GTP-Georgia/Russia Exchange Project:

Using Environmental Studies and Internet Resources

to Create Global Communities of Practice

 

Narrative

1. Vision

The GTP-Georgia/Russia Exchange Program will link two networks of schools participating in the Global Thinking Project. By combining environmental studies with the resources and tools of the Internet, we envision the creation of "global communities of practice," that will involve students, their parents, teachers, and administrators in collaborative examination and discussion of common problems and issues. Combining face-to-face contact with electronic communication will foster the development of long-term personal and professional relationships that will extend well beyond the scope of the proposed project.

The twelve schools selected for this project represent a diversity of geographic and socioeconomic environments. The Russian network will consist of six schools, five of which have had prior experience with the GTP. These schools, located in Pushino-on-Oka, Moscow, Serpukhov, St. Petersburg, and Yaroslavl, share a commitment to environmental education and are already linked together by telecommunications. The American network will be comprised of six schools in Georgia which offer environmental, cultural and social diversity. Urban (Dunwoody and Chamblee), suburban (Conyers, and Kennesaw) and rural (Flintstone and Lafayette) locations are represented. Five of the American schools have had prior experience with the Global Thinking Project.

Ten students, two teachers and an escort from each of the 12 schools will be involved in the exchange program. The students will range in age from 14-18. However, based on our prior experience, we are going to urge strongly that students ages 14 - 16 be given preference. We are encouraging schools to pay particular attention to recruiting students from ethnic minority groups, as well encouraging girls, and students from low-income families. At Dunwoody High School, for example, the students will be selected from the (Southeastern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering) science club. At Chamblee High school, a magnet school for high achievers, students from ethnic minorities will be encouraged to apply for the GTP program. On the Russian side, we are encouraging the selection of students based on merit and the fact that they have not traveled to the United States before. Our goal is to have a diverse population of participants, and we will work with the school principals and directors to achieve this goal.

The content areas of environmental studies (including environmental science, environmental monitoring, and environmental social issues) and Internet resources and tools will be used to focus the academic work of students and the professional development of the educators in the project.

To engage in environmental studies, the GTP schools use the Global Thinking Teachers' Resource Guide (Hassard and Weisberg, 1995; published in 1993 in Russian, and recently translated into Catalan, and Czech), an interdisciplinary, environmental-science-based curriculum. The GTP curriculum consists of a series of "projects" in which students learn to monitor physical and biological aspects of their local environments in order to study such topics as weather and climate change, air pollution, water pollution, and solid waste management. The 1996-1997 GTP curriculum plan, and the contents of the English and Russian GTP Teacher's Resource are included in the Appendix. The content and research strategies and pedagogy of the Global Thinking Project will guide the activities of the educator and student exchanges. The GTP curriculum and its instructional strategies are being used in our current USIA exchange. The exchange program has progressed very successfully using the content of the Global Thinking Project.

To engage participants in the use of the Internet, we have established a Global Thinking Project Web site (http://www.gtp.org). It will be used to focus the work, communication, and post-project activities among the American and Russian schools. We have already begun using the Internet in our current project for students to pool their environmental data, and to send e-mail to each other. We plan to provide advanced training as part of the Educator Exchange so that the paired schools can use the Internet to create "cross-cultural/partner web sites," to conduct video conferences among the students, and to create a publishing environment for student projects.

Our vision is combine the benefits of a school linkage program whereby students live and do research with each other while living in each others’ homes, with the technological advantages of the Internet to create "Global Communities of Practice," that are active not only during the period of the funded project, but extend beyond the project and continue into the near future.

Goals and Anticipated Results

The goal of the GTP-Georgia/Russia Exchange is to promote communication and understanding between students in Georgia (USA) and Russia through collaborative study, discussion, and action on local environmental problems. Through collaboration at a distance using the Internet, and through face-to-face meetings, we aim to enhance the American and Russian students' awareness of each others' needs, difficulties and points of view, and to enable them to work side-by-side in each others' communities on environmental action projects of mutual concern.

The objectives of the proposed student exchange are:

  • 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 with special emphasis on public policy decision making and environmental justice.

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

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

    6. To enhance the networked schools’ abilities to use computer resources of the Internet for sharing data, conducting video conferences, and publishing the proposals and results of student environmental research.

  • The objectives of the proposed educator exchange are:

  • 1. To provide expert preparation in the use of digital technology by:

    • participating in a global distance learning community of practice

    • collecting, analyzing and sharing environmental data

    • learning to utilize the data bases, computer programs and resources of the Internet

    • learning how to the create student multimedia reports and studies

    2. To extend the teachers knowledge, philosophy and pedagogy of environmental studies in the Global Thinking Project

    3. To provide a foundation for American and Russian teachers to develop cross-cultural environmental activities that are based on project-based teaching, cooperative learning, constructivsm and the Internet

  • In the short term, American and Russian students will achieve the above goals by participating in the Global Thinking environmental activities. Although each pair of schools will tailor the GTP to its own needs and interests, the GTP provides the framework within each pair of schools will work. We expect that students will learn to conduct environmental research projects and to work together with peers from another culture, discuss differing points of view regarding important environmental issues, and develop relationships by means of face-to-face interaction, as well as by means of electronic communications.

