Final Report:

GTP-Georgia/Russia Exchange Project

1996-1997

Section I

Review of the Teacher Leadership and Inbound and Outbound Exchanges

  •  

    "The GTP/Georgia Russia Exchange was a journey that brought together American and Russian students and their families, as well as educators and researchers in each others’ country. It was a journey in which we lived in each others’ homes, engage in environmental science research, participated in discussions about environmental issues, and congregated for environmental assemblies in Moscow and Atlanta to voice our opinions, present our research results, and develop a call to action.

    Dr. Jennie Springer, principal of Dunwoody High School, said at the Environmental Summit in Norcross that as citizens, we must be scholars and activists. It is simply not enough to be scientists---that is to measure and calculate, but rather we must be willing to dedicate ourselves to causes--to be activists who are willing to commit to environmental and humanitarian issues. Citizens of the 21st century must combine the knowledge of science and rational thinking with the knowledge of action taking to take responsibility for the stewardship of the Earth

    This project was dedicated to helping us all become citizen scientists (ecological citizens), fighters for the environment, scholars as well as activists. It was a project deeply rooted in systems theory in which it is realized that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts---that we must integrate knowledge to make competent decisions. In their experiences in the exchange students learned to think in terms of the whole system of Earth, yet at the same time learned the importance of knowing their sense of place in their own local environment."

    Jack Hassard, Project Director

  • Overview of GTP-Georgia/Russia Exchange

    The GTP-Georgia/Russia Exchange Project, funded by the United States Information Agency (USIA), was a joint effort between Georgia State University and the Russian Academy of Education. The project brought together 50 Russian and 50 American middle and high school students from Georgia and a team of 2 teachers per school for two, three-week exchanges during the academic year 1996-1997, as well as a Teacher Leadership Institute which was held in October, 1996 in Atlanta. The goal of the project was to promote communication and understanding between students in Georgia and Russia through collaborative study, discussion, and action on local environmental problems. Using the curriculum developed by the Global Thinking Project, students worked side-by-side in each others’ communities on environmental action projects of mutual concern.

    Objectives

    The objectives of the exchange were:

    1. To enhance students' abilities to monitor their local environments by providing training in specific monitoring and data collection and analysis techniques.

    2. To introduce students to collaborative methods and strategies of inquiry and action-taking that can be used to address environmental problems in their respective communities.

    3. To promote understanding between students in Georgia (USA) and Russia through in-depth discussion of each others' needs, difficulties, and points of view concerning local environmental problems.

    4. To involve American and Russian students in hands-on environmental action projects in each others' communities.

    5. To enhance an existing electronic community of practice through which relationships between American and Russian schools have been established and maintained.

    Project Description

    The thematic focus of The GTP-Georgia/Russia Exchange Project was the active investigation of environmental problems and concerns. Using the GTP curriculum, students learned to monitor physical and biological aspects of their local environments in order to study topics such as weather and climate, air pollution, water pollution, and solid waste management. To achieve this goal, the project was divided into four phases:

    Phase I: Teacher Leadership Institute, October 1 - 10, 1996

    Phase II: Telecommunications linkages between schools: October 10 -

    February 25, 1997

    Phase III: American delegation to Russia, February 26 - March 19, 1997

    Phase IV: Russian Delegation to Georgia, April 23 - May 14, 1997

    The Teacher Leadership Institute was held in Atlanta at Agnes Scott College and Georgia State University, and also included site visits to each of the five American

    During the interval prior to the Outbound and Inbound visits, the five school-pairs created a program of Internet collaboration, including e-mail, discussion groups and the development of World Wide Web home pages. To facilitate collaboration, each pair of schools wrote "charters" at the Teacher Leadership Institute describing how they would work together prior to the Outbound trip.

    The Outbound trip occurred February 26 - March 19. A delegation of students, teachers and project staff traveled to Moscow and then from there dispersed to the five participating Russian schools located in five different cities, e.g. Chelyabinsk, Moscow, Puschino, St. Petersburg and Yarolsavl. A small leadership team headed by Dr. Jack Hassard visited each site, spending three to four days in each city. The five-pairs of schools engaged in a series of environmental monitoring projects and the discussion of local environmental issues. The miniproposals that each pair of schools wrote outlined the goals, and activities of each school pair. The Outbound culminated with an Environmental Summit in Moscow, which was held at Experimental Gymnasium 710. Students were involved in an environmental fair, report on their environmental research, and participated in discussions of environmental issues.

    The Inbound exchange was held from April 12 - May 14. The Russian delegation traveled to Georgia and spent three weeks involved in environmental activities to extend the work they started in Russia. Highlights of the Inbound included:

    • Environmental monitoring at five different sites in Georgia;
    • A GSAMS teleconference in which each of the sites participated in a live interactive television discussion of a public policy issue;
    • A project wide investigation and reporting on the pollution of the Chattahoochee River, Georgia’s major river
    • A two-day conference on technology in teaching for all the GTP exchange teacher at Georgia State University
    • A two-day environmental summit held at the Simponwood Conference Center

    Purpose of the Project and The Final Report

    The purpose of the GTP-Georgia/Russia Exchange is to provide experiences that would enhance students’ abilities to monitor their environments, to introduce students to collaborative methods and strategies of inquiry in a cross-cultural context, to promote understanding between students in Georgia and Russia through in-depth discussions of each others’ needs, difficulties, and points of view, and to involve the students in environmental action projects in each others’ communities.

    The Final Report includes three sections that provide a full portrait of the experiences of the GTP--Georgia/Russia Exchange.

    Participating Schools, Educators, and Students

    The 1996-1997 GTP--Georgia/Russia Exchange Project was comprised of ten schools, five from each country, as shown in Table 1. Two of the schools were new to the project; Chamblee High School, Chamblee, Georgia, and Lycee 93, Chelabinsk.

