Global Matters

California International Studies Project Newsletter

It's Fall 2016 Already?

The California International Studies Project (CISP) has experienced a year of change with new leadership, site transitions, strategic plans, partnerships, and program development. One of our strategic goals focuses on the need to better communicate -- both internally and externally. As a result, we are proud to share information about our work and growing programs through our new website at and through this newsletter. In addition, our participation in regional, state, and national conferences has increased awareness about CISP and helped us to develop new partnerships to support global education. Those professional programs include:

  • California Global Education Summit (California Department of Education)
  • Global Leadership Summit (Global Education Conference Network)
  • California Educator Excellence Summit (California Department of Education)
  • California Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference
  • Global Education Think Tank (Harvard Graduate School of Education)
  • California Academic Partnership Program (California State University)
  • LeadLearn 2016 (California Subject Matter Project)
  • Global Education Forum (University of Pennsylvania, Asia Society)

CISP continues to explore definitions and applications of global competence with K-12 educators through professional learning programs. Some of those programs are featured in this newsletter. For updated information about CISP programs, find the Programs & Events page on our CISP website.

CISP Strategic Plan

CISP is pleased to present the following results from this year's focus on strategic planning:


The California International Studies Project inspires and supports educators to develop global competence and active citizenship in PK-12 students for the 21st century.

Guiding Principles

  • Justice
  • Equity
  • Integrity
  • Global Citizenship
  • Empathy
  • Curiosity
  • Creativity
  • Action


CISP Matters: The California International Studies Project inspires and empowers teachers, students, administrators, policy-makers, and community partners to act ethically for the greater good in an ever-changing world. CISP creates space and opportunity to nurture the ongoing development of global citizens who value acting out of love for community, collaboration across cultures, critical thinking, and creative solutions to complex issues. CISP maintains connected communities of practice through high-quality professional development and resources. The organization develops, supports, and presents model programs that utilize research-based practices and authentic inquiry learning methods to help students develop the necessary knowledge and skills to make ethical decisions, participate in addressing local and global challenges, and contribute meaningful solutions to problems of today and the future. CISP staff is committed to finding peaceful solutions to the world’s problems through education, professional learning, and a deep sense of purpose.

Students Matter: CISP leads California in promoting and developing global education to ensure that all students in California are competent 21st century citizens capable of contributing to their local and global community alike. Around the state, teachers engage students in practices that demonstrate inquiry learning, such as project-based, discovery, or experiential learning, to interact with the world from a standpoint of respect for multiple perspectives, openness for mutual understanding, evidence-based decision-making, and informed individual action. Students develop understanding and skills related to flexibility and adaptability, which are hallmarks of today’s ever-changing world. All students are learning that peoples of the world are living in places that are both specific and interconnected. They recognize the value of history, culture, and geography in their interdisciplinary studies of local and global issues. These studies afford students multiple opportunities to develop empathy and voice. Students simultaneously identify and anticipate the consequences of actions and implications of non-action in a world defined by change. Across grade levels and subject areas, inside and outside of school, students act in accordance with an innate sense of global awareness and understanding. Students become adept in identifying problems as well as proposing and enacting solutions that promote a peaceful world.

Teachers Matter: CISP leads high quality, research-based, effective professional learning communities engaged in a variety of professional activities, including research, field study, study abroad, curriculum development, consultation, presentation, and coaching. Teacher Leaders are model educators for global studies who provide leadership, creativity, inspiration, support, and resources to form a strong statewide network that serves as a model of excellence. Teachers are empowered to prepare and present meaningful learning experiences that engage students in learning about, and with, others in a global community. Like their students, teachers are curious and concerned about local and global issues and seek to acquire, organize, and analyze information before drawing conclusions that lead to positive actions. Teachers ask compelling questions of themselves, their colleagues, their students, and society, and maintain the perspective and disposition of learner.


  • Identity: Determine identity and improve awareness and understanding of CISP.
  • Communication: Communicate regularly within and about CISP.
  • Organizational Structure: Determine site and network structures, policies, and practices.
  • Accountability: Coordinate evaluation, feedback, and reporting practices.
  • Projects & Programs: Develop signature program and align all programs to CISP mission, vision, and values.
  • Funding: Build capacity and increase funding for improved programs and reach.