    Teachers’ professional abilities will be enhanced through a focused program of teacher development. This will include in-depth study of the philosophy and pedagogy of the Global Thinking Project, an intensive technology workshop, team teaching in each others’ classrooms, and development of Internet-based environmental science curriculum materials that extend beyond the Global Thinking Project. The teachers will culminate their work by publishing these materials in print and on the Internet, and by communicating the results of their joint work to other professional educators at a conference to be held at Georgia State University in May, 1988.

    In the long term, we expect these sustained, structured interactions to strengthen the relationships between the American and Russian school communities. The Global Thinking Project provides a context within which to learn, teach and collaborate on environmental studies projects. We expect the relationships between pairs of schools to extend well beyond the period of this proposal, through long-term research projects as well as interpersonal contacts. Exchanges funded locally for students and teachers is one long-term goal we hope to achieve. We will work with local authorities to help them achieve this goal.

    2. Program Activities

    Academic Experience for Students

    The academic experience for the students will focus on the content, objectives, philosophy and pedagogy of the Global Thinking Project. The GTP is an environmental education program that engages students in a series of "projects" in which students use skills of inquiry to solve problems. Students are encouraged to ask their own questions, use monitoring tools provided by the GTP to collect data, and specially designed Web forms to analyze and send their data over the Internet that is available to everyone.

    GTP Mini-Proposals for Paired Schools

    The chart below (Figure 2) shows some of the types of activities that students will be engaged in to achieve the various goals of the exchange. It should be noted that each pair of schools has collaborated and written their own work plan/mini-proposal that will guide their work during the year. However, all the work plans/mini-proposals were designed using these goals and suggested activities. In October 1996, each school pair met in Atlanta (as part of the current project), and developed mini-proposals that were based on the set of mini-proposals developed in the prior year. Each school has specific plan and itinerary. The mini-proposals are located in the Appendix (blue pages).

    Activities for Students

    During the two exchanges, students will meet once each day as a "global thinking" class. During this class, which will last from one to four hours (based on our experience this year), students will work in small teams on the Global Thinking curriculum instructed by teaching teams comprised of American and Russian educators. Because of the impact of our last two USIA grants, two of the American schools have created courses in the curriculum that all USIA student participants must take. At Dunwoody High School, students participating in the project must enroll in a certain section of an environmental course which is taught by one of the American exchange educators. At Salem High, the students will be enrolled in a research seminar. The advantage of this organization will highlighted during the Inbound exchange, when the visiting Russian students and Educators will be able to participate in these courses. We will encourage each of the schools to implement similar courses in their schools to the extent that this is possible.

    Outside the classroom, teachers have indicated that they will include some excursions that are directly related to the students’ environmental research. These might include a field trip to a power station in the town, a visit to a local lake or pond to initiate and continue a monitoring project, or an overnight excursion to a natural setting to carry out environmental investigations.

    In addition to the work on the Global Thinking curriculum which focuses on environmental monitoring and science research, students will participate in a Global Environmental Seminar that will focus on science related social issues related to global thinking, e.g., sustainability and development, economics and the environment, telecommunications and environmental awareness, nuclear issues surrounding weapons and power plants,, air pollution and the problem of fresh water. Of particular concern here is the issue of diversity and multiculturalism. We will engage the students in activities for them to explore the contributions of people from various ethnic groups to science and society, and in particular to environmental science. One of the activities we will plan will be a live teleconference using the State of Georgia’s GSAMS technology in which teams of American and Russian students will report the results of their research on a public policy issue related to environmental justice. We see this work contributing to the concept of the students as a "citizen scientist" that we developed in our first USIA grant.

    The host school will also organize a language class for visiting teachers and students that will meet daily for a brief period of time.

    Goals
    Possible Activities
  • 1. To enhance students' abilities to monitor their local environments by providing training in specific monitoring and data collection and analysis techniques.
  • Activities from Project Hello, Clean Air, Water Watch, Ozone, Solid Waste

     

     

  •  

    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.

  • Field trips to local environmental sites---dams, lakes, power stations, water treatment plants, land fills----use the site for hands-on activities in which students observe, collect data, monitor, talk with officials, etc.

    Establish long term monitoring project

  • 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, with special emphasis on public policy decision making and environmental justice
  • Seminars on environmental issues such as global warming, water pollution, nuclear waste, nuclear power (plants).

    Identification of students’ environmental concerns----discussion, debating, projects, reading related to concerns

    Participation in a GSAMS conference on environmental justice and public policy decision making

    Use of the Internet (world wide web) to gather data, resources, be in touch with information on these issues and problems

  • 4. To involve American and Russian students in hands-on environmental action projects in each others' communities.
  • This could be a major project in each community----need to identify one or more projects that students could work on together---

  • 5. To enhance an existing electronic community of practice through which relationships between American and Russian schools have been established and maintained.
  • Use of e-mail to write letters, share data, work on common projects;

    We will set up a conference and electronic list on Econet/glasnet just for the exchange

    Also, will work with schools to establish their own www home page---way to communicate and publish student and teachers work.

    Students might set up special "discussion" topic sessions; system of staying in touch with each other

  • 6. To enhance the networked schools’ abilities to use computer resources of the Internet for sharing data, conducting video conferences, and publishing the proposals and results of student environmental research.
  • Use of Web site and html programs to develop web pages;

    Students will develop their school web site; also pairs of schools will develop a cross-cultural web site for each school pair.

