2012 CT Teacher of the Year Stresses Importance of Global Education
Colleagues, students and parents who know David Bosso were not surprised that he was named one of the 2012 National Teachers of the Year by President Obama. For Bosso, a seasoned teacher with over a decade of experience, creating lessons that challenge his students to rise to the demands of a “quickly evolving world” is about much more than preparing students to pass tests— he wants his teaching to reflect more than the contents of a classroom textbook.
Bosso, who was recognized as State Teacher of the Year for his use of global education to engage his students, strengthen classroom instruction, and develop high-quality curricula, has pursued numerous professional development opportunities to bring global competencies—such as the ability to communicate effectively, take initiative, and work collaboratively to solve problems—to his classroom. It was this drive that led Bosso to Cape Coast, Ghana as part of IREX’s Teachers for Global Classrooms (TGC) Program—an experience that continues to shape his focus on emphasizing global competencies in his Berlin, Connecticut classroom.
In Cape Coast, Bosso worked with local Teaching Excellence Achievement (TEA) Program alum, Raphael Aidoo-Taylor, to share best practice teaching strategies with Cape Coast teachers, co-teach in the local school community, and create lesson plans framed around the experience that would inspire his students to explore complex real-world issues. For instance, after learning about the Ghanaian oil industry in relation to the nation’s economic development, Bosso returned to Connecticut with a lesson exploring the impact of oil on Ghana’s economy. For Bosso’s students, exploring the potential positive and negative prospects of oil for Ghanaian citizens was eye-opening: “they think oil and think of the Middle East, but there’s so much more to it.”
“If student learning, continuous improvement, and the development of active citizens and lifelong learners are universal goals of education, then the very standards, methods, and approaches to teaching and learning need to be reconsidered in light of the demands of a changing society.” To rise to the demands of the 21st century, Bosso says, teachers must challenge learners to investigate the world and think critically “to better prepare students for active, thoughtful, knowledgeable global citizenship.”
To do this, says Bosso, bringing a more nuanced understanding of the world to the classroom is key: “Clearly, we need to do more to provide students with the opportunity to better understand the world beyond the confines of their school and community.” And for educators, Bosso says, programs such as TGC are “one of the ways to achieve this vision.”
Teachers for Global Classrooms (TGC) is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, and is implemented by IREX.