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For updated information about CISP and our programs, leaders, and partners, please visit and share our new website.
Teachers analyze and discuss artifacts during a Fall workshop on digital storytelling.
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NBISP: Exploring Nepal, Choices, PBL, and Learning Communities

Where There Be Dragons

The Where There Be Dragons educator course provides training in best practices focused on risk management, an analysis of best practices in travel-based education, and facilitation strategies that maximize student transformation and deepen learning, as well as experiential exposure to the interconnectedness of global patterns of risk that connect our local communities in the United States to communities around the world. In this training, we worked out of and added to a "global educator's toolkit", which covered topics like rethinking service learning to "learning service", how to build a safe container amongst groups, and how to incorporate rituals to mark key points in the challenging adventure of travel-based education. Nepal served as an excellent space for exploring the depths of facilitating transformative learning experiences.

On this global educators seminar, our group of educators examined key global issues related to present-day development, global systems of power and their impact on environmental, social and cultural sustainability. Examining the word itself, and peeling back the layers of “development,” we better understood the United States' engagement with and in Nepal, and ways the Nepalese are organizing to move away from unsustainable systems and toward self-reliance through social entrepreneurship.

Experiential activities included an introduction to the Buddhist tradition through guided meditation practice, hiking in the Himalaya foothills, and walks amid prominent cultural heritage sites with local scholars. Through real world exposure to contemporary issues in religious and cultural studies, sustainable development, and the arts, educators developed new teaching tools to effectively address these themes in the classroom back home.

Based on this training, NBISP Site Director, Michelle Mazzeo, facilitated a dialogue about the risks and opportunities in travel-based professional development for educators during International Education Week at Sonoma State University on November 14th.

Choices Program

Choices offers a range of professional development opportunities designed to support teachers and district leaders as they implement our resources in their classrooms. In this institute, teachers were trained to conduct one day leadership trainings in their schools, districts or counties. As a result of this training, two teacher leaders from the NBISP Global Educator's PLC will facilitate a one day training on February 3, 2017, at Sonoma State University.

Buck Institute PBL 101

The Buck Institute Introduction to PBL provided a deep dive into training and support for educators around the design of project based learning into classroom curriculum. Through this two day introductory workshop, NBISP connected with the largest local school district's PBL support person around developing ongoing support mechanisms for teachers piloting PBL in their classroom, especially in alignment with sustainability principles outlined by the One Planet Living framework. Teachers who are interested in bringing a team to the Youth Summit in April 2017 are invited into a monthly community meeting where they will be connecting with the wider sustainability community including representatives from the SSU sustainability community and the local Sustainable Enterprise Community. The first monthly One Planet Educator's Network social for PBL and sustainability enthusiasts was held November 1st at the site of the Youth Summit, SOMO Village.

Summer Professional Learning Community Design Institute for Global Educators

A group of 10 local educators came together at Sonoma State University to bring relevance to what it means to teach global competence and active citizenship across grade levels and disciplines. Our professional learning community launched through a day of dialogue, an exploration of pedagogical approaches (including PBL) that lend themselves to teaching global competence and active citizenship, and to develop a driving question for our community over the year. Educators then broke off into teams to develop pilot action-oriented projects with their students, with the purpose of bringing a team of students to an April 29, 2017, One Planet Youth Summit to share their learning and action with the wider community including other educators, students, business professionals and policy makers. In a variety of ways over the 2016-2017 academic year, the community is exploring the question, How can we support each other to develop best practices in teaching global competence and active citizenship to our students?

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BAGEP: 2016 World Savvy Festival & PBL with a Global Lens

Annual World Savvy Festival

On May 14, 2016, World Savvy brought together more than 400 Bay Area middle and high school students at their annual World Savvy Festival. Located at Berkeley City College this year, the Festival of student work provided a forum for students to present their work, which included dance, spoken word, music, film and tech-based projects including apps, to peers, parents, and the wider community. These projects were developed during their participation in the World Savvy Classrooms program, and provided students with an opportunity to think creatively about solutions to complex global issues and challenges, and to take action – locally and globally – to serve and implement change in their communities and around the world. The day also included workshops for students and speakers on topics from social entrepreneurship to specific social issues.

During the Festival, student projects were evaluated by community judges, who assessed projects based on feasibility, sustainability, and innovation. Some of this year's project topics included:

  • Collaborating with a local health clinic to design and run a free farm stand at the clinic in effort to address regional issues of food deserts.
  • Showcasing and embracing the progress that has been made in accepting non-conformative gender identification through creative art pieces drawn from the philosophy and ideas of various adolescents on this topic.
  • Creating a safe space for sexual assault victims to share their story without the fear of negative backlash from their community.
  • Taking a look at gentrification patterns in the Bay Area and how they are changing the definition of the local community.
  • Depicting gender stereotypes through impacts such as the different prices in consumer goods and the pay gap.