    Figure 2. Goals and Possible Activities Used to Develop Mini-Proposals.

     

    Academic Experience for Educators

    The academic experience for educators will begin with direct instruction on the content, philosophy and pedagogy of the GTP and intensive instruction on the Internet and on Web site development during the Educator Leadership Institute in October, 1997. Teams of Russian and American teaches will also agree on the components of their collaboration prior to the Outbound exchange, plan specific activities to be conducted with students during the exchange, and create the curriculum for the Global Environmental Seminar to be held at their schools as part of the exchange.

    During the exchanges, the Educators’ activities will have two specific foci: teaching and curriculum development. The American/Russian teacher-teams will work with their students to conduct joint research and/or action projects related to the local environments. Teachers will use this an opportunity to extend and enhance their teaching repertoires. Depending on their interests, teachers might model different teaching strategies for each other, observe and discuss each other’s lessons, or design and teach lessons collaboratively. Outside of class, the Educators will participate in seminars on environmental science and curriculum development presented by the Leadership and Research Team, and will develop new Internet-based environmental science curriculum materials that extend beyond the Global Thinking Project.

    Nature of the Linkage.

    The Global Thinking Project has a history of bringing together American and Russian students and teachers by means of exchanges that initially were funded locally, and for the past two years by grants from USIA. The GTP has also established Internet links first via e-mail, and electronic discussion groups, and more recently the World Wide Web.

    GSU-Russian Academy of Education Exchange Agreement

    Through the activities of the Global Thinking Project, an international exchange agreement between Georgia State University and the Russian Academy of Education was formalized in 1989, and re-negotiated for three additional years in 1993 (see the Appendix for a copy of the International Exchange Agreement). These agreements provided the framework for bringing together environmental and science educators, teachers, administrators and students from the U.S. and Russia. Under the auspices of these agreements, we have established formal ties between Georgia State University and schools in Russia through the Russian Academy of Education and have jointly sponsored exchanges of teachers and students to improve environmental education in each country. This rich history has provided strong bonds resulting in responsible activity among American and Russian schools.

    Student/Teacher Exchange Activity

    Since 1988, the Global Thinking Project has enabled and supported the exchange of more than 150 American and Russian teachers, administrators, and university faculty and more than 300 high school students. The agreement between Georgia State University and the Russian Academy of Education has brought together several hundred more Americans and Russians through seminars, institutes and school visits. The total impact in terms of students affected through these exchanges exceeds 12,000. Over $1,800,000 has been raised, primarily from individuals and in-kind contributions, to support these exchange activities.

    Internet Activity

    In 1989, six computers and modems, generously donated by Apple Computer and Hayes Micromodem were installed in Russian schools in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The GTP was one of the first projects to establish electronic mail links between American and Russian schools. We have established a reliable and successful telecommunications system through the development of the GTP curriculum, and through several years of teacher preparation institutes (held annually in Atlanta) and school visitation seminars in U.S. and Russian schools. Hundreds of electronic mail messages have been exchanged between American and Russian schools. We will continued to make use of this established telecommunications system in the proposed school exchange program, and as a vehicle for participants to continue professional and personal relationships.

    The Global Thinking Project has applied a number of Internet tools to facilitate communication, scientific research, and student publication. A World Wide Web Site (http://www.gsu.edu/~wwwgtp/gtp.html/) has been established which provides a focal point on the Web for the USIA exchange project. The Web Site allows students and teachers to learn as well as teach each other about environmental science and themselves. The GTP web site includes information about all the environmental science projects, exchange activities, individual school home and web sites, as well as data pooling forms designed specifically for the students to share data with each other on-line. The site will be used prior to, during and after the Inbound and Outbound exchanges for students to post text and images of their environmental and cultural experiences. We have also used electronic lists to facilitate communication among the students and the teachers.

    Participating schools

    All except one of the Georgia schools (see Figure 4) recruited and selected are active participants in the Global Thinking Project, and have been linked with schools in Russia and elsewhere by the Project's telecommunication system. The schools represent racially, ethnically, and socio-economically diverse populations of students in metropolitan Atlanta, and rural northwest Georgia.

    The Russian schools (two of which are new to the project), designated as experimental schools by the Russian Academy of Education, are involved in innovative school projects including the Global Thinking Project. They have not only supported and been involved in exchanges with us, but have initiated conferences and seminars in their own country on the Global Thinking Project. They translated and published the Global Thinking Teacher's Resource Guide (a 250 page curriculum guide) through the work of teachers at the Experimental-Gymnasium School 710 in Moscow and with support from the Russian Academy of Education.

    Letters from each school (attached) outline their interest and support for the exchange program.

    The participating schools from Georgia and Russia provide a variety of environments for student monitoring, investigating and action-taking. For the past several years, students have studied the air, water and land in their local communities, designed collaborative projects, and shared their results using the GTP telecommunications system. Students and teachers from these schools will come together face-to-face in each others' communities to participate in environmental education projects.

    Figure 4 lists the pairs of schools representing the two networks. Action plans for each pair can be found in the appendix (see the blue sheets).

