Global Updates From World View
January 2010

World View Book of the Year

Outliers: The Story of Success
by Malcolm Gladwell

outliers
wvlogo

Global Education
in NC

Alexander County Educators Travel to Mexico with World View Symposium Faculty Advisor                                  
By Jennifer Hefner

In summer 2009, nine educators from Alexander County traveled to Guanajuato, Mexico with LeAnne Disla, Outreach Coordinator for The Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University.  I was lucky enough to be one of these educators.  To say my journey was a once in a lifetime experience would be an understatement; the sights, sounds, and smells of this beautiful city will be etched in my memories forever.  Spending time with the Aguilar family, who welcomed me into their home for the week, was certainly the highlight of the trip.  They provided an interactive living arrangement, exposing me to invaluable knowledge about the people, culture, and customs of Mexico.

In preparation for the trip, I created a journal.  Upon arrival I showed my host family the pictures and captions about my family, our hobbies, and some of the most important things in my life in North Carolina.  By communicating through my journal, I made an instant connection with my host family.  Our shared experience was strong enough to overcome the language barrier between my host family and me.  I very quickly realized that there are many similarities between families in Mexico and the United States.  After I shared my journal, my host family showed me some of their pictures.  As I looked at these pictures, I began to understand the importance of the family unit and its dynamics in Mexico. Click here to continue reading.

AlexanderCo

Alexander County Educators in Mexico, Summer 2009d

CLACSThe Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University was created in 1990, formally recognizing fifty years of informal cooperation between the two universities. The Consortium’s goals are to enhance the Latin American and Caribbean curriculum on the two campuses, provide ample research and training opportunities for students and faculty from all disciplines, and stimulate public awareness of the importance and richness of Latin American and Caribbean cultures and traditions. For more information please visit: duke.edu/web/carolinadukeconsortium

 

Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point and Blink, discusses the story of success in his third non-fiction best-seller, Outliers.  Gladwell’s main argument in Outliers is that “there is something profoundly wrong with the way we make sense of success.”  Rather than crediting ambition, ability, hard work, or some combination of the three, Gladwell believes that circumstances, cultural influences, and luck have more to do with an individual’s ability to achieve extraordinary success.

Gladwell argues his point by exploring a variety of examples from around the world and throughout time.  These compelling stories range from the impact that cultural norms have on airline pilots in Korea and Colombia to the string of events that enabled Bill Gates to revolutionize computing as we know it.  He also reminds us of the serious implications that our beliefs about success have on education.

He begins the book with a discussion about a type of success that should be easy to explain – professional sports.  As far as most of us are concerned, professional athletes achieve success because of a combination of ability and hard work.  Both of those components play a part, but Gladwell argues that other factors, particularly month of birth, come into play.  He points to the research of a Canadian psychologist who found that hockey players who were born in the first part of the year (January – March) more often reach the professional level.  He traces this back to Canadian youth hockey leagues, which have a January 1st cut-off date for enrollment. Children who are born closest to that date will often get placed on more advanced teams because their coaches confuse maturity with ability.  This critical advantage at a young age provides them with the coaching and practice time they need to eventually advance to the highest level of play.
           
So what does this have to do with the education of our students?  Gladwell notes out that school cutoff dates for entry into kindergarten create an inherently disadvantaged system for children who enter school at a younger age. Slightly older, and therefore more mature, students are often placed in gifted classes that teach advanced material. These types of opportunities at a young age may have lasting effects on these students’ ability to achieve success.
           
Gladwell goes on to explore how cultural legacies affect education in America and China.  Most American public schools adhere to a traditional schedule of relatively short school days and a long summer vacation. While not in school many children, especially poor children whose families cannot afford after-school and summer programs, forget much of what they learn.  The dominant American cultural mentality behind this schedule is a desire for “kids to be kids,” which varies greatly from the Chinese attitude.  China’s cultural legacy, which is based on cultivating rice paddies, has fostered an attitude of intense hard work and little rest, not a fear of exhaustion.
           
Gladwell illustrates the effect that the Chinese work ethic can have on education in America by looking at the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP).  KIPP academies are middle schools that operate in many urban school systems across the United States.  KIPP modifies the traditional American approach to schooling by opting for longer school days and years, which amounts to 50 to 60 percent more learning time.  The result, even among the poorest students who attend KIPP, is increased understanding and retention of material.  By mandating more hours of school and homework and adopting a cultural mentality that values work over play, KIPP schools give their students the opportunity to succeed.

