Fulbright-in-the-Classroom FAQs

Is the Fulbright-in-the-Classroom Initiative expected to occur as a one-time visit, or as multiple interactions with a K-12 classroom?

Although our original concept suggested that multiple interactions with the same students would be most impactful, we realize that in many instances, one-time visits—with follow-up discussions with the classroom teacher—may be as successful as more detailed interactions. Each chapter will have to determine what is best for its vision: You know best the local situation and the availability of your volunteers.

What are some examples of curricular content that have been developed for this initiative?

We provide a number of examples of potential curricula in the concept document. You will want to work with your local collaborators to determine what is best for your environment.

Does Fulbright-in-the-Classroom only operate as a program for high school students, or can other grade levels be considered as audiences?

In fact, it is our hope that the program will be truly K-12, with opportunities to begin a student’s journey early in his/her education. It should be noted that one of the successful models for the 2017-18 school-year, that undertaken by the Iowa Chapter, focused on middle-school students. In addition, the concept suggests that this program can be integrated into all subject matters—not just social studies. Literature, science, math, arts, etc., are all areas where Fulbright-in-the-Classroom would be a good way of engaging K-12 students.

How much lead time should volunteers allow when arranging a classroom visit?

This question was asked in our recent webinar, and our chapters that undertook projects in 2017-18 responded that a couple of months is needed to prepare. (It was suggested that in an ideal situation, initial contact should take place before the end of the school-year and again at the end of the summer. The first weeks of school are too hectic.) Having said that, much will depend on the needs of the schools with which you decide to work. Some will suggest that you collaborate with the host teacher to ensure that you integrate your lessons with the plans of the teacher. Others may have other suggestions on how you prepare to enter the classroom – and you will have to allow time for that preparation. In other words, lead time will depend on the situation and the model you adopt.

Should the Fulbright-in-the-Classroom Initiative take place during the school day, or as part of an after-school program?

Both are good models: When we were preparing the concept document, we looked at One-to-World’s Global Classroom as a possible model. That model employs both after-school models as well as in-class models. Of course, you will want to see which model is best for the audience on which you’re focusing and the impact you want to achieve.

Can the Fulbright-in-the-Classroom Initiative collaborate with other, pre-existing initiatives/programs in K-12 schools?

Of course! Our ultimate goal is to improve international understanding. At the same time, we want to emphasize that this is an initiative of the Fulbright Association and its partnership with the Department of State. So, regardless of the model you ultimately choose, we hope that the visibility of the Fulbright Association will be apparent.

Is there any funding to support the Fulbright-in-the-Classroom initiative?

If chapters are submitting proposals, then the Chapter Grants include funding to support the initiative. FiC fits under the “U.S. Alumni Engagement and Program Promotion” category, with “Focus on Community Engagement” the appropriate subcategory. Please note the same funding stream is not available for individuals. Submissions will be reviewed and funded separately if individuals are not linked with a specific chapter. Travel, expenses, training, background checks, etc., are appropriate expenses.

Is there any help available for chapters undertaking FiC?

The Fulbright Association has formal partnerships with three organizations that have agreed to help: National Council for the Social Studies, Sister Cities International, and American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. In addition, we have worked with other organizations, such as the World Affairs Councils of America and National Council for Geographic Education. The partners have offered help from their members in arranging contacts with local schools, preparing our members for the K-12 classroom, establishing curricula, etc.

How can we get more information and support?

The Fulbright Association has a Senior Fellow working on the project. In addition, you can just email info@fulbright.org to share ideas and ask questions of others interested in the project.

Webinar-on-demand and Evaluation of First Year

The Fulbright Association conducted a webinar on the Fulbright-in-the-Classroom project. It is available here. In addition, the four chapters that conducted pilots in 2017-18 reported on their experience. Those reports are available here.