    Table 1. GTP-Georgia/Russia Exchange Project School Partnerships 1996-1997

     

    US Network School

     

    Russian Network School

     

    Chamblee High School, Dr. Martha Reichrath, Principal. 3688, Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd. Chamblee 30341

    chamblee@igc.apc.org

     

    Experimental School N157 of the Russian Academy of Education, St. Petersburg. Anatoly Carpov, Director. Proletarskoi Diktatury Street, 1. St. Petersburg 193124

    ehs157@spb.sovam.com

     

    Chattanooga Valley Middle School, Ted Rogers, Principal. 847 Allgood Road, Flintstone, GA 30725

    chattanooga@igc.apc.org

     

    Experimental Lycee 93, Alexander F. Ghelich, Director. 53 Kuibyshev St. Chelyabinsk 45122

    root@sch93.granit.chel.su

     

    Dunwoody High School, Dr. Jenny Springer, Principal. 5035 Vermack Drive, Dunwoody, GA 30338

    dunwoody@igc.apc.org

     

    Experimental School-Gymnasium N710 of the Russian Academy of Education. Vadim Zhudov, Director. 29 Studentcheskaya Street, Moscow 121165

    armu@glas.apc.org

     

    LaFayette Middle School, David Brothers, Principal. 419 Roadrunner Blvd., LaFayette, GA 30728

    lafayettems@igc.apc.org

     

    Experimental School N2, Puschino-On-Oka. Valentina Zalim, Director. Serpuhovky district, Puschino-on-Oka, Moscow Region 142292.

    rainbow@glas.apc.org

     

    Salem High School, Robert Cresswell, Principal. 3551 Underwood Road, Conyers, GA

    salem@igc.apc.org

     

    Experimental School-Gymnasium N22. Nadezhda Ferulyova, Director. Ushakova, 11, Yaroslavl 150057

    yaroslavl@glas.apc.org

    Each American and Russian school selected ten students who were at least 14 years of age. Based on our prior experience, we asked the participating schools to try and not select students who were in their last year of school. In particular, we encouraged schools to select students in the 14 -16 year range. Table 2 shows the distribution of students by gender. The names of the GTP exchange teachers, administrators and students can be found in the Appendix of this report.

    Table 2. Summary of the GTP Students by Gender and Country

     

    American School

     

    Boys

     

    Girls

     

    Russian School

     

    Boys

     

    Girls

     

    Chamblee

     

    4

     

    6

     

    St. Petersburg 157

     

    5

     

    5

     

    Dunwoody

     

    4

     

    6

     

    Moscow 710

     

    5

     

    5

     

    Lafayette

     

    3

     

    7

     

    Pushchino 2

     

    3

     

    7

     

    Chattanooga Valley

     

    2

     

    8

     

    Chelyabinsk Lycee

     

    4

     

    6

     

    Salem

     

    4

     

    6

     

    Yaroslavl 22

     

    4

     

    6

     

    Totals

     

    17

     

    33

     

    Totals

     

    21

     

    29

    Teacher Leadership Programming

     

    Five Russian teachers, one from each exchange school participated in a ten-day Teacher Leadership Program which was held in Georgia. The ten-day program consisted of meetings at Agnes Scott College, seminars at Georgia State University, and site visits to each of the five American exchange schools by the educator representing the Russian partner school. The program for the delegation of the Russian educators is shown in Figure 2.

    The primary goal of the Teacher Leadership Program was to enable the ten participating schools to do advance planning for the subsequent telecommunications activities which would precede the Outbound and Inbound exchanges. We planned a program that enabled the pairs of schools to:

    The Teacher Leadership program shown in Table 3 involved meetings at Agnes Scott College between the Russian teachers and the directors of the GTP Project (Drs. Hassard and Weisberg), a conference among all the exchange teachers at Agnes Scott (Table 4), technology training at GSU, and a seminar at GSU by the Russians for graduate students and faculty. Perhaps the most important part of the Russian educator visit was their participating in a program at their host and paired American school. Each Russian educators was hosted by their American teacher partner for three days. During this time, meetings were held among the American students and families and the GTP teachers. The Russian and American teachers also used this time to develop the details of their Outbound and Inbound programs.

    In summary, the Teacher Leadership program resulted in the following achievements:

     

    Table 3: Teacher Leadership Programming. October 2 - 10, 1996 

    October 2 Depart Moscow, DL 61 at 8:35 A.M.
    Arrive Atlanta DL 15 at 3:15 P.M.
    Dinner at ASC Snack Bar
             
             
             
             
             
             
    October 9 Breakfast at ASC 7:30 A.M.- 9:00 A.M.
    Program at ASC with Julie Weisberg
    Lunch ASC 12:00
    Train to GSU at 3:30 P.M.
    Seminar on GTP in Russia presented by the Russian
    Delegation for Graduate Students and Faculty at GSU
    5:00 P.M. Reception
    6:00 P.M. Seminar
    Return to ASC by Train
    October 3 Breakfast 7:30 - 9:00 A.M. ASC
    Meeting with Jack Hassard at ASC at 9:30 A.M.
    Meeting to prepare for the October 4 Conference
    with Jack Hassard & Julie Weisberg 10:00 - 12:00
    Lunch at ASC 12:00
    Train to GSU at 1:00
    Meeting at GSU at GTP Headquarters 1:30 - 2:30
    Walk-About-The-City of Atlanta
    Train to ASC at 4:00 P.M.
    Dinner at ASC 5:00 P.M. - 6:30 P.M.
    Evening: FREE
    October 10 Depart Atlanta DL 62 at 1:30 P.M. to JFK New York
    Breakfast at ASC 7:30 A.M - 9:00 A.M.
    Pick up and travel to Airport at 10:00 A.M.
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
    October 4 Breakfast at ASC 7:30 - 9:00
    GTP--Georgia/Russia Project Conference
    9:30 Registration
    10:00 Session I
    12:30 Lunch in the Conference room
    1:30 Session II
    3:00 Departure
    Dinner at ASC 5:00 P.M.
    Evening: Cultural Event in Atlanta with Julie Weisberg

    October 11 Arrive Moscow DL 30 at 11:15 A.M.

