You are on page 1of 7

Author Biography: Melda N.

Yildiz is an associate professor in the School for Global Education and Innovation at Kean University and adjunct faculty in Master of Education in Technology in Education at Lesley University. 2009-2010, Melda served as the first Fulbright Scholar in Turkmenistan. Melda worked as a Media Specialist at Northfield Mount Hermon School, taught video and media production to grades 9-12, and published and presented featuring Educational Media, Global Education, Media Literacy, Education Semiotics, and Multicultural Education in many national and international conferences. She received her Ed.D. from University of Massachusetts on Math & Science and Instructional Technology. Activity Summary
This paper is for educators who would like to integrate health education, 21st Century teaching skills (http://www.p21.org/) and new media technologies into their curriculum. It outlines innovative and interdisciplinary projects using social interaction media; offers creative strategies for producing media with elementary students and developing Web 2.0 projects integrating 21st century skills. The goal of this interdisciplinary unit is to develop a research based global nutrition curriculum that promotes healthy eating habits among elementary school children in elementary schools especially 3rd through 5th grade. By collaborating with health educators, in-service and pre-service teachers in this project, we developed and implemented a Global Kitchen Project to infuse 21st Century skills and knowledge in the excitement of new discovery through research, improve the childrens eating habits and contribute innovative interdisciplinary projects for classroom use. Class or subject area: 5th grade- Interdisciplinary Unit Grade level(s): Elementary School- 5th grade Specific learning objectives: Acquired the knowledge and skills about healthy eating choices as well as related technology skills and global competencies Participated in project based activities and developed interdisciplinary UDL lessons integrating Common Core and local state Standards on nutrition, technology, global education and 2st century skills. Enhanced their knowledge on healthy eating choices, technology skills and global competencies due to the interdisciplinary UDL model lesson design.

Anniversary Book Project

5th

By: Melda Yildiz

Developing 21st Century Skills and Global Competency in Teacher Education

Global Kitchen Project

Creative Commons License: CC BY-NC-ND Author contact: mnyildiz@gmail.com

Introduction This paper is for educators who would like to integrate health education, 21st Century teaching skills (http://www.p21.org/) and new media technologies into their curriculum. It outlines innovative and interdisciplinary projects using social interaction media; offers creative strategies for producing media with elementary students and developing Web 2.0 projects integrating 21st century skills. The goal of this interdisciplinary unit is to develop a research based global nutrition curriculum that promotes healthy eating habits among elementary school children in elementary schools especially 3rd through 5th grade. By collaborating with health educators, in-service and pre-service teachers in this project, we developed and implemented a Global Kitchen Project to infuse 21st Century skills and knowledge in the excitement of new discovery through research, improve the childrens eating habits and contribute innovative interdisciplinary projects for classroom use. Situated within the context of teaching and learning, this research project aims to advance scientific knowledge of how an interdisciplinary based curriculum revolving around nutrition as a means to promote healthy eating behaviors in young children can provide an experiential global education for both the teachers and students and engage them in curricular activities to enhance their critical thinking skills and global competencies needed to succeed in the 21st century. Background In this study, we address a public health issue among young children in the nation by offering the global tools (e.g., media literacy, multiple perspective) for teachers to better educate these children about the importance of practicing healthy eating behaviors. Childhood obesity has become an epidemic in the United States. Obesity is defined, according to the 2000 Center for Disease Control growth reference for the United States, as the body mass index (BMI), or a persons weight divided by height (Ogden et al., 2002). An obese person falls at or above the 95th percentile of BMI-for-age (Kuczmarski & Flegal, 2000). The national statistics of children who are obese are alarming. According to Stop Childhood Obesity (http://www.stop-childhood-obesity. com/childhood-obesity-statistics.html), over the past three decades, the childhood obesity rate has skyrocketed: more than doubled for preschool children aged 2-5 years and adolescents aged 1219 years, and it has more than tripled for children aged 6-11 years. Of all the age groups, the most prevalent are children ages 6-11, with the percentage of them being obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 20% in 2008 (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.). The consequences of obesity are serious, including persistent overweight into adulthood with adult health complications, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke (Guo & Chumelea, 1999; Freedman et al., 2005; Freedman, Khan, Dietz, Sirnivasan, & Berenson, 2001; Freedman, Wang, Thornton, et al., 2009). Furthermore, obesity has been reported to account for over 300, 000 deaths annually in the United States. While obesity is a health issue for individuals, it is also a problem to society. Stop Childhood Obesity noted that obesity costs society annually an estimated nearly $100 billion. As a childs health is related to his or her school performance, healthy eating may contribute to his or her academic success (CDC, 2010, Hoyland, Dye, Lawton, 2009; Rampersaud, Pereira, Girard, Adams, Metzl, 2005; Taras, 2005). For school-age children, schools become an important place where children acquire knowledge about healthy eating behaviors so that they can practice them in their lives. Schools can create environments that promote and support childrens efforts to eat healthy by implementing pertinent policies and practices (Center for Disease Control and Prevention,

