In an effort to develop cultural sensitivity and global awareness among pre-service and practicing educators, the University of New Haven (UNH) submits this proposal, “Global Classrooms and Cultural Connections for the 21st Century Learners: Morocco’s Bountiful Perspectives” under the Group Projects Abroad Program (GPA) Short Term Seminar Project. This Fulbright-Hays GPA will immerse a group of 12 pre-service educators from UNH and practicing Connecticut K-12 administrators and teachers in a four-week intensive study program in Morocco. The participants will be accompanied and led by two faculty members from UNH specializing respectively in the Arabic language and Education. Participants will receive over forty hours of Arabic language instruction (in the US and Morocco) and will develop curriculum projects in area studies consistent with the Common Core Standards and form global partnerships with Moroccan educators. It is also responsive to the position statement of the Connecticut State Board of Education that emphasizes the importance of developing culturally responsive educators.
Participants will benefit from a rich and comprehensive program covering topics on Moroccan culture, educational system, social life, political dynamics, history, Islam and Islamic civilization. In addition, they will be offered regular Formal and Moroccan Arabic language instruction (“Fusha” and “Darija”) that will be actively reinforced during their daily interactions with locals, and especially during the homestay portion of the Program. Moreover, group members will have the unique opportunity to engage regularly in deep critical discussions with educators from Morocco around different educational and cultural themes. They will also have follow-up faculty-led reflective discussions to help craft pedagogical resources embedded in the Moroccan context.
Besides these activities, several trips will be organized to important Moroccan sites that reflect multiculturalism and diversity in Morocco and will enable participants to explore the historical and cultural heritage of the country while reflecting on their own identities as educators and global citizens.
GPA participants will also participate in pre-departure orientation and academic activities and post-travel evaluation and curricular development activities.