    US Network School

    Russian Network School

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

    dsmiley@mindspring.com

    Experimental High 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

    School-Gymnasium #91, St. Petersburg

    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, Dr. Robin Martin, Principal. 419 Roadrunner Blvd., LaFayette, GA 30728

    lafayettems@igc.apc.org

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

    zalim@pmes.serpukhov.su

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

    salemhs@mindspring.com

    Municipal School 1. Nadezhda Ferulyova, Director. Ushakova, 11, Yaroslavl 150057

    yaroslavl@glas.apc.org

    Figure 4. School Pairs for the GTP---Georgia/Russia Exchange Program, 97-98.

    Transportation and Logistics

    International airline arrangements will be coordinated by Tour Designs, Inc., a company specializing in travel to the NIS. They will also secure visas for the American students and teachers. Tour Designs also has an office in Moscow, and will coordinate travel and visa support with the Russian Academy of Education.

    Domestic travel in both countries will be by ground transport (train, bus, automobile). While the American students and teachers are in Russia, local schools will provide bus and van transportation in each city. They will also provide for safety and security for travel within Russia.

    Georgia State University and the Russian Academy of Education will work with appropriate USIA and Russian Foreign Ministry staff to secure visas. GSU will apply for J-1 visa eligibility for Russian participants.

    Homestays

    We have had considerable experience with homestay visits in Georgia and Russia. A committee of parents, teachers and students will be formed at each school site to coordinate local arrangements. Students and teachers will be paired for the exchange and will be hosted in each others' homes. We use a student/family information form which contains information about the students, and their interests, and information about their family. This data is used by American and Russian teachers working jointly to pair the students and families.

    Orientation

    The American Students/Teacher-Escorts

    We consider the "predeparture activity" as one of the most significant aspects of the overall project. Helping students and teachers become prepared for the exchange activity is crucial to a successful project. Predeparture orientations for the American student ambassadors will be conducted by Project staff at the students' home schools. A series of pre- departure briefings will focus on such topics as cross-cultural adaptation, Russian history and culture, and a Russian survival vocabulary. We will use two texts, The Art of Crossing Cultures (Storti, 1990) and From Nyet to Da (Richmond, 1992) as resources for these briefings. A special pre-departure session for teacher escorts will be held at Dunwoody High School under the direction of Jennie Springer, Principal.

    The Russian Students/Teacher-Escorts

    The Russian student ambassadors will engage in a pre-departure orientation conducted by Vadim Zhudov, and the faculty of Moscow Experimental-Gymnasium School 710 School 710 has been involved in seven exchanges with the project (4 student and 3 teacher). The pre-departure orientation will be held at School 710, Moscow.

    Student Resource Handbook

    For past delegations we have produced a Student Resource Handbook, and we will do so again for the Russian and American students and teachers in this exchange program. The Resource Handbook (see the Appendix for table of contents) will contain details of the exchange including the goals of the exchange, detailed itineraries, information about each country, information from the U.S. Department of State, Russian Culture and Geography, a section entitled "the art of journaling," a Russian-English Mini-Guide specializing in global thinking concepts, and finally a large section entitled "The Global Thinking Project Journal and Log. This last section will provide information about the environmental monitoring activities and projects of the GTP, including Project Hello, Project Clean Air, Project Water Watch, and Project Earthmonth.

    Using the Resources of the Internet

    Since the Outbound trip will take place in late February and the Inbound in late April, students will begin their communication with each other by participating in projects locally, and use Internet tools (e-mail and the World Wide Web) to collaborate at-a-distance between the period of October 1997 and February 1998. We have had enormous success this year because of the success of the Educator Program in October in Atlanta. E-mail, and the development of school web pages that describe project activity has been at its highest level. We believe this is directly related to the October Educator program during which the teachers refined their mini-proposals, and wrote charters describing the nature and degree of Internet activity that would take place between October and February. We think that this will result in higher levels of communication after the funded project is over as well.

    3. Components of the Program

    Educator Exchange

    Selection of Teachers. Each Principal/Director will select a team of 2 teachers and an escort. The teachers will be involved in an Educator program that will have three phases (a Fall 1997 Educator Leadership Institute in Atlanta, followed by Educator activities in each of the two exchange periods in the Winter and Spring of 1998). Preference will be given to teachers who have not had the opportunity to travel to the U.S. or Russia before. Preference will be given to American teachers who speak Russian; all Russian teachers should understand English.

    Programming for Teachers. The programming for the GTP-Georgia/Russia Exchange Project will be coordinated with the annual implementation plan for the Global Thinking Project (a copy of the Implementation Plan is included in the Appendix). There will be three phases of programming for teachers.

    We are requesting funds to bring one Russian teacher from each school to Atlanta in October for ten days to join with the GTP staff and their American counterparts in a series of professional development activities. We have a number of goals in mind for this period including:

  • a. familiarizing all the teachers with the content, philosophy and pedagogy of the Global Thinking Project.

    b. engaging the teachers in advanced training using computers and the Internet in environmental study, data pooling, video conferencing, and web site development.

    c. development of a syllabus for an environmental seminar to be taught during the Outbound and Inbound exchange periods

    d. developing a working draft of a program for students at each school site in Russia

    e. reviewing and beginning to enact each mini-proposal

    f. matching students

    g. developing a charter describing how each school pair will work together between October, 1997 and February, 1998

  • The Russian teachers will be housed on the campus of Agnes Scott College in order to make use of the facilities of both Agnes Scott and Georgia State University. The two institutions are linked by rail and the teachers will be able to come and go easily. In addition to GTP content sessions and planning workshops, we will conduct a computer training institute for all the teachers. The College of Education at GSU has just completed a multi-million dollar state-of-the-art educational technology center that we will use for this conference.

