author, Lisa Brown, in a libraryby Lisa T Brown, PhD, Adjunct Instructor Continuing Education, Teacher Certification

Austin Community College Continuing Education has a growing program that certifies teachers for Texas public, private, and charter schools ACC Teacher Certification Program. Admission to the program requires a bachelor’s degree. ACC’s program prepares candidates in a variety of content areas for PreK to 12th grade.

Global connections are required in instruction for K-12 students in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards, and the Texas College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS). Twenty-first century learning standards also stress the importance of guiding students to make global connections in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. Building global perspectives prepares students for post-secondary learning, careers, and community engagement (Tichnor-Wagner, 2016). To meet these standards and goals, teacher candidates must create opportunities for their students to make global connections in their lesson planning and instruction. We found this to be an area that needed additional attention in our program.

Through working with the Global Educational Faculty Learning Community during the 2021-2022 academic year, our program created an instructional module and follow-up activities designed to create global connections in multiple subject areas as well as develop cross-curricular connections. Candidates were provided with examples, multiple resources, methods, and instructional experiences for making global connections and developing global citizenship in their students. Training included instructional planning to:

  • Connect global perspectives to subject-area and cross-curricular topics identified in the standards
  • Identify real-world connections that bring a global perspective
  • Identify global connections in art, literature, science, math, social studies, and educational technology
  • Create meaningful learning experiences that develop global citizenship

Teacher candidates in our program develop a 5-lesson unit plan during their coursework. Using the information and resources provided during the global perspectives module, our candidates created globally focused unit plans and added components reflecting global perspectives to lesson plans in their units. Some created full unit plans that focused on global issues. Examples of globally focused unit plans created by our candidates are:

  • Earthquake impacts of various countries and cultures
  • The impact of climate change on specific groups and cultures
  • Human impacts on the environment
  • Cultural celebrations near and far
  • Ethical and social issues connected to various energy sources
  • Soil pollution causes, societal impact, and solutions

In addition to these full unit plans, teacher candidates added components to their unit plans that developed global perspectives and global citizenship including:

  • Folktales and cultural literature
  • Personal narratives, Sandra Cisneros, “My Name”
  • Homes from around the world
  • Traditions and celebrations from around the world
  • Comparison of governing documents from other countries
  • Good citizenship in country and world
  • Social media, global unrest, government control
  • Currency from different countries and cultures
  • How rocks have been used to leave evidence of past cultures
  • Weather in different countries
  • Scientists from different countries and cultures
  • Irrigation of crops in various countries and cultures

Our teacher candidates are responsive and active in including and searching for opportunities to create global perspectives in their lesson and unit plans. They have developed an understanding of and enthusiasm for developing global citizenship and global awareness in their students. Involvement in the Global Education Faculty Learning Community at ACC will bring continued benefit to our candidates and the students of Texas they serve.


College and Career Readiness Standards

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills

Tichnor-Wagner, A. (2016). A global perspective: Bringing the world into classrooms. Education Week 8, pp. 1-4.