Fleming Island High School
My name is Amy Bridgewater. I teach at Fleming Island High School in Florida, and my class is doing an international, interdisciplinary project called “Global Bridges” with students in Argentina. Prospective classes that would be good international pairs would be classes in Global Politics, Geography, World Religions, Economics, Social and Cultural Anthropology, Sociology, Environmental Science, World History, Global Perspectives, Information Technology in a Global Society, History, or Foreign Language. Lili Monk, a former member of the Test Development Committee for AP Human Geography created this project and selected my classes to connect with classes in Argentina. The students shared aspects about their cities and cultures with each other. My students used pictures that they took to create PowerPoints and Story Maps explaining Jacksonville's urban morphology and cultural history to the students in Córdoba, Argentina. The students in Córdoba did the same. Then, the students had a skype video session at the end of our school year in which they shared their projects with each other. It opened an international dialogue between the students and increased their understanding of people and cultures in other places. It was such an awesome experience for our students that this year, we are expanding to include other U.S. teachers.
Lili's project focus was on immigration. This project can incorporate a variety of Human Geography and history concepts, while strengthening foreign language learning. We incorporated some of students from our Spanish classes as support translators during the skype session. I am looking for more teachers internationally to connect with teachers here in the United States.
“The National Council for Social Studies has identified "creating global citizens" as one of the most important missions facing social studies teachers. Creating opportunities for students to interact with geographic tools such as maps and globes will enable them to experience the world a lot closer than through a textbook.” (Lili Monk) I feel that it is imperative that students develop a multidimensional geographical social perspective of other cultures in order to be educated responsible world citizens. In an increasingly complex, troubled and closely intertwined global community of cultures and states, students must develop an understanding and empathy for people in other places in order to make informed decisions. Connecting my students with students in other places will help students understand critical world issues such as maternal health in developing countries, food security, environmental degradation and other global concerns.
To learn more about this project, click here.