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LC Blog LevelingThePlayingField

“If the structure does not permit dialogue, the structure must be changed.”  - Paulo Freire

Write about your favorite vacation. Does this writing prompt sound familiar? While it may seem harmless, this topic excludes students who haven’t left - and may never leave - their hometowns. At times, it’s easy forget that some students do not have the background knowledge or experiences to engage in the classwork we are asking them to do, resulting in some feeling they don’t have anything to contribute. 



LCblog NEA fellowship 01

Through a partnership with VIF, NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellows have access to online professional development in the VIF Learning Center. Since starting this partnership, the Fellows have created more than 70 global-focused, inquiry-based lesson plans that have been implemented in their respective classrooms around the United States. 


LC Blog Immigration

The current European migrant crisis is putting a spotlight on the persistent belief in a divide between local and global interests. Socially, our habit is to think of “local” as the opposite of “global.” But what happens if we consider them as complements? Could that approach help us more effectively address crises like the one happening in Europe?

It’s easy to see the world as defined by the dualities of either/or, good/bad, rich/poor, winner/loser, local/global. One of the unfortunate effects of these easy dualities is the propagation of “us versus them” narratives or, at best, “us and them but,” which is still divisive. More challenging - but far more rewarding - ways of seeing the world are possible. According to the Dalai Lama, “The old thinking about ‘my nation’ and ‘my people’ is outdated. We have to think of the entire humanity as ‘we.’” This level of clarity lifts the veil of dualities to reveal the concept and sense of interconnection. This perspective offers a narrative in which the local and the global are not at odds. In fact, the connections between the local and the global become unmistakable. Any boundary between the two is artificial, imposed by the a habit of the human mind (but not the human heart) to understand complexity by splitting it apart, grouping and categorizing.


LCblog TESOL 02-01

Virtual Seminar 4: Leading Your Leader: How to Talk to Administrators About Your English Language Learners' Needs

VIF curriculum designers Kanista Zuniga and Meriwynn Mansori partnered with TESOL International Association for a webinar about how ESL teachers can use their expertise to advocate for best practices in implementing programs that best support the need of ELLs. This virtual seminar shares ideas about how teachers can talk to administrators and resources for implementing an effective program.


globalclassroom 2

As you may have heard, The Global Classroom Project is making some big changes to its community and project submission process. Although the group will no longer be creating and maintaining annual project wikis, they are still interested in hearing about and sharing all of the great global project ideas that you come up with and initiate with your students, fellow educators and partner classrooms.

With these changes in mind, this month’s chat will focus on just that: your project ideas, both past and present! Come prepared to post about successes, benefits, challenges and roadblocks while sharing past projects and highlighting or brainstorming new ones.




Through local investigation activities and projects, students create content and engage in inquiry processes that allow them to co-construct their own knowledge while getting support to explore their natural curiosities about the world around them. This infographic outlines easy steps you can take to effectively integrate local investigations into your classroom!



It’s no secret that cultivating a passion for reading in adolescent learners brings many benefits both inside and outside the classroom. Literature study in middle-grade classrooms:

  • Reinforces students’ knowledge and understanding of literary discourse and provides authentic insight into how academic language works in the target language. 
  • Supports inquiry learning. Reading and interpreting literature encourages learners to be comfortable with ambiguity, engage in perspective taking and understand the human experience across cultures. 
  • Invites both teachers and students to identify themes that allow for interdisciplinary connections with history, politics and society.

English-language novels and countless others encourage adolescents to become lifelong readers, yet finding authentic fiction in Spanish can be a challenge for middle-grade teachers of bilingual students. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, here are four Spanish-language novels that are ideally suited to bilingual middle-grade readers, whether they are dual language students, English learners or heritage speakers. These novels take on issues of culture, identity, immigration and growing up as viewed through the eyes of compelling and sympathetic adolescents.


LCblog DPIinfographic-01

North Carolina is the first state in the nation to offer global-ready designation for educators, and we are privileged to collaborate with the Department of Public Instruction and many outstanding districts and schools to help teachers achieve this microcredential.

VIF supports more than 1,200 teachers across the state in districts such as Cabarrus, Alamance-Burlington and Union, and guides them through the Department of Public Instruction designation process, making sure they are fulfilling professional development requirements as they work toward their capstones. Engagement spaces in the VIF Learning Center allow these teachers to converse with one another, refine their skills, and receive coaching and support. 



LocalInvestigations LCBlog02

All humans are natural investigators, yet traditional schooling tends to untrain our natural instincts for fully examining our own questions. Local investigations engage students’ natural investigatory instincts while developing their knowledge of core academic content by demonstrating true connections between academic subjects and the world around them.


QA LC Blog Controversy 1


We sat down with Julie Keane, head of research at VIF, to discuss ways to effectively approach controversy in the classroom. Implementing local investigations, examining current events, studying world religions and many other topics can lead to controversial discussions - Keane offers her perspective on what to do and what not to do when addressing controversy in the classroom.

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