    An outline of the Educator Leadership Institute is located in the Appendix.

    The student exchanges in February 1998 (Outbound) and April 1998 (Inbound) will be designed for teachers to work together in team teaching cohorts to implement the Global Thinking Project curriculum and joint teaching of a seminar on environmental issues, as well as to work on the development of Internet based environmental science curriculum materials that extends beyond the content in the GTP curriculum. These curriculum materials will form the focus of the environmental issues seminar co-taught by Americans and Russians. Dr. Hassard and a small leadership and research team will visit each of the schools during the exchange to supervise and advise on the development of the curriculum materials as well as to present seminars on environmental education.

    Student Exchange

    Selection of Students. Each school will be responsible for developing selection criteria and selecting 10 student ambassadors. While principals will make the local decisions about participants, the Project Director will have final approval. All students selected must be members of the Global Thinking class, and preference will be given to students who have not traveled to the U.S. or Russia previously. Other criteria will include grades, knowledge of (or willingness to study) Russian and/or English, ability/willingness to participate in a return exchange, parental cooperation, and ability to cooperate and function as a member of a group. A sample application form is located in the appendix showing the nature of criteria that schools may use in the selection of students. Our goal in each school is to encourage a diverse group of students to apply. We are especially interested in attracting African-Americans, other minority groups, girls, and students from low-income families. Students from these groups will be encouraged to apply.

    Programming for Students

    Prior to the actual student exchanges, an Educator program will be held in Atlanta in October. During this time teachers from each pair of schools with initiate the mini-proposal and engage students in a series of pre-exchange activities related to:

    • Pre-trip orientation---each school will begin a series of weekly meeting to prepare themselves for either an Outbound or Inbound exchange.

    • Environmental studies---students will begin monitoring air and water at their school and share the data with their partner schools.

    • Internet Activities---students will begin using the GTP data sharing tools enabling them to put their data collected locally up on the Web. They will also develop web sites for their schools, and learn how to put data and information on the Web, as well as how to conduct video conferences.

    The Russian schools will receive a delegation of 60 American students (10 per school) two teachers and an escort in February 1998. The American students and teachers will be housed with students from the Global Thinking class in their partner school. Upon arrival in Russia, an orientation program for students and teachers will be coordinated by the Russian Academy of Education, and Experimental-School Gymnasium N710,. Vice-president Vassily Davidov of the Russian Academy, Vadim Zhudov, Director of School 710, and Galina Manke, Coordinator of the GTP in Russia have pledged to organize a one-day orientation program in Moscow. Following this program, the Americans will be taken by train, bus or air to their host communities.

    The six pairs of schools have written plans of action describing the focus and orientation of their work during the exchange program. Each pair of schools, working within the context of environmental education and telecommunications based on the Global Thinking Project curriculum has established its own goals and activities (see the blue pages in the Appendix).

    The GTP activities in the school will focus on two blocks of time. During each block, cross-cultural teams of teachers will work with the 20 students in the exchange. The first block will be devoted to the hands-on activities of the Global Thinking Project curriculum. Students will work in teams of four (two Americans/2 Russians per team) in cooperative groups to complete activities, and conduct environmental research. One of the major focuses of the students work will be the development of a presentation based on their research that they will present at the Environmental Summit I. There will be field excursions to monitor the air, or visits to streams, lakes or bays to collect data and monitor the environment.

    During the second block of time at the school, a seminar on global environmental issues will be presented so that students will have an opportunity to discuss, debate, ask questions and learn how to make decisions about issues. The syllabus for this seminar will be developed by American and Russian teachers during the Teacher Leadership Institute.

    Each of the six Russian host schools will organize a cultural program relevant to its community. The cultural program will be restricted to weekend excursions. Students will also experience school-life and will become active participants in their hosts' school. In some cases, students will visit other classes relevant to their studies, and take a short course in either English or Russian.

    To complete their stay in Russia, all the American and Russian students in the exchange will join together in Moscow to participate in the GTP Environmental Summit-I. The Summit will be co-directed by Jack Hassard, Director of the Global Thinking Project, and Anatoly Zaklebney, Director of the Center for Ecological Education and Professor in the Institute for Secondary Education. Professor Zaklebney has made several trips to Atlanta and has been active in the GTP in Russia by providing in-service training to teachers on ecology. . At the Summit, students will present the results of their environmental research work, and develop "charters" or agreements for their work over the next month (sample charters are located in the Appendix). These US/Russian charters will outline the ethics and work agreements for the inter-exchange period.

    In April, 1998 a Russian delegation consisting of 60 students (10 per Russian school) and their teachers and escorts will arrive in Atlanta and travel immediately to their host communities for orientation.