Project Based Learning with a Global Lens

On August 11 and 12, World Savvy/BAGEP provided a 2-day institute for 18 elementary and middle grades teachers from Oakland Unified School District. The workshop focused on project based learning and the development of global competencies for k-12 students. Throughout the course of the workshop, teachers used active discussion models to explore their own global competencies, participated in a model for building background knowledge on significant global issues, reviewed relevant resources for their students and learned how to build a supportive model for project based learning that included the use of a design model. 100% of the teachers participating said that they would recommend this workshop to a colleague.

Some teacher responses to the institute included:

What was the most valuable part of the workshop?

  • I feel like the whole workshop builds on itself but the most valuable was the unit-planning tool, even though some of the ice breaking activities and content activities were also very helpful because I can take them into my classroom.
  • Collaborating with various grade levels and groups of teachers.
  • Viewing online resources.
  • Networking and exchanging ideas!
  • I liked having time to plan the unit of study. I feel like coming out of the PD I can go in and teach.
  • Planning time with people available to answer questions about the units.

What additional training or support would help you more effectively teach for global competence?

  • I think it would be nice to have a cohort of teachers on my grade to really be able to decide on an appropriate theme for the units/school year.
  • Having someone to lead a PD for our whole staff.
  • A follow-up or exchange lesson plans.
  • Part two of this same training to check in and revise.
  • Another case study to have more resources/examples.

LB/LAISP: New Site Search, Engaging All Learners, and International Justice

LB/LAISP Transition

Formerly known as the Dominguez Hills International Studies Project, the Long Beach/Los Angeles International Studies Project is currently in transition and seeking a new host institution in the Long Beach/Los Angeles region.

Engaging All Learners for the 21st Century: Collaborative Conversations

“I valued everything – specific strategies, lessons, etc. But I valued even more the subtle tips and advice on how to ask questions in an open-ended way and ways to structure classrooms to engage all students and get them ready for the 21st century.”

In August, teachers at Juan R. Cabrillo High School in Long Beach began a six-day training that focused on this question: How do we engage all students in the classroom and get them ready for the challenges of today’s and tomorrow’s world?

Engaging All Learners for the 21st Century: Collaborative Conversations is a professional development program that assists teachers, counselors and administrators in exploring how to repurpose learning in the content areas to include 21st century global competencies that engage all students by challenging their thinking, deepening their understanding of critical issues, and developing the communication skills necessary for success in school, career and civic life. Coaching sessions for each teacher are built into the program and all tools and curriculum resources are provided digitally on a shared Google Drive. For more information on costs and additional services, contact the Site Directors Barbara Doten at or Nicole Solig at

Armenian Genocide and International Justice Seminar

July 18-20, the Dominguez Hills International Studies Project teamed up with Facing History and Ourselves to bring together a group of middle school and high school teachers to study the history and legacies of the Armenian Genocide. Specifically, teachers examined the events leading up to the systematic murder of over one million Armenians, and the role of justice and judgment in the aftermath of such atrocity. The seminar was facilitated by Mary Hendra, the Associate Program Director for Los Angeles and Organizational Innovation for Facing History and Ourselves and Nicole Solig, co-director of the Dominguez Hills International Studies Project and lead teacher at The Los Angeles School of Global Studies in LAUSD. The 3-day seminar included a special guest lecture on a historical overview of the Armenian Genocide by Dr. Richard Hovannisian, a prominent scholar on the Armenian genocide.

During the seminar, teachers had the opportunity to:

  • Learn interdisciplinary teaching strategies that reinforce historical and literacy skills that align to the Common Core State Standards
  • Acquire new literacy strategies that are aimed at supporting ELL students
  • Collaborate with teachers across different grade levels and disciplines

This November, teachers are invited to attend a follow-up session on international justice where we will be teaming up again with Facing History and Ourselves to screen segments of the documentary Reporter. This documentary follows New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof as he works to get his readers to “care about what happens on the other side of the hill,” and raises questions about the role of the reporter in a digital age. During this seminar we will discuss the ways in which we and our students act as media producers (with social media and blogs) and how we can use media as a teaching tool in our classrooms to encourage students to galvanize the public around issues we care about.

ISTEP: Intercultural Ambassadors, Global Dialogue, and Global Voices

Intercultural Ambassadors

Last school year, International Studies Teacher Education Project (ISTEP) and the Intercultural Center at San Diego State University provided opportunities for fourteen international students to participate in the Intercultural Ambassador program. This program provided a passport into the world for both PK-12 teachers and their students. The university students are carefully selected to represent a wide variety of countries from around the world. Once selected into the program, the international students participated in a series of workshops on global competency and learned about different ways to engage students into their experiential presentations. In the next workshop for the program, teachers meet with their Intercultural Ambassador to schedule and plan the semester presentations together, applying critical, comparative, and creative thinking skills during the intercultural presentation.