     

     

     

    October 5 Breakfast at ASC 7:30 A.M.- 9:00 A.M.
    Cultural/Social Event with Mary-Alice and Jack Hassard
    Pick up at ASC at 10:30 A.M.

    October 6 Breakfast at ASC 7:30 - 9:00 A.M.
    10:00 A.M. Travel to Host School/Teacher's Family
    GTP Local Programming at Host Community/School
    Overnight at Host Teacher's Home

    October 7 GTP Local Programming at Host Community/School Overnight at Host Teacher's Home

    October 8 Return to GSU/ASC at 10:00 A.M.
    Meetings to Report on Draft of Local Programs 10:00
    • With Julie Weisberg at ASC (Oksana Kulakova, Marina Goryunova, Varavara Zommeroza)
    • With Jack Hassard at GSU (Valentina Zalim, Larissa Scherbova)
    Technology/Internet Session at GSU with Jack Hassard 1:00 - 3:00
    Return to ASC by Train at 3:00 P.M.
    Dinner at the Hassard's at 6:30 P.M.

    Table 4

    Program of Activities for the October 4 Conference at Agnes Scott College

    Conference on the GTP---Georgia/Russia Exchange

    October 4, 1996

    Agnes Scott College

    Program

    9:30 A.M. Registration and Coffee

    10:00 A.M. Session I :

    1. Overview, Expectations, Purpose and Goals

    Dr. Jack Hassard, Georgia State Universitym Dr. Jennie Springer, Dunwoody High Schoolm, Dr. Julie Weisberg, Agnes Scott College

    Overall Goal of the Seminar and School Visits

    a. To develop a working draft of a program for

    students at each school site in Russia

    b. To review and begin to enact each mini-proposal

    c. To match students

    d. To develop a charter describing how each school

    pair will work together between October, 1996 and February, 97

    2. Small Group Sessions

    Group 1: Chattanooga Valley/Chelyabinsk & Lafayette/Pushino

    Group 2: Salem/Yaroslavl, Chamblee/St. Petersburg,

    Dunwoody, Moscow

    a. Discuss and review the mini-proposals

    - What is your focus for research?

    - What kinds of projects will students complete?

    - How will you evaluate progress on your

    objectives?

    b. Develop initial template of the program in Russia that is linked your mini-proposal.(A Day-by-day program)

    12:30 Lunch

     

    1:30 Session II

    1. Internet Project for GTP--Georgia/Russia Schools

    - To be completed during the Fall

    - Utilization of the E-mail, and World Wide Web

    - Interesting, motivational, successful

    2. School Charter--How we will interact with each other between October and February.

    2. Question and Answer Session

    - Issues

    - Concerns

    3:00 Closing

    Products Due on Tuesday, October 8

    1. Completed Template of Program in Russia

    2. Pairings of Students---provide a list of names of the pairing for the project staff

    3. Copy of the Charter or Work Agreement

    The Outbound Exchange

    February 26 - March 19, 1997

    The outbound exchange took place from February 26 to March 19, 1997 as shown in the chart on the next page. To assess the Outbound and Inbound portions of the project, we administered questionnaires at the end of each exchange. The questionnaires are located in the Appendix of the report. We also conducted interviews and focus group discussions in Russia among all of the participating teachers and administrators. These focus group meetings were organized by Dr. Jennie Springer to enable us to evaluate the progress of each school pair. We also analyzed the written statements of all of the students to help us answer questions about the purpose and goals of the project.

    Outbound Schedules

    February 26 - March 19, 1997

     

    General Schedule for the GTP--Georgia/Russia Exchange

     

    Leadership Team Schedule

     

    Your Schedule: Enter the Details of Your Schedule

     

    February 26 (Wednesday)

    Departure from Atlanta

    DL 14 at 7:25 PM

    (Dunwoody, Chamblee, Salem check in at 4:15 PM)

    (Chattanooga & Lafayette depart Chattanooga Airport on DL 7848 at 4:40 PM meet others at Terminal E, Atlanta Airport

     

    Depart Atlanta

    DL 14 at 7:25 PM

     

     

    February 26 (Wednesday)

    Departure from Atlanta

    DL 14 at 7:25 PM

    (Dunwoody, Chamblee, Salem check in at 4:15 PM)

    (Chattanooga & Lafayette depart Chattanooga Airport on DL 7848 at 4:40 PM meet others at Terminal E, Atlanta Airport

     

    February 27

    Arrive Frankfurt 10:15 A.M.

    Depart on DL 60 at 12:05 arrive Moscow 5:15 P.M.

    Hotel Intourist

    3/5 Tverskaya Street Moscow (011 7 095 956-8426 or 203-01-31)

     

    Arrive Moscow

     

     

    Hotel Intourist

     

    February 27

    Arrive Frankfurt 10:15 A.M.

    Depart on DL 60 at 12:05 arrive Moscow 5:15 P.M.

    Hotel Intourist

    3/5 Tverskaya Street Moscow (011 7 095 956-8426 or 203-01-31)

     

    February 28

    A.M.: Orientation to Moscow

    Red Square

    Afternoon: Departure for homestay programs (all except Chattanooga Valley, which stays in Moscow)

     

     

    Coordinate Orientation Program

     

     

     

    Hotel Intourist

     

    February 28

    A.M.: Orientation to Moscow

    Red Square

    Afternoon: Departure for homestay programs (all except Chattanooga Valley, which stays in Moscow)

     

    March 1

    First full day in Homestay Program

     

    Depart Moscow for Chelyabinsk ~8:00 A.M.