    The American host schools will plan a full program of academics, homestays and cultural activities. The Russian students and teachers will be housed with students from their respective partner classes, and participate in GTP activities at school. They will also work collaboratively with their American counterparts to conduct local environmental monitoring, and to design an action-taking project on some environmental topic of concern to the local community (Project Earthmonth from the GTP curriculum.) The focus of the environmental work during the visit of the Russians to Georgia will be on the development of an environmental action project relevant to the hosts’ community. These projects will vary and will include topics such as: lower atmospheric ozone, total column ozone, air pollution, environmental health, water quality studies, solid waste management. Students will also continue their environmental seminar which was started during the February exchange.

    All students in the exchange will be involved in a one-day seminar on cultural diversity, civil rights and environmental justice. The seminar will be held on the campus of GSU, and each group of students will be involved in an excursion to the Martin Luther King Center for Social Change. Our goal here is to help students become aware of the issues surrounding diversity, and to link them directly to the scientific work they are doing on the environment. Students will be provided with a compelling public policy issue related to environmental justice and diversity, and then use resources of the their local community, the libraries, and the Internet to create alternative solutions. They will present their solutions during a live GSAMS teleconference.

    GSAMS (Georgia Statewide Academic and Medical Systems) is advanced technology allowing us to set up live teleconferences among students at up to seven sites. We will link students and teachers at each of the six sites in Georgia for a tele-conference on the GTP exchange. We have had prior experience with this technology in our last USIA project, and will use it to bring the students together to discuss present the results of their research on their public policy issue.

    To complete their visit to the US, the Russian students and teachers and their American hosts will convene at the Simpsonwood Conference Center (located on the Chattahoochee River, 20 miles North of Atlanta) for the two day GTP Student Environmental Summit-II. At the Summit students will present the results of their environmental action projects, and will participate in environmental workshops and seminars. Prior to the summit, the teachers will work with their students to write brief abstracts and mini-proposals describing presentations they will make at Summit II. We want to encourage student-centered learning, and thus have decided to conduct Summit II in such a way that the program will be determined by the proposals that students submit. We will select a group of American and Russian students attending Dunwoody, Chamblee and Salem High Schools to serve on a planning committee for the Summit. These schools are close to Georgia State University enabling Dr. Hassard and his staff to work directly with the students.

    Institution Building

    Linking the two networks will be achieved by their participation in the Global Thinking Project. By means of telecommunications, and the common core of activities described in the Global Thinking curriculum, the two networks will share similar experiences and have a powerful means of communication. In addition to e-mail, we have established conferences (electronic bulletin boards) on the Institute for Global Communications host computer. All communications, including letters, data and reports are sent to the main GTP conference----gtp.earthconf. We also have established an electronic list for teachers (gtp-teachers@igc.apc.org) enabling teachers to collaborate with each other and discuss the USIA project. To give the project identify on the World Wide Web, we have established a home page at http://www.igc.apc.org/gtp/. Each of these Internet tools is used to provide linkages among the students and teachers in the exchange.

    We have also had all materials used in the GTP translated into Russian, and readily available to students and teachers.

    4. Program Evaluation

    There will be two program evaluation components:

    1. An evaluation plan provided by each pair of schools.

    2. An evaluation plan developed by the project director to assess the overall impact of the project.

    Each pair of schools has developed specific evaluation strategies based on their goals. These strategies are located in the evaluation section of each Mini-proposal/work plan. These can be found in the Appendix

    The overall impact of exchange program will be based on the stated goals of the proposal (see Figure 5)). We want to find out the degree to which the stated goals of the project were met. The chart below lists the overall goals of the project, and some of the means we use to gather data to evaluate each goal. We have designed interview questions, student and teacher Inbound/Outbound surveys (Figure 6), and the GTP Environmental Concerns Questionnaire. We will also use the Wisconsin Environmental Survey to measure changes in student learning in environmental literacy, conceptual development and locus of control. A control group of ten students from each American and Russian school will be identified enabling us to administer the Wisconsin Survey in post-test only design. A doctoral student in science education will work with the Project Director to collect the data, analyze the results and prepare a report.

     

    Goals

     

    Possible Sources of Evaluation Data

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

    Interview

    Inbound/Outbound survey

    Final products such as environmental projects.

    Wisconsin Environmental Survey

  • 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.
  • Review of student journals and logs

    Interview

    Inbound/Outbound survey

    Final products such as environmental projects.

    Wisconsin Environmental Survey

  • 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.
  • Review of student journals and logs

    Interview

    Inbound/Outbound survey

    Final products such as environmental projects.

    Wisconsin Environmental Survey

    GTP Environmental Concerns Survey

  • 4. To involve American and Russian students in hands-on environmental action projects in each others' communities.
  • Review of student journals and logs

    Interview

    Inbound/Outbound survey

    Final products such as environmental projects.

    Wisconsin Environmental Survey

    GTP Environmental Concerns Survey

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

    Interview

    Inbound/Outbound survey

  • 6. To enhance the networked schools’ abilities to use computer resources of the Internet for sharing data, conducting video conferences, and publishing the proposals and results of student environmental research.
  • Review of school web sites

    Inbound/Outbound survey

    Interviews

    Figure 5. Types of data that will be collected to assess each goal. 

    Inbound Evaluation

    GTP-Georgia/Russia Exchange Project

    Name of your School: Male Female Age_____

    Part I.

