International Education Washington

What is International Education?

On March 19, 2003, we held a Focus Group to begin the process of defining and identifying components of International Education Preschool-Graduate School. Here is a summary of our brainstorming efforts.

Preparing students for the world today

  • Attitude of global citizen
  • Blending multicultural and international education
  • Children see their roots
  • Every child needs cultural competence
  • Today's students are more aware (e.g., know how to pronounce their friends' names correctly)

Multiple Perspectives

  • Include under-represented cultures
  • Issue: African American students rarely study world languages
  • Issue: Need to include children with disabilities and target underserved populations

Social Studies

  • World Geography * World History * Contemporary World Problems * Civics * Religion
  • How to leverage what's already in place (in terms of credit requirements) -- repair the "existing roads and bridges"
  • Why are these subjects considered electives?
  • What about economics (example of UW Business School teaching Middle School students about making soccer balls in Pakistan)?
  • Need to build continuum from P-20 (Preschool through Graduate School), so that students are enthusiastic about continuing their study


  • Making connections
  • Understanding differences and cultural mores, as well as what we as human beings share in common
  • Connect literacy with cultural literacy
  • Need a Cultural Competence Rubric that defines knowledge and skills
  • Relate to "Courageous Conversations" that are taking place in the schools
  • Music * Dance * Drama * Visual Arts * Literature
    >  touch children and plant a seed
  • Begin early
  • What's the fall-out of lack of cultural competence?
  • Educating Incoming Students about American culture and understand politics

World Languages

  • Language is Everything
  • Second generation families need to take responsibility for preserving their language and culture
  • Other countries face the same educational issues that we do
  • Language immersion in content areas
  • Include Bilingual Orientation Centers for truly international perspective on language


  • Partner with non-profits and parents
  • There is a wealth of knowledge in our own classrooms
  • Share resources with other universities and schools overseas (e.g., UW joint minors/majors with overseas universities)


  • Grass roots (not top-down) effort -- submit bills to the Legislature
  • Experiential learning (not just intellectual)
  • Different kinds of learning
  • Exchanges -- make human connections through travel and technology
  • Touch students' hearts, souls, and minds
  • Touch them emotionally through social engagement
  • Before and after school programs
  • ESL for immigrants
  • Bring people in to provide added global perspective -- to show why school is important

Electronic Technology

  • Web links
  • Video conferencing (e.g., SCCTV)
  • Scholarly connections
  • Peer to peer
  • Digital cultural exchange
  • Personal contact for kids not exposed to foreign cultures (plus bring a real person to talk to them)
  • Be creative

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