    Arrive ~ Noon with Chattanooga Valley Middle School Group---homestay begins for CVMS

    Hotel in Chelyabinsk

     

    March 1

     

    March 2 (Sunday)

    Weekend Program

     

    Chelyabinsk

    Hotel Chelyabinsk

     

    March 2

     

    March 3

    Local Programming at School----Begin GTP activities and Environmental Studies

     

    Chelyabinsk

    Leadership Seminar &

    Video conference test

    Hotel Chelyabinsk

     

    March 3

     

    March 4

    Local Programming

     

    Depart Chelyabinsk by air to Moscow

    Travel by bus from Moscow to Pushino

    Hotel Pushino

     

    March 4

     

    March 5

    Local Programming

     

    Pushino

    Leadership Seminar at School

    Hotel Pushino

     

    March 5

     

    March 6

    Local Programming

    Weisberg Departs St. Petersburg

     

    Pushino

    Video conferencing test

    Hotel Pushino

     

    March 6

     

    March 7

     

    Pushino in AM

    Bus to Moscow; train to Yaroslavl

    Hotel Yaroslavl

     

    March 7

     

    March 8

    Local Programming

    Robinson & King Depart Moscow

     

    Yaroslavl Program

    Seminar/meet with parents

    Hotel Yaroslavl

     

    March 8

     

    March 9 (Sunday)

    Weekend program

     

    Yaroslavl

    Hotel Yaroslavl

     

    March 9

     

    March 10

    Local GTP Activities

     

    Yaroslavl

    Leadership Seminar at

    Depart from Yaroslavl by train for St. Petersburg (late PM)

     

    March 10

     

    March 11

    GTP Programming

     

    Arrive St. Petersburg

    Visit to School 157

    Hotel St. Petersburg

     

    March 11

     

    March 12

    GTP Local Programming

     

    Leadership Seminar Seminar at 157

    Hotel St. Petersburg

     

    March 12

     

    March 13

    GTP Local Programming

     

    Activities in City

    Hotel St. Petersburg

     

    March 13

     

    March 14

    Preparing for the Summit

    Chattanooga & Chelyabinsk depart by train for Moscow

     

    Activities in City

    Depart by Train for Moscow late PM

     

    March 14

     

    March 15

    Preparing for the Summit

    Travel by train (Chamblee 7 157)

     

    Arrive Moscow

    Visit School 710

     

    March 15

     

    March 16

    Arrive Moscow

    Hotel Intourist

    Environmental Summit I---Session 1 at Hotel at 7:00 PM

     

    Prepare for Summit

    Co-Conduct Session 1

    Hotel Intourist

     

    March 16

    Arrive Moscow

    Hotel Intourist

    Environmental Summit I---Session 1 at Hotel at 7:00 PM

     

    March 17

    A.M. Environmental Summit, Session 2 at School 710

    Lunch: Mac-in

    Afternoon: Cultural programs

    Hotel Intourist

     

    Co-Conduct Summit, Session 2 with Russian and American GTP teachers

     

     

    Hotel Intourist

     

    March 17

    A.M. Environmental Summit, Session 2 at School 710

    Lunch: Mac-in

    Afternoon: Cultural programs

    Hotel Intourist

     

    March 18

    A.M. Environmental Summit, Session 3 at School 710

    Lunch in Moscow

    P.M. Banquet

     

    Environmental Summit

    Banquet

     

    Hotel Intourist

     

    March 18

    A.M. Environmental Summit, Session 3 at School 710

    Lunch in Moscow

    P.M. Banquet

     

    March 19

    Depart for Airport very early

    Depart Moscow DL 61 at 8:20; Depart Frankfurt DL 15 at 11:05 arrive Atlanta at 3:15 P.M.

     

    Depart Moscow

     

    March 19

    Depart for Airport very early

    Depart Moscow DL 61 at 8:20; Depart Frankfurt DL 15 at 11:05 arrive Atlanta at 3:15 P.M.

     Overall Assessment of the Outbound

    Table 5 summarizes the evaluation of various components of the Outbound exchange by the students. We asked students to rate the items on the questionnaire using a five point scale. In the Table, the mean scores are shown for the American and Russian students on 15 key aspects of the exchange. As noted, a number of significant differences were found in terms of how American and Russian students evaluated their experiences during the Outbound.

    Table 5

    Mean scores for American and Russian students on 15 aspects of the Outbound

     

    Assessment Item

     

    American

     

    Russian

     

    1. Pre-arrival preparations and meetings at your

    school site for your trip to Russia

     

    4.29

     

    4.25

     

    2. Communication between your school and your

    Russian partner school prior to your trip to Russia.

     

    2.69

     

    4.21*

     

    3. The value of the Student Resource Handbook .

     

    3.15

     

    4.08*

     

    4. Travel Arrangements

     

    4.35

     

    4.85*

     

    5. The homestay experience in your Russian home.

     

    4.83

     

    4.88

     

    6. Experiences in your Russian school

     

    4.19

     

    4.71*

     

    7. Environmental research and GTP activities.

     

    3.85

     

    4.75*

     

    8.Tours, side visits, cultural excursions

     

    4.52

     

    4.85*

     

    9. Your success in keeping a journal.

     

    4.00

     

    3.71

     

    10. Your success in "crossing-cultures."

     

    4.47

     

    4.58

     

    11.Training to teach you how to monitor environmental pollutants

     

    3.83

     

    4.73*

     

    12.Opportunity to work collaboratively with your Russian peers on local environmental problems.

     

    3.96

     

    4.75*

     

    13.The research reports and posters made by

    all the schools at the Moscow summit.

     

    4.43

     

    4.87*

     

    14. Your overall evaluation of the Environmental

    Summit in Moscow.

     

    4.26

     

    4.88*

     

    15. Overall evaluation of the trip to Russia.

     

    4.85

     

    4.98*

    *Significant difference at .05 level of confidence.

    In looking over the data, the American and Russian students rated the following five aspects of their experience highest:

  • 1. The homestay experience (4.85 combined average)

    2. Tours, side visits and cultural excursions (4.68)

    3. Research reports at the Moscow Summit (4.65)

    4. The Environmental Summit in Moscow (4.57)

    5. Success in "crossing cultures" (4.52)

  • The discussion that follows in the sections on the Outbound and Inbound uses a parallel strategy to discuss the results of the two exchanges. The discussion that follows is divided into progress on the following: cultural goals, global thinking and environmental education goals, and activities and strategies.

