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Facing the Future

Page history last edited by Ellen Frierson 9 years, 9 months ago

Organization name: Facing the Future

 

Web site:http://www.facingthefuture.org/

 

Where are they working? (country/region)

 

They are based in Seattle but their resources are used all over the world.

 

Overview:

Facing the Future offers curriculum resources, professional development, and service learning resources and opportunity. They focus on global citizenship and sustainability education. Their website states that they “empower teachers with the resources they need to ignite their students’ interest in complex global issues while helping them achieve academically.”

 

What professional development programs related to peace education do they offer? (program names, content):

 

Education Conferences:

Facing the Future offers workshops and speakers for education conferences around the country. According to their website: “Workshops run from1 hour to multi-day sessions and can be tailored to meet specific needs and interests. All Facing the Future's workshops are hands-on, interactive explorations of global issues and sustainability. Participants walk away with activity-based curriculum, ideas, and strategies they can put to immediate use in their classrooms.”

 

Example of workshop topics include:

 

  • Bridging the Achievement Gap through Global Education

  • Connecting your Classroom to the World through Service Learning

  • Global Sustainability: An Integrated Context for Learning

  • Hands-On Lessons on Global Equity and Quality of Life

  • Seeing the Big Picture: Media Literacy and Global Issues

  • Using Systems Thinking to Educate Effective Global Citizens

  • Engaging English Language Learners and Striving Readers with Global Issues Using 21st Century Skills

 

A full list of available workshop topics and descriptions is at: http://www.facingthefuture.org/ProfessionalDevelopment/ProfessionalDevelopmentTopicsDescriptions/tabid/141/Default.aspx

 

Keynote and Plenary Speakers:

 

Facing the Future experienced staff members can present speeches at events and conferences for educators.

 

Inservices and Consulting:

 

Staff work with schools and other institutions to provide “collaboration on statewide global sustainability education plans and resource guides” as well as “curriculum and scope and sequence development and advising.”

 

Online Professional Development:

 

A professional development course entitled “Facing the Future: Educating and Inspiring a Global Generation” is offered online through The Heritage Institute. Educators can earn one course credit through Antioch University or professional development credits/hours. More information about the course is available at http://www.hol.edu/view_course.cfm?cid=2114.

 

In addition, visitors to the website are invited to contact staff to inquire about customized online courses.

 

Webinars:

Experienced Facing the Futurestaff are available to host webinars for K-12 educators and administrators. A webinar is simply a web-based seminar where participants interact with a presenter via live polls and instant messaging.”

 

Curriculum:

The curriculum focuses on global issues, sustainable solutions, and positive action. Their models include:

  • Simulations, problem-based, and inquiry-based learning

  • Differentiated instruction that incorporates whole class, group, and individual projects; kinesthetic and art-based activities; verbal and written responses; and a variety of formative and summative assessments to gauge and direct student learning

  • Understanding by Design

  • Interdisciplinary/integrated curriculum

 

The organization produces an enormous number of curriculum materials including textbooks and guides for teachers. Educators can browse resources on the website by subject, grade level, or resource type.

 

Service Learning:

Their website includes links to other websites that provide service learning information and resources; an action project database; examples of students taking action; a step-by-step teacher’s manual that walks through the process of implementing a service learning project; and links to information about global issues (including human rights, peace & conflict, and consumption) and actions students can take.

 

What are their best practices? What can we learn from them?

 

Peer Educator Program

Teachers who have used the program and resources during at least one academic year, who have participated in leading a workshop in any venue, and who are involved with the education profession and other teachers, may apply to be Peer Educators. These Peer Educators respond to inquiries from interested teachers, and present at least two workshops or to at least 50 educators in one year. They are reimbursed for travel costs and receive a free copy of each of Facing the Future’s curriculum resources. The program description states that “The goal of the Peer Educator Program is to engage more educators by mobilizing the knowledge and skill of teachers experienced with Facing the Future’s curriculum resources.” More information is at http://www.facingthefuture.org/ForEducators/OpportunitiesforEducators/tabid/75/Default.aspx#Peer_Educator

 

Multiple options for implementation

According to their website: “Facing the Future’s curriculum offerings can be used as a central teaching component for a semester or year-long course, as a short unit on global issues, or as an engaging contextual framework within which core subjects are taught. Facing the Future’s curriculum resources are often compatible with existing curriculum requirements and topics and extends students’ learning through an interdisciplinary approach to issues.” Since the curriculum is specifically aligned with U.S. standards, this makes it easier for U.S. educators to adopt. It has also been used in many international contexts including Egypt, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and Mongolia.

 

Easy web tool to search for resources

Educators can browse resources on the website by subject, grade level, or resource type, but there is also a Global Sustainability Curriculum and Lesson Finder tool in which teachers can input the grade, subject, and topic of interest, and get “a brief description of the topic you have chosen; links to Facing the Future professional development and service learning resources

a grid with curriculum resources applicable to you; and websites for further information and reference on the topic you selected.”

 

Platforms for sharing among participating educators

There is a large database of classroom examples that teachers can browse by grade or by subject. By clicking on links to participating teachers in each category, visitors to the site can view information about the school context, the standards met, challenges faced, assessments used, as well as how students met objectives, used service learning, and engaged their students. Teachers also provide advice based on their own experiences. Additional links provide more information such as news articles and testimonials from parents and students. This well-organized excellent database is available at http://www.facingthefuture.org/ForEducators/ClassroomExamples/tabid/213/Default.aspx.

 

Teachers who use Facing the Future’s resources are invited to send in a description of how they are using it so that other teachers can see their teaching units. These area available at http://www.facingthefuture.org/ForEducators/SampleTeachingUnits/tabid/187/Default.aspx.

 

Their newsletter also provides opportunities for teachers to share ideas: http://www.facingthefuture.org/ForEducators/EducatorNewsletter/tabid/130/Default.aspx.

 

They also share a comprehensive list of all the schools all over the world that are using their materials:

http://www.facingthefuture.org/ForEducators/OurUsersSchoolsandMore/tabid/201/Default.aspx

 

All of these online resources provide transparency and allow educators in the U.S. and internationally to easily connect with others who are using the materials and receive guidance, input, and opinions from fellow teachers.

 

Testimonials and Statistics

Quotes from educators and statistics indicating educator approval of the curriculum and workshops are available on the website at http://www.facingthefuture.org/Curriculum/WhatEducatorsSay/tabid/148/Default.aspxand

 

Based on this information, the organization seems to have worked hard to solicit feedback from participants, measure impact, and communicate the feedback and impact to prospective participants and other interested parties.

 

Do they charge for their services? If so, how much?

 

The online course is $115. Textbooks and teacher guides generally cost between $25 and $45, but most curriculum resources are also available for free download. For other workshops and speakers, they ask to contact them about cost.

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