Three dozen elementary, middle and high school teachers from central New York descended on Cornell’s Ithaca campus on June 28 for this year’s International Summer Studies Institute (ISSI), hosted by the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies. With experts from Cornell, Syracuse University and TST-BOCES, the one-day workshop was held in person for the first time since 2019.
The Summer Institute gives teachers the opportunity to explore their curiosity for international topics, build professional relationships, and discover strategies for bringing the world into their classrooms. This year’s event featured the Einaudi Center’s Identities, Inequalities and Justice research priority, with topics spanning the globe.
“The topics were so sharp, and with such a fantastic non-Western approach, they could be ripped from the headlines of any international newspaper,” said Alanna Kramerson, a history teacher at Skaneateles High School.
Working alongside teachers from other districts, teachers discovered historical and contemporary examples of systemic and overlapping inequalities from Latin America, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa and East Asia through presentations at the AD White House and a hands-on workshop at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art.
The first speaker, Fábio Zuker, visiting predoctoral researcher in the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program, shared his work on how deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, discrimination, mining, the rights of Indigenous and adverse health effects were linked during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Director of the African Development Institute and Professor of African Studies, N’Dri Thérèse Assié-Lumumba, followed with a discussion on gender-related barriers to education and social transformation in Africa. .
Speakers also included Mona Bhan, Ford-Maxwell Professor of South Asian Studies at Syracuse University, and Andrew Harding, Postdoctoral Fellow in Global Racial Justice at the Einaudi Center and Visiting Lecturer in Japanese Studies.
Teachers traveled to the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, where they reviewed art reflecting the workshop theme and discussed strategies for using the museum’s collections to enrich K-12 curricula. year and broaden students’ perspectives. The curators helped teachers explore ways of seeing identities and inequalities represented in various photographs and other images.
The ISSI is sponsored by the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies and its South Asia Program, Southeast Asia Program, Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program, Institute for African Development, East Asia Program and Institute of European Studies, in partnership with the South Asia Center at Syracuse University, TST-BOCES and the US Department of Education Title VI Program.