    How would you rate the following? Circle your answer

    1. Pre-arrival preparations and meetings at your school site for the arrival of the Russian students. Excellent Good Fair Poor

    2. Communication between your school and your Russian partner school between visits. Excellent Good Fair Poor

    3. The value of the Citizen Scientist Handbook. Excellent Good Fair Poor

    4. Travel Arrangements for activities while your Russian guests visited you. Excellent Good Fair Poor

    5. The homestay experience for your Russian guest. Excellent Good Fair Poor

    6. Experiences for the Russians in your school. Excellent Good Fair Poor

    7. Research and work related to Global Thinking Excellent Good Fair Poor

    8. Tours, side visits, cultural excursions Excellent Good Fair Poor

    9. Your success in keeping a journal. Excellent Good Fair Poor

    10. Success of your Russian guest in "crossing-cultures." Excellent Good Fair Poor

    11. Training to teach you how to monitor environmental pollutants. Excellent Good Fair Poor

    12. Opportunity to work collaboratively withyour Russian peers on local environmental problems. Excellent Good Fair Poor

    13. The GSAMS Conference Excellent Good Fair Poor

    14. The presentations made by the schools at the the Simpsonwood Summit. Excellent Good Fair Poor

    15. Your overall evaluation of the Environmental Summit at Simpsonwood. Excellent Good Fair Poor

    16. Your overall experience in the Exchange Project. Excellent Good Fair Poor

    Figure 6. Sample Inbound/Outbound Student/Teacher Survey Form, Part I. Part II of the survey consists of open-ended questions concerning the students cultural, environmental and citizen scientist experience. See the Appendix for an example of a complete survey form.

    5. Follow-on

    Our goal is to establish "global communities" of practice that have learned about each other through the two people-to-people exchanges. By establishing an Internet "habit of mind," we plan to extend the project into the future by giving the schools the tools to carry on well beyond the length of the grant.

    Our plan is to continue to work with the schools beyond the scope of the project so that the relationships fostered here continue into the future. We intend to do this by working with the officials of each school, as well as with parents in each community. During the Outbound and Inbound exchanges, we intend to organize parent meetings not only to involve them in the current project, but to solicit their advise and support and organizational skills at establishing future contacts. Several of our parents have made follow up trips to Russia and we hope to foster this.

    We plan to do a follow-up study, continuing the research that we began with the USIA grant we received in 1996. We established an experimental and control group of 200 students (100 American and 100 Russian), and have administered the Wisconsin Environmental Survey, as well as questionnaires. We intend to follow-up on the 1995-1996 students, and will repeat the investigation with the 1996-1997 group as well.

    6. Project Management

    The Global Thinking Project

    The Global Thinking Project (GTP) was founded and developed as a result of a series of exchanges by American and Russian professors, teachers and administrators. Formal agreements were signed in 1989, and 1993 by Georgia State University and the Russian Academy of Education. The GTP emerged from a people-to-people exchange program established by the Association for Humanistic Psychology in 1983. Jack Hassard, who directed the AHP Soviet Exchange Program from 1986-1992, coordinated activities between American and Russian teachers leading to the development of the Global Thinking Project. Since 1989, the GTP has fostered collaborative work on environmental education, cultural awareness and telecommunications between more than 35 American and Russian schools. (It should be noted that the GTP also links nearly 30 additional schools from other parts of the US, Australia, the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Scotland, Singapore, and Spain.).

    The Global Thinking Project has administrative headquarters, and a staff located in the Department of Middle Secondary Education and Instructional Technology at Georgia State University. Faculty and graduate students from GSU and Agnes Scott College have a proven record of administering grants to support the Global Thinking Project. The Global Thinking Project's director, Jack Hassard, Associate Director Julie Weisberg, and several graduate students will be directly responsible for organizing and administering the exchange program. This team has received grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Education (Eisenhower Higher Education Program), the United States Information Agency, as well as in-kind support from Georgia State University, Agnes Scott College, the Russian Academy of Education, and more than eleven school districts in Georgia.

    Russian Academy of Education & the GTP in Russia

    The organization of schools participating in the Global Thinking Project in Russia has been coordinated through official agreements between GSU and the Russian Academy of Education. The Russian Academy of Education (formerly the USSR Academy of Pedagogical Sciences) has pledged support for the exchange program, and acted faithfully in the past on all requests made for support.

    The leadership of the GTP in Russia is headed by Vassily Davydov, Vadim Zhudov and Galina Manke. Furthermore, the directors of each Global Thinking school in Russia has been involved in seminars and training sessions on the GTP thereby supporting the implementation of the program in the schools.

     

    Acadamician Vassily Davydov

    Vice President

    Russian Academy of Education

    8 Pogodinskaya Street

    Moscow 119905

    Phone: (095) 247 1444

     

    Vadim Zhudov

    Director Experimental Gymnasium N710

    29 Studentcheskaya St.

    Moscow 121165

    Phone: (095) 249-6900

    E-mail: armu@glas.apc.org

     

    Dr. Galina Manke

    Coordinator of GTP in Russia and Head of Science

    Gymnasium N710

    29 Studentcheskaya St.

    Moscow 121165

    Phone: (095) 249-6900

    E-mail: armu@glas.apc.org

    Vadim Zhudov, Director of School N710, and Galina Manke, Head of the Science Department at School N710 coordinate the work of the project in Russia. Zhudov and Manke directed the translation and publication of the Global Thinking Teachers Resource Guide. The GTP schools in Russia have fostered an environment of innovation and change in environmental education in particular, and in pedagogical strategies in general. They have created new courses in their curriculum to include telecommunications and global thinking. They have conducted seminars for other schools and teachers on methods of teaching including cooperative learning, inquiry, and telecommunications.