    Cultural goals

    The cultural activities included the experience students had living in their Russian home, experiences in the school, and tours and visits to cultural sites in the Russian community in which they were living. We also asked the students the degree to which they felt they had "crossed cultures." The results are shown in Table 6. Living in the home of their Russian hosts was rated highest by American students, and the Russian students rated this part of the cultural dimension highest as well. Although school experiences were not rated at the top of this list, students rated the item high. The experiences in the school included Russian lessons for the American students, eating meals each day at noon in the school cafeteria. In Puschino, the students were treated to a "second breakfast" around 10:30 in the morning. This was reported in our interviews as a highlight of the day!

    Crossing cultures was an important goal of the project. Although our focus was on environmental education, we knew that for the student, the world view of experiencing another culture was probably the most important aspect of the trip. And indeed students commented on this.

    One of the open ended questions that we asked the students to comment on was "What was the main value of your experience in the exchange?" For students, it was the opportunity to understand and experience another culture, and the opportunity to collaborate with students in another culture. As one Russian student said, "collaborative work with my American friends, their parents and teachers was the most important part of the exchange for me."

    In our discussions and interviews with parents it was very clear that the hosting of a student from another culture was a powerful dimension and outcome of the exchange. One American parent said to me that this experience had "changed my life, and the life of my family."

    Table 6

    American and Russian students’ ratings of Cultural items in the Outbound Exchange.

     

    Cultural Assessment Item

     

    American

     

    Russian

     

    5. The homestay experience in your Russian home.

     

    4.83

     

    4.88

     

    6. Experiences in your Russian school

     

    4.19

     

    4.71*

     

    8.Tours, side visits, cultural excursions

     

    4.52

     

    4.85*

     

    10. Your success in "crossing-cultures."

     

    4.47

     

    4.58

     

    Average rating

     

    4.50

     

    4.75*

    *Significant difference at .05 level of confidence.

    Global Thinking and Environmental Science

    Three of the five stated goals of the exchange focused on environmental science. Our goal was to bring American and Russian students together and have them do environmental science research in contrasting contexts. The goals that provided a lens for the students work were as follows:

  • 1. To enhance students' abilities to monitor their local environments by providing training in specific monitoring and data collection and analysis techniques.

    2. To introduce students to collaborative methods and strategies of inquiry and action-taking that can be used to address environmental problems in their respective communities.

    3. To involve American and Russian students in hands-on environmental action projects in each others' communities.

  • To help students attain these goals, their work began on environmental activities soon after the Teacher Leadership Program held in October 1996. At each school site, students began monitoring the local environment and then used electronic mail to send messages to their partner school reporting their results, and setting the stage for face-to-face collaboration. It is interesting to note that students gave a low rating to item 2 "communication between your school and your partner school prior to the exchange." Although more individual American students had their own e-mail accounts at home, very few Russian students had access to the Internet. The teachers had agreed to communicate about once per week via e-mail, and some cases that objective was met, in other cases it was exceeded, especially between the Dunwoody/Moscow 710 pair, and the Chamblee/St. Petersburg 157 pair.

    Table 7 summarizes the items on the questionnaire we administered that related to the GTP and environmental science activities. The Russian students rated each of the four items in Table 7 very high, while the American students were mixed in their rating. Surprisingly American students rated the training to monitor environmental pollutants and opportunity to collaborate with your peers lower than did the Russians. However, American and Russian students rated the research reported at the Environmental Summit very high. The Summit was marked by activities in the Intourist Hotel, as well a highly energetic two-day conference at Experimental Gymnasium School 710. In the facility of the School 710, all 100 students and 30 teachers gathered along with administrators from other schools in Moscow, and Russian scientists who had been invited by the Project Director.

    Table 7

    American and Russian students’ ratings of the GTP and Environmental Science Aspects in the Outbound Exchange.

     

    Environmental Assessment Item

     

    American

     

    Russian

     

    11.Training to teach you how to monitor environmental pollutants

     

    3.83

     

    4.73*

     

    12.Opportunity to work collaboratively with your peers on local environmental problems.

     

    3.96

     

    4.75*

     

    13.The research reports and posters made by

    all the schools at the Moscow summit.

     

    4.43

     

    4.87*

     

    14. Your overall evaluation of the Environmental

    Summit in Moscow.

     

    4.26

     

    4.88*

     

    Average Ratings

     

    4.12

     

    4.80*

    *Significant difference at .05 level of confidence.

    Environmental Activities

    A number of experiences were created across the school pairs that focused the students’ work on environmental science, and environmental problems faced by each community. Details of each school pairs’ work is included in section two of the report. Here we will describe the key activities that we planned for the Outbound, and they we believe contributed to the environmental outcomes described in Section Two of this report.

    Monitoring. Field trips to local environmental sites such as dams, water-treatment plants, and estuaries with students actively involved in observing, recording, monitoring, collecting data, and talking with officials was a stated goal of teachers from St. Petersburg 157 and their American partners. At each Russian school and community site, the students were involved in monitoring activities which entailed going outside to a lake or a pond or a river to use equipment to measure and record data on various aspects of water. In other cases, students studied air pollution at the site, and used special equipment to monitor ground level ozone. Students organized their data, and findings and discussed these with their teachers prior to the Summit in Moscow.

    Seminar on Modeling and Global Thinking. At each site, the GTP Leadership Team under the direction of Dr. Jack Hassard conducted a seminar on modeling and how it related to the study of global problems. Students worked in cooperative learning teams to solve a problem in which they were challenged to create a "system" that would balance a can of soda using a length of string (Figure 1). Students then were given photographs of earth objects, sun, earth, rocks, water, people, plants, etc., and arrows and asked to use the materials to explain how the earth’s energy system works. Students then discussed the implications of these two activities to the research the were doing on the atmosphere and hydrosphere.