In the same way that fortunate circumstances can lead to success, Gladwell notes that the prevention of opportunity can result in eventual success as well.  This situation was faced in America by many Eastern European Jews who practiced law in the mid-20th century.  Following World War II, the majority of elite New York City law firms had the culture of exclusive private clubs.  Many top of the class law school graduates were denied employment at these high-powered firms simply because they were Jewish.  Instead, they were forced to work in second-tier firms or start their own firms practicing the types of law that larger firms turned away.  This resulted in many Jewish lawyers working in the emerging field of mergers and acquisitions.  At the time this field was not considered a “gentlemanly” type of law, and these cases were passed on to Jewish lawyers, who were willing to do this work.  Over the next twenty years, however, the status of mergers and acquisitions drastically improved and the amount of money involved grew by 2,000 percent.  Because they dominated the area of mergers and acquisitions, many Jewish lawyers achieved “outlying” success.  As Gladwell puts it, “what started out as adversity ended up being an opportunity.”

The point Gladwell hopes readers will take away from Outliers is that we always owe something to chance, culture, and the opportunities we may or may not be given.  The likelihood of becoming an outlier depends most on the legacy of our past and the circumstances we will face in the future.

Outliers: The Story of Success
by Malcolm Gladwell

Little, Brown and Company, 2008

Reviewed by Katharine Robinson, World View


Global Education in North Carolina

Alexander County Educators Travel to Mexico with World View Symposium Faculty Advisor 
By Jennifer Hefner

In summer 2009, nine educators from Alexander County traveled to Guanajuato, Mexico with LeAnne Disla, Outreach Coordinator for The Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University.  I was lucky enough to be one of these educators.  To say my journey was a once in a lifetime experience would be an understatement; the sights, sounds, and smells of this beautiful city will be etched in my memories forever.  Spending time with the Aguilar family, who welcomed me into their home for the week, was certainly the highlight of the trip.  They provided an interactive living arrangement, exposing me to invaluable knowledge about the people, culture, and customs of Mexico.

In preparation for the trip, I created a journal.  Upon arrival I showed my host family the pictures and captions about my family, our hobbies, and some of the most important things in my life in North Carolina.  By communicating through my journal, I made an instant connection with my host family.  Our shared experience was strong enough to overcome the language barrier between my host family and me.  I very quickly realized that there are many similarities between families in Mexico and the United States.  After I shared my journal, my host family showed me some of their pictures.  As I looked at these pictures, I began to understand the importance of the family unit and its dynamics in Mexico.

Throughout the trip we participated in activities including attending Mass with host families, visiting the market to purchase food for the week, enjoying an authentic Mexican cooking experience, and going to tourist sites such as Museo de la Alhóndiga de Granaditas and Diego Rivera House.  I must admit that my favorite assignment was the authentic cooking activity and recipe swap.  Our group of educators compiled a log of recipes from the week, and we plan to share these with students and staff members in our schools.

Upon returning to North Carolina, I was given the opportunity to share my experiences with all the administrators in my district.  Through photographs, artifacts, and verbal accounts, our trip has created an excitement within the district about educational opportunities that can result from traveling abroad.  My hope is that other educators will want to learn about various parts of the world to gain a greater respect for and acceptance of all people and cultures.  This invaluable learning opportunity would have never been possible without the work of World View and The Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.  Alexander County originally connected with LeAnne Disla at World View’s global education symposium in fall 2008, where LeAnne was paired with us as a faculty advisor during our action planning session.  I would like to personally thank her for coordinating this trip to Guanajuato, Mexico.  We had a truly unforgettable experience!

Jennifer Hefner is Director of Elementary
Education for Alexander County Schools

Do you have information to share?

Do you have information that you would like to share with other educators across the state? You are welcome to submit interesting global education programs that are going on in your schools, announcements about global education seminars, new resources that others might find interesting, etc. Please email Julie at jmarante@email.unc.edu with your "update-worthy" items!

Reader Mailbag

If you have comments about any of the information contained in the Global Update, send us an email! Perhaps your comments will appear here in this new section of the Global Update.

Disclaimer
World View at UNC-Chapel Hill provides information, resources, and announcements for educational purposes only. It does not represent an endorsement of organizations or point of view by World View or The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

HELP FOR HAITI

HAITI IN CRISIS

On Tuesday, January 12 the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas were struck by a devastating earthquake. Thousands of lives have been lost, many more are still missing, and buildings and any existing infrastructure are in ruins. Haiti is struggling. If you'd like to find out how you or your students can make a donation to support immediate needs and recovery efforts, please visit the links below.

American Red Cross

Heifer International

International Committee of the Red Cross

Medicins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders

Mercy Corps

Partners in Health

UN World Food Programme

World View is not endorsing any of these organizations. The list is just a starting point for you and we encourage you to do your own research.

 


Register Now!

WORLD VIEW SPRING PROGRAMS
UNC at CHAPEL HILL

Latin America and North Carolina
March 23-24, 2010

Co-sponsored by the Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, UNC at Chapel Hill and Duke University & The Jack and Mary McCall Foundation
This seminar offers insights into Latin America and support for all K-12 and community college educators facing the challenges and opportunities of our growing immigrant student population. Help your Latino students succeed in school by learning about Latin America, critical issues facing Latino students, and new teaching strategies to support students and their families. One-and-a-half CEU will be awarded for completion of the program.

