by Madi Cannon, Public Relations Writer
Cedarville University’s School of Education is preparing its professional educators for the challenges of today’s global classroom. Many Cedarville education faculty members travel around the world to provide professional development opportunities for teachers and build international relationships.
The School of Education hopes to use its international focus to expand career and ministry opportunities for Cedarville University graduates.
Dr. Jeremy Ervin, dean and associate professor of education, and Dr. Margaret Grigorenko, associate professor of education, recently presented workshops at the annual conference of International Schools China (ISC) at the International School of Wuhan.
Their presentations were designed to provide strategies for international teachers to help them meet students’ needs. More than 400 international teachers and Chinese national teachers attended the conference.
“It’s important for teachers to get ongoing professional development training and keep on top of new trends and ideas,” said Grigorenko. “We’re trying to help teachers push the limits of what they already know and expand their professional knowledge.”
According to Ervin, about 5 percent of Cedarville’s teacher-candidates will teach in international schools after graduation. “We want to build global connections to provide diverse experiences and open the door for our graduates to find international jobs,” he said.
The education program’s teacher trainings around the world have opened up international job opportunities and long-term partnerships for graduates. In spring 2017, Grigorenko and Lori Ferguson, assistant professor of education, presented workshops at the first Christian teacher conference in Durres, Albania.
Through connections that Grigorenko and Ferguson made at that conference, three Cedarville alumni moved to Albania to start an afterschool program for children affected by Albanian blood feuds, which have afflicted the country for hundreds of years. They hope to bring more Cedarville education graduates to Albania to establish the first Christian school there.
Cedarville’s education program also places a strong emphasis on giving its teacher-candidates international teaching experience. In July 2017, Ervin traveled to India to conduct trainings at local schools and build long-term partnerships. “The school of education’s vision is to train educators for today’s global world,” Ervin said. “The classroom today is so diversified that we have to prepare our teacher-candidates to instruct students from many different backgrounds.”
Sarah Moore, a junior early childhood education major from La Porte, Indiana, also traveled to India with Ervin to evaluate potential schools where Cedarville could send future teacher-candidates.
“As a teacher I learned that though teaching practices across the world may be very different, our goals and struggles in the classroom are often very similar,” said Moore. “Being able to share education practices across the globe has a huge impact on the individual lives of students and also on communities as a whole.”
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,963 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.