    Figure 1

    Students from Lafayette Middle School and Gymnasium 2 in Puschino try and create a "system" that will support a can of soda. The students build a system that was successful in holding the can.

    CuSeeMe Video Conferencing. In order to enhance communication among project schools, we decided to bring software and a camera that would enable us to conduct one of the first video conferences between students in America and Georgia. We used the CuSeeMe video conferencing software, and the Connectix digital camera. Our first attempt was in Chelyabinsk. We had set up a reflector site in Georgia, and made pre-determined arrangements with teachers in Walker County to stage a conference while we were in Chelyabinsk. We attempted a connection on three occasions, and were unsuccessful. Our second attempt at hosting a conference was in Puschino. There connected from one of the Research Centers and held two successful video conferences between the American and Russian students in Puschino with teachers in Walker County. Since this first attempt in March 1997, we have held a number of video conferences. Figure 2 shows a conference between the Director of the project, and three students who were in the 1995-1996 exchange. The three students are shown conferencing with the director from Puschino.

    Figure 2

    The screens show a video conference between Dr. Jack Hassard and three Russian students in Puschino. This technology has resulted in several video conferences between American and Russian students and teachers.

    The Global Environmental Summit in Moscow. The Summit was held March 15 -17, 1997 in Moscow. All of the students were housed at the Intourist Hotel, but the conference was held at School 710. The purpose of the Summit was to enable the students to participate in a series of research and discussion activities. On day 1, the students assembled their posters and reports on presentation boards that we provided each team. Students worked for several hours to assemble the results of their research.

    On Day Two, all students assembled at School 710. Each school pair was allotted 30 minutes to present the results of their work. We invited Russian scientists to observe the students’ reports, and then provided the scientists with evaluation forms which they used to provide feedback to the students.

    On Day Three, we engaged the students in an "ecological citizen" activity in which they had to interview people who were in attendance about global problems facing the earth. Students took the data they collected, and then created charts and graphs to analyze the results. Brief presentations were made to the assembly. Finally, we invited two students from each school pair to join a panel that responded to questions about ecological problems facing the earth.

    Figure 3

    Program for the Global Environmental Summit, Moscow, Russia.

    Global Environmental Summit-I

    The GTP--Georgia/Russia Exchange Project

    Intourist Hotel and Experimental Gymnasium 710

    Moscow, RUSSIA

    March 16 - 18, 1997

    Program

    SUNDAY, MARCH 16 15:00 - 17:00 Intourist Hotel

    Session 1: Opening of the Summit

    Welcome

    Jack Hassard, Georgia State University, Atlanta

    Galina Manke, Experimental Gymnasium 710, Moscow

    Anatoly Zaklebny, Center for Ecological Education, Moscow

    Preparing Your Joint Environmental Projects

    Sara Crim, Chattanooga Valley Middle School, Flintstone

    Marina Goryunova, Experimental High School 157, St. Petersburg

    Trinna McKay, Dunwoody High School, Dunwoody

    MONDAY, MARCH 17 9:30 - 12:30 Experimental Gymnasium 710

    Session 2: Environmental Issues and Project in Russia

    Welcome

    Vadim Zhudov, Experimental Gymnasium 710, Moscow

    Jennie Springer, Dunwoody High School, Dunwoody

    GTP American/Russian Joint Research Projects----An Environmental Fair

    Helen Davis, Lafayette Middle School, Lafayette

    Jack Hassard, Georgia State University, Atlanta

    Oksana Kulakova, Experimental Gymnasium 710, Moscow

    Anatoly Zaklebney, Center for Ecological Education, Moscow

    GTP Student Reactions to the Environmental Fair

    Representatives from each of the pairs of American/Russian Schools

    TUESDAY, MARCH 18 9:30 - 12:30 Experimental Gymnasium 710

    Session 3: Ecological Citizens

    Developing an Ecological Perspective: Our Home/Our Planet

    Margaret Coomer, Jack Hassard, Elena Martynova, Barbara Zommer

    The Mural

    All GTPers

    Comments on Our Work

    Vassily Davidov, Vice President, Russian Academy of Education

    Vadim Zhudov, Director, Experimental Gymnasium 710

     

    The Inbound Exchange Program

    April 23 - May 14, 1997

     

    The Inbound exchange took place from April 23 - May 14, 1997. Students after they arrived at the Atlanta Airport left immediately for their homestay. The overall program which is shown on the next page details the activities of the Inbound experiences as whole. Several key events marked the Inbound Trip:

    To assess progress on the Inbound trip, we asked students and teachers to complete questionnaires on the final day of the Summit at Simpsonwood. The data was used to provide feedback and we also used the data not only in the reporting in this section, but in Section Three of the report.

    Overall Assessment of the Inbound Trip

    Table 8 summarizes the students’ responses to the components of the Inbound trip to Georgia. In general , the Russian students rated every component of the exchange higher than their American counterparts. The only item that American students rated higher

    was "success at crossing cultures." Of the sixteen items that the students rated, the difference between the American and Russian students’ rating was significant in nine of the cases. And when we analyze all of the data, and compare the aggregate ratings of the American and Russian students, we find a significant difference between the students’ perception of their experience in favor of the Russian students.

    Table 8

    Mean scores for American and Russian students on 15 aspects of the Outbound

     

    Assessment Item

     

    American

     

    Russian

     

    1. Pre-arrival preparations and meetings at your

    school site for your trip to Georgia

     

    4.02

     

    4.48*

     

    2. Communication between your school and your

    American partner school prior to your trip to Georgia.

