Teach About U.S.: Educational Outreach Project 2018-2020

Project: Practical Project

Project participants


The aim of the project Teach About US is to educate German students about sociocultural diversity and the local, state, and federal political framework of the U.S. through two school projects: Going Green – Education for Sustainability and the U.S. Embassy School Election Project. For this purpose, existing innovative and technology-enhanced curricula accessible via the e-learning platform TeachAboutUS.org will be updated and maintained; teachers will be trained in teaching methodology and project contents (education sustainable development, cultural studies, English language education, U.S. elections) in a nation-wide series of face-to-face professional development seminars, as well as innovative web-based formats (web-casts). In addition, the project team will maintain a newsletter for educators, a Facebook page, and a student-run blog. Evaluation surveys will be conducted among project participants to document change in knowledge base and perception of/attitudes towards the U.S. These steps will allow us to keep the existing TeachAboutUS network of teachers and students engaged, which includes over 4,000 active registrations on the e-learning platform, over 400 followers on Facebook, 300 teachers on the mailing list, as well as dozens of German-American school partnerships.

-Update and maintain the existing Moodle-based project curriculum for the Going Green project and the associated project week “Power to the People”; maintain and expand the existing network of educators engaged in the Going Green project through teacher training seminars and communication through newsletters, the project website, and social media; engage learners in Germany and their U.S.-based partners in intercultural and transdisciplinary project work, administer a student competition and showcase outstanding student projects for implementing sustainable development and civic engagement in their communities; finally, transition this network to the upcoming U.S. Embassy School Election Project in 2020.
-Design a new project curriculum on the 2020 presidential election and implement it on the project platform; recruit and train participant teachers to use the project materials in their classrooms and enroll their students in the school project; accompany project activities with a student-run blog, expert interviews, German-American classroom partnerships (with the help of the Transatlantic Outreach Program).
-Apart from two fully customizable, interactive, and transdisciplinary curricula openly accessible through the Teach About US platform (see above), informational materials (flyers, presentations, newsletters, social media posts, blog) will be disseminated during the project period.
-Regular evaluation surveys from previous project cycles, small-scale research projects, a completed and one ongoing dissertation in the field of pedagogy have empirically documented that both school projects are highly effective in increasing participants’ knowledge base of U.S. culture and the countries socio-political framework, positively affecting participants’ attitudes towards and perception of the U.S., promoting German-American exchange through direct interaction between transatlantic partners, facilitating educational innovation and providing for experiential learning opportunities regarding the use of learning technology and social media in the classroom. Pre-/post-type evaluation surveys will be conducted among project participants in both school projects to document learning outcomes and evaluate design of teaching and learning materials.



Research outputs