09International Student delegates from University of Missouri, Colombia visitedAmity University Noida Campus, Sector 125. The visit was organized by AmityInstitute of Education as part of “Aggrandizing International Relations-Developing Cross - Cultural Sensitivities”.
Duringthe visit, Dr Sarah Diem -Associate Professor, PK12 Leadership and Policyand Director of Graduate Studies from University of Missouri delivered alecture on “Global Policy Trends Shaping Education and Equitable Opportunity”. Shementioned that there are various issues that need to be addressed for formingconstructive global education policy including rising inequality,urbanization & gentrification, immigration, finance and technology &social media.
Shestressed that for better understanding of why inequality exists, factors likesocial, political and geographical of every school should be studied. Sheremarked that other policies like health care, taxation, transportation etcneed to be changed and reformed in align to education policy which willsubsequently aid in reducing inequality. She apprised that policies like‘School Choice’ programs contribute towards rise in inequality. School Choiceprograms have been part of the U.S education systems for decades and have shownto promote colorblind and market driven ideologies that put competition andderegulation at the forefront.
Sharingher views on urbanization and gentrification, Dr Diem said that major urbanareas have experienced dramatic population growth in recent years. While thisgrowth has resulted in increase in demand of resources and need to createopportunities in different avenues. She further added that when gentrificationoccurs- there is a demographic rebuilding of society which has direct impact onthe demographic rebuilding of schools. She pointed out that as per a research,school districts experiencing gentrification have shown increase in segregationand inequality.
Dr.Diem emphasized that unstable immigration policies have direct impact onstudents’ learning and performance. She averred that it has been noted thatthere has been upsurge in absenteeism due to fear of enforcement ofimmigration. Quoting UCLA, she said that teachers are also impacted byimmigration policy as they experience trauma for their inability to helpstudents.
Highlightingthe solutions to overcome these challenges, Dr. Diem shared that the key reformwould be citizen involvement and teaching civic literacy in schools.Additionally, inculcating new age skills in teachers and students includingglobal languages, advanced technologic knowledge and social & emotionalintelligence, will help in bridging the gap. She opined that cross culturalexperiences through student exchange programs/study abroad programs are alsoimportant for cultivating critical thinking and developing culturalsensitivities amongst young minds. She stressed that promoting and adoptingschool integration policies is the need of the hour as it will help studentswith academic, cognitive and social benefits
Addressingthe gathering, Prof. Alka Muddgal, Head Amity Institute of Educationsaid that such cross cultural exchanges help budding teachers to expand theirknowledge about new cultures and changing global pedagogies. She mentioned thatit is important for teachers to have greater comparative understanding ofinternational and local approaches towards teaching and learning. Dr. AlkaMuddgal further briefed about the history and achievements of Amity University.
Thelecture was attended by hundreds of pre-service teachers of Amity Institute ofEducation and Amity Institute of Behavioral and Allied Sciences.