    The Russian Academy of Education and the GTP Russian Schools have provided cash and in-kind support since 1988. Over that period of time they have received more than 10 delegations of students, and supported the travel of four delegations of Russian educators and two delegations of Russian students to Atlanta. Up until 1992, they fully paid for all Americans traveling in Russia, and for airfare and expenses for Russians traveling to Atlanta. Since then have gone out of their way to find very reasonable housing quarters for our trips there, and helped Russian teachers secure funds to support travel to Atlanta.

    GTP and the Center for Ecological Education, Moscow

    The GTP has been collaborating with the Center for Ecological Education in Moscow for more than five years. Under the direction of Anatoly Zaklebny, a respected ecological educator, and researcher in the Russian Academy of Education, the Center has promoted environmental education in Russia. The Center provides training programs for Russian teachers, and been instrumental in helping teachers understand the Global Thinking Project.

    Dr. Zaklebny will work with Dr. Hassard on all aspects of the exchange while in Russia, and they will co-plan and coordinate Environmental Summit I in November, 1996.

    Georgia-Russia Teamwork

    GSU and the Georgia GTP schools and the Russian Academy of Education and experimental schools have a long history of collaboration starting as early as 1986. They have coordinated more than 15 delegation visits. GSU's Jack Hassard has personally led 14 delegations to Russia since 1983, and has worked directly with Professor Vassily Davidov, Russian GTP schools, and teachers. The GTP was one of the first groups to establish an electronic school-linkages program which began in 1990. This linkage, combined with the years of people-to-people exchange has fostered powerful relationships among many people.

    But most importantly, because of the history of our exchanges, an environment of trust and respect has developed among American teachers, administrators and researchers that led to a project that surpasses our expectations dramatically. We have created a partnership that will extend well into the future.

    Work Plan/Time Frame

    1997 Pre-Funding Activity

    April

    Notification of Grant Award Inform American and Russian schools and review plans with them

    May

    Project staff meets with American & Russian school personnel for initial orientation....(Russians will be in Georgia as part of the Inbound 96/97 GTP Project)

    Applications for participation made available to students at American and Russian schools

    June

    Selection of American and Russian student

    Funding Begins----Funded Activities

    September

    Project Staff prepares for the Educator Program

    October

    Educator Program

    Educator Leadership Institute in Atlanta (October 1 - 12)

    • Environmental/Internet Institute at ASC & GSU

    • Team-Teaching/Visits to American Schools

    • School Pairs create Charters that describe the conditions and content of their work over the next 4 months

    • GSAMS Teleconference

    • Seminar at GSU conducted by American & Russian Teachers

    October 97 - February 98

    WWW & E-Mail Student/Teacher Collaboration

    • Students use GTP Curriculum and Charters to initiate their work.

    • Students begin using telecommunications to communicate initially with each other

    • Environmental science work on Project Hello of the GTP curriculum; • Development of joint school WWW sites

    • Pre-Trip Ambassador Training sessions at each schools site begins

    • Visits by the Project Director to each American school site

    December

    GTP staff works with Tour Designs to apply for visas for American students and teachers

    1998

    February 26

    Outbound Educator and Student Program

    Georgia GTP Delegations Depart from Atlanta for Russia

    February 27 & 28 Two-day Orientation Session in Moscow

    February 28 Georgia groups depart for host schools in Serpukhov, Moscow, Pushino-on-Oka, Petersburg, & Yaroslavl

    February 28 - March 17 Homestays and Academic Program

    Students participate in environmental science activities, conduct research studies, participate in GTP in school activities, and participate in Global Environmental seminars

    March 18-20 Georgia and Russian students and teachers meet in Moscow at School 710 for 3-day Environmental Summit I.

    Outbound Assessment Instruments Administered

    March 21 Georgia Delegation Departs Moscow

    March - April

    Inter-Exchange Period: Internet Activity

    Georgia and Russian students use Internet to collaborate during the inter-exchange period.

    Students and teachers use electronic mail and teleconferencing to continue collaboration.

    Visas for Russian students secured through USIA

    April 22

    Inbound Educator and Student Program

    Russian students and teachers arrive Atlanta

    Russians depart for host schools by bus or car

    Program in host schools begins

    Students and teachers plan environmental action project; carry out project; data collection and analysis; prepare reports. Students participate in Global Environmental seminar, and related school activities.

    May 1 - 5 Multi-cultural/Diversity Program at GSU & King Center for Social Change ( one of two school pairs per day)

    May 8 GSAMS Teleconference Among the Six pairs of Schools

    May 12 - 14 Global Environmental Summit II at the Simpsonwood Conference Center, Norcross, GA

    May 14 Russian delegations depart Atlanta for Russia

    Inbound Assessment Instruments Administered

    Post Exchange Period....Follow-On

    June - August

    Evaluation of second phase of exchange

    August - November

    Internet Activity Among Schools and Students

    • Initial E-mail Activity following exchange

    • Internet activity begins during the Fall of 1998 Among Students.....Follow-on Activity

    N ovember

    GTP submits final report to USIA