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International Institute Pioneers National Outreach Website

International Institute Pioneers National Outreach Website

UCLA and Tulane University collaborate on interactive K-12 curriculum site for Department of Education National Resource Centers.

By Leslie Evans

K-12 outreach for international studies in the United States received a boost this fall with the creation of Outreach World, a national interactive website designed to showcase instructional units with an international focus, a national calendar of teacher workshops and training seminars, and news stories about successful K-12 outreach efforts in various parts of the country.

The site, which went live early in October, already has more than 40 instructional modules and materials for conducting in-services in various aspects of teaching international issues in elementary, middle, and high schools. There is also contact information for 162 international studies centers located across the United States, most of which are Department of Education Title VI National Resource Centers. The project is headed by Jonathan Friedlander, outreach director of the UCLA International Institute, and is co-directed by Valerie McGinley Marshall of Tulane University's Stone Center for Latin American Studies.

Outreach World was funded by a grant from the International Education Programs Service of the U.S. Department of Education. The site was developed and implemented by a team of programmers and writers at the UCLA International Institute headed by Scott Gruber.

"We are developing a site that is cutting-edge, dynamic and interactive," says Jonathan Friedlander. "In addition to serving K-12 educators, Outreach World will give resource centers across the country a quick way to see what their colleagues in other area studies programs are producing. We hope this perspective will highlight strengths and identify gaps in resources and lead to further collaboration."

Valerie McGinley Marshall says that "Teachers are increasingly being asked to frame their instruction in international and global contexts, with state standards calling for interdisciplinarity, comparative perspectives, and the use of primary sources in classrooms. As the needs of these educators grow, so does the mission of university resources centers."

Some of the curriculum units already posted include a history of Cairo, colonial Mexican society, the history of Turkey, 20 separate units on various aspects of Africa, "Israel: Diversity and Identity," the preservation of Greek and Roman texts through Arabic in the Middle Ages, and a Power Point slide show on the Carnival in Veracruz.

The current postings can all be downloaded for use in the classroom. They have been solicited from teachers and staff affiliated with the national resource centers, but the goal of Outreach World is to create a community of regular contributors who will be able to upload teaching materials and news stories on their own. Center affiliated staff and teachers interested in contributing to Outreach World should contact Diane James, editor for the website, at

Some of the stories posted to Outreach World include:

  • Chinese Brush Painting at Lansing Middle School
  • Middle East Outreach Council Goes to Alaska
  • Apply Online Today for Teacher Training Seminar in Egypt
  • Teachers' Workshop at Kansas City Japan Festival
  • UNC-Chapel Hill Receives DOE Grant to Evaluate K-12 Classroom Presentations
  • Outreach World Showcased at Tulane in New Orleans
  • Global Connections Website Features Middle East
  • Middle East Outreach Council Book Award
  • Summer Seminar for High School Teachers on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The development and implementation of Outreach World at the UCLA International Institute is carried out by:

  • Scott Gruber interface design and site producer
  • Jose Nava, programming
  • Rahul Bhushan, web design and graphics
  • Diane James, editing and support
  • Steve Williams, Clayton Dube, Angela Sims, editing and curriculum consultants
  • Kaya Mentesoglu and Ben Stein, web hosting and server administration

UCLA International Institute