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Brookwood's First-Ever Teacher Exchange

The Teacher Exchange continues in April with the arrival of FAWE Headmistress Jolly Mukase at Brookwood.  Ms. Mukase will be part of Brookwood's community for two weeks -- teaching and learning in classrooms throughout the school and meeting families.

"The 2012 Brookwood/FAWE Teacher Exchange is a reciprocal partnership that aims to promote the sharing of cultural knowledge of the United States and Rwanda and to promote cultural competence and sensitivity in our respective school communities," comments Director of the Dodge Writing Center Martha Fox who is facilitating the 2012 FAWE Brookwood Teacher Exchange along with FAWE Headmistress Jolly Mukase.  Brookwood Science Coordinator Rich Lehrer is project consultant.  

Through the exchange process, from the planning through the two-week teacher visits, the schools will establish pathways of communication, collaborate on curriculum, and connect students to one another in experiential problem-solving for authentic common purposes. 

Both Brookwood and FAWE Gisozi stand to gain from a teacher exchange and the curricular links that will precede and follow it. In addition to promoting significant academic and cross-cultural communication skills for teachers and their students, a teacher exchange between Brookwood and FAWE Gisozi will be a model that can be replicated in other schools and other countries. It promises to be a program through which both schools can distinguish themselves as centers of academic excellence and promoters of global connectedness.

Why Brookwood and FAWE Girls School?
FAWE Girls School Gisozi is a "center of excellence" in Rwanda . The curriculum focuses on science, math, and technology (SMT) for girls in grades 7-12 who score in the top tier on national O and A level exams.  The SMT model aims to" increase and sustain access, interest, participation and performance of girls in SMT subjects at all levels." It involves not only teachers but education planners, curriculum developers, publishers and women leaders, and sensitizes parents and stakeholders on the importance of girls’ participation in SMT. "  A teacher exchange with FAWE Gisozi offers Brookwood an opportunity to learn more about global perspectives in teaching science, math, and technology in general, and engaging girls, in particular, in those studies.

For its part, Brookwood can offer visiting Rwandan teachers a view of student-centered, experiential education at work, particularly in science and math, and a vision of possibilities for professional development, integrated technology, and leading-edge resources.   Together, both schools can explore possibilities of using real-world approaches to solve real-world problems -- the contemporary direction for science teaching and learning.

Fox adds, "Education for global citizenship is taking many forms in our community. Other nascent local, national, and global alliances are energizing teachers and students as they break down the walls of the classroom. As diverse as they are, our various initiatives have cohesion through a set of guidelines we have drafted to apply to all potential partnerships. These criteria include adherence to the notions of reciprocity, sustainability, and rigor. While we are excited about sharing learning experiences across the globe, we are mindful of maintaining the carefully considered, cohesive curricular goals and benchmarks that have always been at the core of our academic program right here at home."

Brookwood's new Strategic Plan recognizes and supports these partnerships and highlights the importance of cultural competence and cross-cultural communication skills. Collaborations of all kinds offer our students opportunities to explore new technologies in a connected world as they develop skills necessary for global perspective, cultural competence, and cross-cultural communication.