Teach the World Educator Conference and Youth Forum Series
The world in which our youth will be involved is rapidly changing. The World Affairs Council is proud to play a significant role in supporting global citizenship as a core element in the life of Oregon youth through programs like Teach The World.
Teach the World is a state-wide K–12 educator conference and youth forum that connects Oregon teachers with the tools needed to ignite student interest in the diverse regions of the world using an engaging, multidisciplinary approach. Covering continents like Africa and regions such as the Middle East and East Asia, this series reaches hundreds of students yearly. Initiated by the Council in 2006 with Teach Africa, Teach the World was created to introduce educators and youth to a new region of the world each year building on the momentum achieved in each prior year’s regional focus. Building on that success, subsequent conferences and forums have highlighted the Middle East and East Asia, which will be completed with the Teach East Asia Youth Forum in December 2011.
How it Works
At the educator conference, teachers are recruited for a multidisciplinary, day-long immersion and provided with curriculum and professional development to teach an array of subjects – from history, geography, art and culture to environmental science, politics and economics. Teachers are then encouraged to incorporate what they learned into their classrooms and to bring a delegation of students to the subsequent youth forum where similar topics are addressed in a lively, hands-on approach meant to inspire youth toward curiosity, awareness and action around global issues.
An Oregon student starting in middle school could be exposed to four or five regions of the world before he/she graduates and will be equipped with a solid, diverse and lasting impression of world affairs. The Youth Forum also incorporates a student action plan session which uses peer to peer teaching methods to inspire kids to “take action” tackling some of the global issues presented at the conference. The action plans are a great way to expand the reach of the Youth Forum beyond the selected delegation to the entire school. Past examples include: Teach Africa Youth Forum delegates returned to their schools as ambassadors for international learning and action, creating multiple projects such as "Soccer Balls for Somalia" at Ashland Middle School, a “Fundraising Feast for Africa” at Beaverton High School, "Africa Awareness Week" at Sellwood Middle School.
The middle school and high school curriculum for Teach the World is based on the World in Transition Series published by the Southern Center for International Studies. K–6 curriculum resources are also presented and vary depending on the regional focus.