Alpine Educator to Tour Chinese Schools


Gaye Beck Named the NEA Foundation Pearson Global Learning Fellow

- View blog post from China with comments from Gaye Beck (June 25, 2012)

WASHINGTON, DC The NEA Foundation announced that it has selected Gaye Beck, a Kindergarten teacher at Highland Elementary in Alpine School District, as a 2012 NEA Foundation Pearson Foundation Global Learning Fellow, one of a unique class of 32 award-winning public school educators who are building their global competency skills. Global competence is defined as the capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance.

In August 2011, Beck received the California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence, one of the nation’s most prestigious awards for public educators.

The fellowship is an expansion of the NEA Foundation’s annual Awards for Teaching Excellence (ATE) program and a continuation of its mission to advance student achievement by investing in public education that will prepare all students to learn and thrive in a rapidly changing world. It is designed to broaden how the Fellows, all ATE recipients, navigate the global age to better prepare their students for success in an increasingly interconnected world. It includes:

  • Pre-tour global learning orientation and country-specific travel preparation;
  • Group study-tour abroad focused on comparative education systems, collaborative thinking, and development for globally-minded professional outcomes;
  • Online course designed to integrate global learning into classrooms, schools, and local communities (e.g. lesson plans, presentations, etc.); and
  • Post-tour creation of curriculum integrated with global competency skills.

The tour of China, from June 19-28, includes visits to schools in Beijing and Shanghai to provide educators with structured opportunities to observe high quality instruction and to interact with Chinese teachers and administrators. It also includes interactions with representatives from multi-national corporations, Intel and Fastenal, to increase Fellows’ understanding of the workplace skills their students need to succeed in a global economy.

In preparation, the Fellows have completed an online course that has provided them with a framework to contextualize their experiences in China by examining the impact of China’s historical and cultural legacies on contemporary Chinese society and educational system.

“In order for students to be prepared for the global age, their educators must be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and disposition to teach in the global age,” said Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation. Our program has an intentional focus on strengthening each educator’s global competencies: investigating the world beyond one’s immediate environment; recognizing multiple perspectives; communicating ideas effectively with diverse audiences; taking action to improve conditions.”

In partnership with the Pearson Foundation, the NEA Foundation will share the Fellows’ experiences and observations through blog posts and photos as they travel. The NEA Foundation will also select and share curriculum and other teaching tools that they create after the tour.

Names and photos of the 2012 NEA Foundation Pearson Foundation Global Learning Fellows are posted on the NEA Foundation’s website. The tour is sponsored by the Pearson Foundation and the NEA Foundation and is designed by Education First. The 2013 ATE awardees will be invited to participate on a similar trip next year in another country.


About the NEA Foundation

The NEA Foundation is a public charity supported by contributions from educators' dues, corporate sponsors, and others who support public education initiatives. We partner with education unions, districts, and communities to create powerful, sustainable improvements in teaching and learning. Visit for more information.

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