Education students return from international spring break trip

Spring break trip to CanterburyUndergraduate and graduate students in the education class “Education Travel Abroad” recently returned from a spring break trip to Canterbury, England, where they had the opportunity to collaborate with students at Canterbury Christ Church University and participate in the Primary Education International Student Conference, “Bringing the World into the Classroom.”

The group, which included Associate Professor and Chair of the Education Department Ellen O’Keefe, Ph.D., and Associate Professor of Education and Education Graduate Program Director Dawn Behan, Ph.D., traveled March 23 – April 1.

The students presented during the conference and toured Hampton Primary School in Herne Bay and St. Anselm’s School in Canterbury. They also had the unique opportunity to tour Christ Church’s Learning Centre, attend education classes, visit Dover Castle and the White Cliffs of Dover and tour Canterbury Cathedral. Students also visited cultural and historical places in London during their three day stay in that historic center.

“Students enjoy the benefits of traveling abroad, which increases their global perception not only of education, but of society and cultures,” says O’Keefe. “Meeting peers at another university in a similar program helps our students shape their perception of their own training and preparation, as well as begin to understand similarities and differences in teacher preparation in other countries.”

“This experience really opened my eyes to the subtle differences between education in the US and education in the UK,” says Jill Moorman, a senior education major from Coggan, Iowa. “The number one thing I will take away from this trip is the importance of being able to look at things from multiple perspectives. This skill of varied perspectives is one I hope to instill in my students because it is crucial for helping them gain the understanding that, as humans, we are all the same but different.”

“This trip provided our students with a global experience they are sure to remember for years to come. I feel very fortunate to have had such a rewarding experience and look forward to working with the Canterbury Christi Church University tutors when they arrive at Mount Mercy later this month,” says Behan.

Mount Mercy’s partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University continues to expand. This coming spring semester, Mount Mercy will welcome four education faculty and six students from Canterbury Christ Church University. The students will sit in on Mount Mercy classes and have the unique opportunity to observe at local schools in the Corridor. Visiting faculty will have the opportunity to collaborate with Mount Mercy education faculty, observe undergraduate and graduate courses, and visit local schools.

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