     

    3.21

     

    4.46*

     

    3. The value of the Student Resource Handbook .

     

    2.90

     

    4.51*

     

    4. Travel Arrangements

     

    4.31

     

    4.66

     

    5. The homestay experience in your American home.

     

    4.52

     

    4.82*

     

    6. Experiences in your American school

     

    4.02

     

    4.30

     

    7. Environmental research and GTP activities.

     

    4.14

     

    4.84*

     

    8.Tours, side visits, cultural excursions

     

    4.74

     

    4.84

     

    9. Your success in keeping a journal.

     

    3.40

     

    3.98*

     

    10. Your success in "crossing-cultures."

     

    4.00

     

    3.98

     

    11.Training to teach you how to monitor environmental pollutants

     

    3.90

     

    4.13

     

    12.Opportunity to work collaboratively with your American peers on local environmental problems.

     

    3.98

     

    4.76*

     

    13. GSAMS Teleconference

     

    3.59

     

    4.73*

     

    14.The research reports and posters made by all the schools at the Simpsonwood Summit.

     

    4.32

     

    4.70*

     

    15. Your overall evaluation of the Environmental Summit in Georgia at Simpsonwood.

     

    4.33

     

    4.56

     

    16. Overall evaluation of the GTP Exchange.

     

    4.76

     

    4.90

     

    Average Rating

     

    4.01

     

    4.54*

    *Significant difference at .05 level of confidence.

    In looking over the data, the American and Russian students rated the following five aspects of their experience highest:

  • 1. Tours, side visits and cultural excursions (4.79)

    2. Homestay experience (4.67)

    3. Travel arrangements (4.56)

    4. Research reports at the Environmental Summit (4.51)

    5. Environmental research and GTP activities (4.49)

  • Cultural activities were on the top of the list, but the next three items that were rated highest all involved environmental research activities. When we compare these results to the Outbound, we find very little difference in the students’ evaluation of the experience.

    Cultural Goals

    Table 9 presents the results of how the American and Russian students rated cultural aspects of the Inbound. The Russian students rated the items higher than the American students, but only on one of the items was the difference significant (homestay).

    Table 9

    American and Russian students’ ratings of cultural items in the Inbound exchange.

     

    Assessment Item

     

    American

     

    Russian

     

    5. The homestay experience in your American home.

     

    4.52

     

    4.82*

     

    6. Experiences in your American school

     

    4.02

     

    4.30

     

    8.Tours, side visits, cultural excursions

     

    4.74

     

    4.84

     

    10. Your success in "crossing-cultures."

     

    4.00

     

    3.98

     

    Average Rating

     

    4.32

     

    4.48

    *Significant difference at .05 level of confidence.

    We also asked the students to respond to a number of open-ended cultural questions (See the Inbound Evaluation form in the Appendix). We analyzed the responses of one of the questions, "What was the main value of your experience in the exchange project?" Using qualitative research methods, we transcribed each students’ response (after translating the Russian responses into English), and then developed a rubric that helped us identify patterns in the students responses. Seven patterns or categories emerged: collaboration, family experience, scientific experience, school experiences, crossing cultures, cultural experiences, and making friends. Of these "crossing cultures," collaboration and scientific experiences were identified as the main value of the experience by many of the students. Table 10

    Students’ Perceptions of The Main Value of Their Experience in the Exchange in Percentage

     

    Value Areas

     

    Definition

     

    American

     

    Russian

     

    All Students

    1. Collaboration

    Opportunity to collaborate with students in another culture

    12

    33

    23

    2. Family Experience

    Living in another family

    19

    10

    14

    3. Scientific Experience

    Working together on environmental science projects

    11

    23

    18

    4. School experiences

    School experiences in general

    0

    0

    0

    5. Crossing Cultures

    Opportunity to understand and experience another culture

    78

    60

    69

    6. Cultural Experiences

    Specific cultural experiences such as a museum.

    0

    15

    5

    7. Making Friends

    Identification of friendship

    0

    0

    0

    When we look at the data in terms of rankings based on the analysis, we found that American students ranked crossing cultures first, followed by family, collaboration and science, while the Russian students placed collaboration and science above family (Table 10). But the significant result of our analysis is that even in a project that focused upon the theme of the environment, the concepts of crossing culture and collaboration with students from another culture were viewed as more important than the scientific work students were doing. And, interestingly enough, there was no mention of school experiences in the students open-ended responses.

    Table 11.

    Rank Ordered List Comparing American and Russian Students’ Main Value in Participating in the GTP Exchange.

     

    American Student Ranks

     

    Russian Student Ranks

    Crossing Cultures (78%)

    Family Experiences (18%)

    Collaboration (12%)

    Scientific experiences (11%)

    Crossing Cultures (60%)

    Collaboration (23%)

    Scientific experiences (23%)

    Cultural experiences (15)

    Family experience (10%)

    Some of the student responses indicate the extent to which crossing cultures and collaboration became the main focus for their experience. One American girl stated that "I learned how to cross cultures and the Russians learned about America and Americans." Another American student said that "crossing cultural boundaries and making new friends" was the main value of his experience. And still another American student stated the importance of the experience in this way:

  • "I was able to return the kindness and love that my Russian family had provided me, and now I could experience Sasha’s emotions about American life."
  • Russian students appeared to be more aware of environmental differences, and commented with such statements as "I learned that the environment here is really good and the water and air are clean." Other Russian students commented that for them it was important to "experience communication with Americans and to learn their values." And a number of students mentioned that collaboration was important.

    GTP and Environmental Science Activities

    The Inbound trip consisted of a focused research project on the pollution of the Chattahoochee River, as well as local monitoring and environmental science activities at each school site. One of our goals was to find out how the experiences of monitoring and focused research on the Chattahoochee River would contribute to the development of activist and scientific actions on the part of the students.

    Table 12 presents the overall ratings by the students on the GTP and Environmental Science aspects of the exchange. The ratings by the Russian students were again higher than their American counterparts, and were significantly different on three of the items, including the opportunity to work collaboratively, the GSAMS teleconference, and the research reports presented at Environmental Summit.

    Table 12

    American and Russian students’ ratings of the GTP and Environmental Science Aspects of the Inbound Exchange

     

    11.Training to teach you how to monitor environmental pollutants

     

    3.90

     

    4.13

     

    12.Opportunity to work collaboratively with your American peers on local environmental problems.

