the Question and Answer portion of each panel.
The event was hosted by the World Peace Foundation in association with the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development at Tufts University and the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University.
A recent Tuesday Dialogue featured a presentation and discussion by Edmund Morris who spoke by Skype from Doha, Qatar. His talk was supplemented by a PowerPoint Presentation and a printed document containing his responses to questions that had been submitted earlier by CIE members. The combination of media worked very well.
Edmund has five plus years of experience writing proposals in response to RFP/RFA/RFQs from a variety of bi-lateral and multi-lateral agencies. Based on his experience he put together a set of guidelines, steps and recommendations for those wanting to learn about the process of writing proposals.
He highlighted the fact that there are in fact three separate processes involved: the donor’s process of designing and getting approval to issue a request; the bidder’s process of designing a response and negotiating an award; and the project process of startup, implementation and completion. Each of these sequences has its own rules and challenges. Successful organizations need to understand all three of these sequences.
Edmund stressed the need to “know the terms of reference by heart” and not to deviate from them. Likewise he advocated knowing and using both the language and the financial structures of the particular donor agency issuing the RFP. He suggested reading speeches by agency leaders, studying policy papers issued by the agency, and unashamedly using language and terms used by the agency in the proposal.
After walking the audience through the steps of both the technical and financial components of proposals, the conversation turned to the larger issues, like the future of large institutions who now get most of the funding, the use of local staff as a better strategy, and the dilemmas of whether AID really makes a difference. These issues provoked a lively debate. Thanks to Sebastian Lindstrom, a current student, for organizing this session.
The Global Horizons project at the Center for International Education strives to promote a greater awareness of the world community in Massachusetts’ K-12 schools by providing global and multicultural education curriculum resources and training to educators throughout the Western Massachusetts region. The Massachusetts Global Education consortium under the Massachusetts Department of Education has funded the project for more than a decade. There are two major activities i.e. (i) offering weekend workshops for K-12 educators, and ii) operating a global and multicultural education curriculum resource center.
The weekend workshops for educators offer a range of topics that reflect global issues and culture such as multiculturalism, global citizenship, immigration and refugee issues, identity, tolerance, technology and social media, gender issues, environmental issues and so on. Registration is free for all K-12 educators including student teachers and the participants receive a stipend for attending the workshop. Facilitators having expertise on specific topics of global interest conduct the workshops. Facilitators make every effort to provide participants with participatory, hands-on and experiential learning experiences.
A recent workshop in November, 2013 focused on Immigration and Belonging: Building Inclusive and Supportive Classrooms. Seventeen teachers from K-12 schools of Belchertown, Amherst, Hadley and Springfield area attended. The facilitators were Alison Morse and Deb Krivoy who work for Facing History and Ourselves, an international organization that engages students in an examination of racism and prejudice to promote a more civil society. The workshop addressed important questions such as what does it mean to be American, and how do immigrant groups secure a place for themselves in the society as Americans.
This workshop helped educators breathe a new life into social and civic studies by examining immigration in the US. Participants learned a variety of engaging teaching strategies to spark meaningful conversations on issues of identity, history and the diverse population of the US. Through a mix of short films and experiential activities, participants addressed important questions about how members of the school community can act in ways that foster empathy and inclusivity. A bibliography of relevant resources for the classroom was also provided
Ash Hartwell together with CIE members Jacob Carter and Stephen Richardson led an interactive session based on their literature review of aid effectiveness USAID as part of a process to develop guidance and training on 'Government to Government' (G2G) aid in education. G2G, the key approach for aid under the Obama administration, is part of the US government’s initiative to become the world’s leading donor. Part of the team’s effort was to provide a toolkit for people in the field to use new aid modalities, and address the question, “What is effective aid with budgetary support?”