East Asia in the 21st Century
March 24-25, 2010

Co-sponsored by the Asian/ Pacific Studies Institute at Duke University
East Asia plays a strategic role in shaping our global economy and we need to better understand this region of the world. Explore Chinese, Japanese, and Korean culture, history, politics, and relationships with the world and learn strategies for integrating East Asian themes across the curriculum. This program is designed for all K-12 and community college educators. One-and-a-half CEU will be awarded for completion of the program.

Creating a Global Media Center: A Workshop for School Media and Technology Specialists
 April 22-23, 2010

Co-sponsored by the UNC School of Education and UNC Libraries
This workshop will introduce emerging technologies used to bring the world to North Carolina’s K-12 schools. The program is designed to help school media specialists and technology facilitators better understand our interconnected world by learning about technology use for the 21st Century. Resources and strategies to increase and improve content, collection, and integration of global themes in the school’s media center will be provided. One CEU will be awarded for completion of the program.

Seminar Cost (NC educators): Registration is $150 per person per seminar or $275 for both seminars. A Team of 4 is $500 per seminar. A Team is comprised of 4 or more individuals from a school, college, or district. Only $125 for each additional Team member per seminar. REGISTER FOR BOTH SEMINARS OR AS A TEAM AND SAVE!

Media Workshop Cost (NC educators): Registration is $150 per person.

Seminar or Workshop
Cost (Out-of-State Educators): Registration is $250 per person per seminar or workshop.

For more information, or
to register go to:
www.unc.edu/world
919/962-9264

 

WORLD VIEW STUDY VISITS

BRAZIL
June 23-July 5, 2010*
Rio

Learn about Brazil's youth, culture, history, and contemporary issues by traveling with World View. Participants will visit schools, cultural, historical, and natural sites in Rio de Janeiro and Bahia (Salvador, Cachoeira, Arambepe) to explore issues of education, race, class, and poverty. Gain the confidence to add global content to your teaching, make lasting connections, and help create a global learning environment at your school or college. *dates subject to change

CR COSTA RICA
July 5-14, 2010
July 22-31, 2010

In lieu of Honduras, World View will now offer two summer study visits to Costa Rica. Join World View’s new study visit and learn first-hand about the culture and education of Costa Rica through the organization Spanish Immersion Costa Rica. Highlights of the itinerary include rural school visits, community service projects, museum and market visits in capital city San Jose, daily “Spanish for Educators” language classes, ecological excursions to waterfalls, volcanoes, rainforests, coastal attractions, and much more. Participants also will enjoy cultural activities through Costa Rican cooking and Latin dance instruction. All participants will stay with host families in the coffee growing community of Atenas, Costa Rica.

For information and application
materials visit:

www.unc.edu/world/study_
visits.shtml

 

ncga
Latest Edition of the NC Geographical Alliance Newsletter Available Online!

Don't miss this issue of the NCGA Newsletter with news, classroom activities and tools, lesson plans, and more. To read the latest newsletter click here.

 

TORN FROM HOME
January 26, 2009 – May 2, 2010
Hickory Museum of Art
Hickory, North Carolina
www.hickorymuseumofart.org

Torn From Home: My Life as a Refugee takes young audiences on an inspiring, hands-on journey into the extraordinary lives of children who are forced to flee their homes and seek safety in a new land. Visitors of all ages can explore what it means to be a refugee and better understand their hardships and hope for a brighter future. For more information and educator resources please visit: http://tornfromhome.org/index.htmlTornFromHome

 

Ice Counterpoint: Encounters in Antarctica and the Arctic

January 7 - May 31, 2010
UNC FedEx Global Education Center

IceCounterpoint

A multimedia artistic collaboration, Ice Counterpoint views the Earth’s Polar Regions through the artistic collaboration of music, art, environmental soundscapes, and photography.

The photography, recordings, and video of Antarctica and the High Arctic, taken in 2006 and 2009 by Brooks de Wetter-Smith, are presented along with the polar art of Nerys Levy.

Ice Counterpoint is inspired by the extreme conditions, flora and fauna of both regions. Central to this exhibit is intergenerational attention on the importance of preserving the natural environment of those regions, as a part of our struggle to mitigate some of the causes and consequences of world-wide climate change.

The premiere of Terry Mizesko’s new composition for soprano (Florence Peacock), flute (Brooks de Wetter-Smith), viola (Jonathan Bagg), and harp (Jacquelyn Bartlett) will be performed February 23, 2010. It will be integrated into the performance of Arctic audio, images and video. A reception and art viewing will follow the performance.

For more information or directions to the FedEx Global Education Center, click here.