     

    3.98

     

    4.76*

     

    13. GSAMS Teleconference

     

    3.59

     

    4.73*

     

    14.The research reports and posters made by all the schools at the Simpsonwood Summit.

     

    4.32

     

    4.70*

     

    15. Your overall evaluation of the Environmental Summit in Georgia at Simpsonwood.

     

    4.33

     

    4.56

     

    Average for the GTP & Environmental Science Items

     

    4.02

     

    4.57

    *Significant difference at .05 level of confidence.

    Environmental Activities During the Inbound

    Monitoring. We continued the monitoring activities that the students had begun in Russia. This provided the students with a context in which they could compare and contrast the two environments in which they conducted their research. The students used this data to report at the Environmental Summit which was held a the end of the Inbound.

     

    Chattahoochee River Issue. To help focus the work of the students on a real issue facing citizens in Georgia, we choose the pollution of the Chattahoochee River as the focus of investigation. We titled the problem: "A Case Study: Protecting Atlanta’s Chattahoochee River----Citizen Scientists in Action." The research project was divided into three phases. Each school pair was assigned a several research questions which they used to focus their research. To help the students in their research, we set up a Website on the GTP server which enabled the students to find resources to help with their research.

     

    Table 13

    The Chattahoochee River Research Questions

     

    School Pair

     

    Research Questions Assigned

     

    Chamblee High School/St. Petersburg School 157

     

    What has been the role of state and federal regulatory

    Agencies in the Atlanta sewer problem? What have they done to help resolve the sewer problem in Atlanta?

     

    Chattanooga Valley Middle School/Chelyabinsk Lycee 93

     

    What is the problem with the current

    Atlanta Sewer system? What are the pollutants? The Causes?

     

    Dunwoody High School /Moscow Gymnasium 710

     

    How does the water leaving the Atlanta water works operation compare to the water that enters the Atlanta system? How is the water "cleaned?"

     

    Lafayette Middle School/Pushino Gymnasium 2

     

    What solutions have been proposed and what has happened as a

    result? What has the city of Atlanta proposed as a solution to the problem?

     

    Salem High School /Yaroslavl Municipal School 1

     

    Are the Atlanta water treatment plants up to standard?" If not, what is being done to make improvements?

    Results of the Chattahoochee River Issue

    At the Global Environmental Summit, each school pair presented their recommendations from the standpoint of the constituent group they were assigned. Students provided discs of their recommendations, and a press release was prepared that was published in the local press and a copy was sent to the Mayor of Atlanta.

    Press Release

    Student Environmental Summit Yields Recommendations for Solving the Atlanta Sewer System Problem

    For Immediate Release
    Tuesday, May 13, 1996
    Contact: Dr. Jack Hassard
    Georgia State University
    jhassard@gsu.edu
    404/651-2518
    Atlanta, Georgia, May 13, 1997

    Russian and American students participating in the Environmental Summit sponsored by the Global Thinking Project produced the following recommendations for solving Atlanta’s sewer system problem. The 100 students, representing five Georgia schools and five Russian schools have been studying this problem for the past three weeks as a component of a 3-week exchange project under the auspices of the GTP and supported by a grant from the United States Information Agency.

    Recommendations by Lafayette Middle School and Pushino Experimental School 2 
    from the point of view of homeowners:
    1. Make strict regulations , more frequent testing and daily checks to make sure water can flow freely within the system to prevent overflow.
    2. Each homeowner should have information about the state of street runoff and level of ground water in his area on a regular basis.
    3. The metro area government should make plans to replace the inadequate sewer system.
    Recommendations by Dunwoody High School and Moscow Experimental Gymnasium 610 
    from the point of view of public policy experts:
    1. Separate the pipes
    a. with sewage and rain water
    b. with sewage and river water
    2. Make the CSO’s bigger
    3. Build a new sewage system
    4. Use ozone or trees sap to clean water
    5. Clean up banks
    6. Make more people involved
    7. Ask for citizens input
    8. Make industries pay for the trash they dump
    9. Use less chemicals

    Recommendations by Chattanooga Valley Middle School and Chelyabinsk Lycee 93 from the point of view of land developers:

    1. Build recycling plants to transform the solid human waste into fertilizer to be used by farmers.
    2. Build another sewage treatment plant to help in the areas that are becoming heavily polluted.
    3. Make new standards for the size of the sewage lines that are to be newly installed or replaced in the city.

    Recommendations by Chamblee High School and St. Petersburg Secondary High School 157 from the point of view of elected officials:

    1. Pollution standards should be followed by the city of Atlanta, and if not the fines should be proportional to the amounts of pollution in the water.
    2. Create an organization which will

    Recommendations by Salem High School and Yaroslavl Municipal School 1 from the point of view of environmentalists:

    1. Support exiting legislation
    2. Introduce new technology
    3. Educate the population

    Summary

    This section of the final report presented details on the results of the Teacher Leadership program, as well as the Outbound and Inbound exchanges. To report findings we used several data sources including the questionnaires that we administered at the end of the Outbound and Inbound exchange trips. We also included the programs that we created such as the Environmental Summits in Moscow and Norcross, as well as details concerning the day-to-day activities of each exchange.

    The findings indicate that students did:

    • Enhance their abilities to monitor their local environments and they developed monitoring and data collection and analysis techniques.
    • Learned to use collaborative methods and strategies of inquiry and action-taking that were used address environmental problems in their respective communities.
    • Work together to discuss each others' needs, difficulties, and points of view concerning local environmental problems.
    • Were involved in hands-on environmental action projects in each others' communities.

    Coming Up in the Report

    In Section 2 of the report, we provide a detailed analysis of each school pairs’ success at achieving their stated goals as spelled out in their mini-proposals.

    In Section 3 of the report, an analysis of the students’ responses to key questions on the Inbound and Outbound questionnaires are provided.

    Section 4, the Appendix includes a number of supporting documents.