Rutgers Partners with United Nations on Curriculum Development Project
The Graduate School of Education (GSE) teamed up with the Rutgers Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs (GAIA Centers) and the Longview Foundation to provide support for a United Nations (UN) Curriculum Development Project. With the help of educational leaders in the Highland Park School District, Piscataway Township Schools, and West-Windsor Regional School District, the project encompasses developing resources for teachers around the world to utilize when teaching about the United Nations and its four main purposes: 1) keeping peace throughout the world; 2) developing friendly relations among nations; 3) helping nations work together to improve the lives of poor people, to conquer hunger, disease and illiteracy, and encouraging respect for each other’s rights and freedoms; and 4) being a center for harmonizing the actions of nations to achieve these goals.
Dr. Mary Curran, Associate Dean for Local-Global Partnerships at the GSE, and Bill Yotive, Manager of the Global Teaching and Learning Project at the United Nations Department of Public Information (UN DPI), lead the project with the goal of creating a database of United Nations curricular materials for teachers around the world.“The curricula developed will become tools for teachers wanting to foster global competence and an understanding of the important role of the United Nations,” according to Dr. Curran.
Since 2009, Rutgers University has been one of 27 universities associated with the UN DPI as a non-governmental organization (NGO). The UN Curriculum Development Project grew out of this association with the UN DPI. Dr. Curran is currently one of two Rutgers UN Faculty Representatives for the 2013-2014 academic year. She works closely with Maryella Hannum, the Rutgers University Main Representative to the UN DPI.
Bill Yotive will be a featured speaker at the GSE’s Teaching the World Forum on April 24, 2014, where he will give an update on the project and share how other teachers in NJ, the US, and around the world can become involved.
The Highland Park School District is working towards a comprehensive approach to global citizenship, making their teachers perfect candidates to launch the development of this new curricula. Among the UN Curriculum Development group from the Highland Park School District are GSE alumnae, Lindsey Wilson (Ed.M. Social Studies ‘08), Nikki Ferringo (Ed.M. Social Studies ‘13), and Lauren Smith (current Ed.D. student).
Participants in the project met at the United Nations in February and are currently working on developing the curriculum. Dr. Curran expects to complete the pilot curriculum within the year and is looking forward to seeing it used by teachers around the world. In this way, NJ educators are contributing to global efforts to teach about peace and human rights, working together to conquer our challenges and respect each other, and acting responsibly in the local and global community.
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