This year thirty classrooms from around San Diego County engaged with a different culture than their own. Uniquely, the K-12 students participated in a variety of authentic activities with the international students to better understand the world by investigating a new culture, having conversations about different cultures and recognizing different world perspectives on global issues. The Intercultural Ambassadors exemplify global citizenship and competencies. They are good role models for pursuing higher education, including the possibilities of studying abroad, while developing inquiring knowledgeable and caring students to understand our interconnected world through intercultural understanding.

Global Dialogue

In collaboration with Generation Global (formerly known as the Face to Faith program) and the San Diego County Office of Education, ISTEP presented a 3-day institute on global dialogue July 27-19. Thirty teachers learned about the essentials of dialogue, global issues, and how to engage their students in international conversations with peers using these literacy skills to discuss global issues. Teachers are now integrating the Generation Global resources and online platform for peer blogging and videoconferencing.

Global Voices

Working with the Education Director Cleary Vaughan-Lee from the Global Oneness Project, teachers are learning about digital storytelling through video and photo essays. A three-session program is offered in both San Diego and Sonoma for K-12 teachers to learn about the elements of culture and story, behind-the-images stories about photographers, videographers, writers and editors who contribute to the Global Oneness Project, and global competence. Teachers are then invited to participate in a new PBL project that challenges students to create a photo essay depicting "something worth preserving" in their lives (and also aligned to a Sustainable Development Goal). Look for the results on the CISP website in early summer.

FIRST: Cultural Education, Writing, Leadership and Exploration

China and Korea Programs to Advance Cultural Education (PACE)

The PACE programs are designed to bring teachers together to learn about the cultures of Korean and Chinese students and to maximize the educational experience of these students in the Irvine Unified School District. Programs are designed to promote teaching with accuracy about the geography, history, culture and contemporary issues of these countries. Through interaction with scholars, parents and students teachers learn to understand the cultural heritage and related educational needs of their students. Throughout the program teachers work to challenge their own cultural assumptions and attempt to view each culture through the eyes and hearts of their students.

The China PACE program partnership brings together the Irvine Public Schools Foundation, the South Coast Chinese Cultural Center, and FIRST to collaborate on providing the program which has been offered for the past three summers, serving 20 teachers (K-12) each summer.

The Korea PACE program partnership between the Irvine Korean Parents Association, the Irvine Public Schools Foundation and FIRST has successfully completed ten years of summer programs serving 20 teachers (K-12) each. In July, a festive celebration was held honoring the teachers and all of the scholars, parents and students involved in the program. The Celebration Gala included a dinner at 55 Restaurant with local Korean student entertainment.

Common Core Writing in the Social Studies Classroom

In partnership with Santa Ana Unified School District, FIRST has embarked on the third year of this program designed to bring the DBQ and multiple genres of writing into the social studies classrooms in grades 6-12. Sessions to help teachers integrate one-to-one technology and writing are in progress. Teachers are also working on incorporating writing and discussion into active student lessons and projects.

Global Leadership High School Elective

FIRST teacher leader Mandy Bush, has developed a Global Leadership class that is empowering students to develop leadership through project based learning around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The program includes work with FIRST Global Ambassadors program. CSUF scholars come to Norte Vista to present to students and students come to campus for special on-site sessions with professors. Mandy was honored as 2016 Teacher of the Year for the Alvord Unified School District and was recently presented with an outstanding teacher award by the Inland Empire Social Studies Council for her inspirational work.

CSUF-FIRST Explore Global Competence

FIRST has worked with Dr. Kristine Dennehy’s graduate student seminar students and with Dr. Jeff Kim’s student teaching seminar students to explore the questions, “What does it mean to be globally competent?” and “What are the most important unresolved global issues we face today?” Finally, we ask and discuss, “How does this fit in the social studies disciplines? A lively discussion acknowledging the importance of understanding multiple viewpoints and being able to appreciate cultures and beliefs challenges us to recognize and push our own boundaries.

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SJGEP: In Transition

The San Joaquin Global Education Project, formerly at University of the Pacific, is in transition this year. As CISP conducts a new site search, professional development is provided to teachers in the Sacramento area this year through the GeoGlobal Educator Inquiry Network. In collaboration with the California History-Social Science Project at UC Davis and the California Geographic Alliance, CISP is working with 15 5-12th grade teachers this year to support their professional learning and teaching practices of contemporary geography and global competence.

During 4 Saturday sessions and 4 online evening webinar, this professional learning community is conducting a series of environmental scans in their classrooms, schools, and districts focused on geography and global education, studying the new History-Social Science Framework with a GeoGlobal lens, and developing instructional practices that support effective teaching and learning.