The Global Educator Program
USA | Kenya Bonner
“It is my honor to create global experiences for educators and artists, and to visit schools worldwide and inspire interest in global awareness for students”.
– Jacqueline Cofield
In 2015 The Global Educator Program was created by Jacqueline Cofield, founder of J Rêve International. The program was created in hopes of empowering educators to incorporate art themes into multidisciplinary and STEAM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math). Global education is integral to building 21st century skills, and teachers being the greatest resource to empower students as global citizens. J Rêve International’s Global Educator program offers professional development experience that equips teachers with global competencies and connections necessary to bring an international arts perspective to their schools. A former science teacher in NYC, she often opted to use art to teach physics and chemistry concepts. “In my work with visual and performing artist over the years, I’ve learned from their life stories the powerful role that teachers and parents play in cultivating creativity at a young age”. –Cofield
Dr. Monique Wells, founder of the U.S. non-profit organization, Wells International Foundation (WIF), recently invited Jacqueline to develop the educational component of the Beauford Delaney: Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition taking place at the Reid Hall in Paris, France 2016. “Upon learning about the Global Educator program, I felt that it would be the perfect way to incorporate STEAM into the exhibition” Wells stated. J Rêve International’s Global Educator program offers professional development experience that equips teachers with global competencies and connections necessary to bring an international arts perspective to their schools. The Paris program also considers approaches to Multiple Intelligence and STEAM education (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), with reference to the theme of artist Beauford Delaney’s life and work. When asked about the connection between the life of Beauford and the program, Jacqueline explained, that she like Beauford was a resident in Paris for a few years during college. She also included Beauford, along with Dr. Wells in her 2009 documentary, centered around African American artist living abroad.
“Global education is integral to building 21st century skills, and teachers are the greatest resource to empower students as global citizens” – Cofield. Per Jacqueline, the program was designed to expose educators to living arts, through engagement of those involved in education and cultural institutions, and to enhance global competency skills necessary to appreciate the contexts creatives are active globally. “Participating in the J Reve Global International Scholars — Educators Fellowship Program was a phenomenal experience. It allowed me to partake in the facilitation of expanding the knowledge base of STEAM (Science, Technology, Art, and Math) on a global level. The various meetings and “round table” discussion (UNESCO, Fulbright, Columbia Global Centers — Paris, Artist Colony) expanded my knowledge base of STEAM implementation on the global level, particularly in the “diplomatic arena”. It was powerful to have the opportunity to talk with people from another country (France); to hear “first hand” what it would take to engage more women in the “STEAM arena”. –Malikka Karteron, Teacher Participant. Louis King, another teacher participant, contributes the STEAM program to changing his perspective on the way in which a child learns. “I have gained useful knowledge from fellow educators.”– King, Cinnamon Nolley, another teacher participant, states that the program provided her an exceptional experience for her as a teacher. “I saw not only current issues in policy, art education, and outside the box partnership possibilities and solutions to educational quandaries, but we also got to meet some movers and shakers in these fields and pick their brains in relaxed, open settings.” –Nolley.
The future of the program according to Cofield. “First, I envision that alumni of the program will continue as advocates for STEAM education in their schools, exposing parent’s administrators and students to the impact of arts engagement on student performance, classroom management, and career development.” “Second, I hope that the multiplier effect of this program impacts communities globally, and inspires more discussion around cultivating creativity, policy changes that positively impact arts education and more visual and performance arts engagement”. Teacher participant Cinnamon Nolley, (previously mentioned above), would love to help spread news about the program, with the proviso that it’s not a vacation or for the weak.
Kenya Bonner is a Buyer for a non-for profit organization, yoga fanatic, creative spirit and serial writer, working on publishing her first novel Women Under Construction, later this year, she resides in Chicago.