After a successful pilot program completed in 2017, the Fulbright Association is proud to announce that the Fulbright-in-the-Classroom initiative is continuing into the 2018-2019 year.
The concept of Fulbright-in-the-Classroom builds on the experiences of Fulbright alumni and on the recognized need to increase the understanding of international affairs and foreign cultures and societies. A recent Council on Foreign Relations and National Geographic survey of college students revealed that only 55 percent of the students were able to correctly answer items on a questionnaire measuring their understanding of current world affairs, and just 29 percent of respondents earned a minimal pass of 66 percent correct or better. The program’s underlying philosophy is that the Fulbright experience is not just beneficial on a personal level, but on a community level, too.
At its peak, Fulbright-in-the-Classroom is intended to be a nationwide partnership between participating Fulbright Association chapters and members, as well as local organizations, including school districts, teacher organizations, World Affairs Councils, and others. Participants in the program will work with teachers and schools to ensure the program’s content is optimized for the students’ learning experience, as well as to establish classroom expectations and lesson and activity plans.
Michael Korff, a retired Foreign Service Officer and current Senior Fellow at the Fulbright Association this year, designed the Fulbright-in-the-Classroom project and met with a variety of partner organizations. Four Fulbright Association chapters were approved to pilot the program in the 2017-2018 year, including the Greater Los Angeles Chapter, Northern California Chapter, Central Virginia Chapter, and Iowa Chapter. The Iowa Chapter completed its first successful two-part Fulbright-in-the-Classroom program at a rural, public middle school in Van Meter, Iowa in November and December 2017.
This year, the Fulbright Association plans to run the program in 3-5 Fulbright Association chapters across the United States. Interested chapters and members should contact Michael Korff to discuss the program and the expectations of participating chapters. A training webinar will be on August 9, 2018.