n.d.). With the world becoming increasingly accessible to people (Freidman, 2005), and greater diversity in U.S. public schools due to immigration, many of our teacher candidates are likely to work abroad or in school districts that serve children from diverse backgrounds including English language learners that requires them to understand how to apply an interdisciplinary global curriculum for children to acquire knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the 21st century. Project This project was staffed by 1) two undergraduate research assistants who were in-service teachers, 2) Faculty in Our research teGlobal Education, and Early ly-Childhood Education, and Health Education, 3) District Health Educator, and 4) 5th grade classroom teacher Our team and the undergraduate students had an opportunity to develop interdisciplinary curriculum in nutrition and investigated the curriculum among 10-11 years old students 5th grade in collaboration with district and school personnel. Our curriculum work enabled us to integrate new technologies to deliver the curriculum and to work collaboratively with students and educators across the nation and globally as well. This work was consistent with the vision and mission of our University and the elementary school with respect to creative teaching, use of innovative technology, and service in regional, nation and international arenas. Our teacher candidates need to be equipped with up to date, culturally responsive teaching tools and education skills by providing opportunities to teach, research and serve the community that promote childrens learning and development. This project has shown that interdisciplinary approaches to teaching global nutrition education contribute to significant outcomes in improving childrens response to health, global education and technology, the results may provide policy implications for educational initiatives and teacher professional development focused on global education. This community based collaborative interdisciplinary projects addressed health, technology, 21st century life and careers standards as well as Common Core (http://www.corestandards.org/) and International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE/ NETS- http://www.iste.org/standards.aspx) standards. This project was funded by the mini-grant that focused on promoting undergraduate study. Our teacher candidates who tool technology courses collaborated in designing the unit. For the project: We used various mobile technologies such as Ipod touch, Ipads, laptops. 1) Laptops for instruction and creating interactive surveys and online quizzes using quizlet.com, 2) flip cameras for creating digital stories, 3) data projectors for displaying lessons, 4) Ipod touch and Ipads for Podcasting of the students projects and culminating event. Teacher candidates interviewed K12 students who attended the activities, asked them questions, and recorded their answers and help creating the podcast. The focus of this project included identifying the kinds of interactive innovative interdisciplinary practices and curriculum that promote global education, 21st century skills and nutrition education among elementary school children; and conducting instruction to children ages 10-11 in grades 5th in elementary school while providing research skills for our undergraduate students. First, we contacted the health department in the school district establishing a professional partnership with the

elementary school. We especially picked an elementary school children on health education because of the diet quality of children decreases at they get into adolescences years (Child Stats, 2011): Poor eating patterns in childhood are major contributors to childhood obesity and contribute to chronic diseases starting in childhood, such as type 2 diabetes. Thus, teaching nutrition literacy is important because it focuses on children in their early ages by documenting their experiences and interactions during the interdisciplinary Global Nutrition activities, and intends to capture the role of 21st century skills in education, but also examines the health aspects of children in global education context by collaborating with children around the world using social networking tools (e.g. Skype, voicethread, toondoo) and how the quality of such interdisciplinary interactions promote elementary childrens education. We selected children in the 5th grades because statistics indicate that more children in this age group are obese (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.). This interdisciplinary Global Kitchen Project transformed the way we integrate global competencies in the 21st century while conducting research on project based learning activities focusing on nutrition. The Universal Design for Learning UDL (http://www.cast.org/udl/) modules we designed and implemented in our study will be a replicable model for other schools. The project will not only provide a creative platform and educational resources for our teacher candidates, but also innovative ways of teaching and learning in the schools using new technologies. The UDL modules were designed using re-constructivist theory (Freire, 2002) focusing on global competencies and critical autonomy (Masterman, 1985/2001) and activism among elementary students who researched and coconstructed meaningful nutrition projects that were in the form of podcasts and digital stories among other products. Global Kitchen Project framework needs to inform the way we implement professional development for global education and health education fields that encourage high-quality interdisciplinary global projects to promote childrens global competencies and critical autonomy especially those who have limited access and resources to health education, so that they can be healthier and better positioned to succeed in formal schooling and later in life. During our needs assessment, we come across minimal nutrition education let alone global education in the classroom. There were teachers in K-5 still using the old food pyramid chart while the new literature focuses on choose my plate model (http://www.choosemyplate.gov/) . We also identified 5th grades we worked with had limited knowledge of global food choices. Some of them never tasted most of the fruits and vegetables or could not even differentiate protein versus vitamin. Our research is significant because it brings different disciplines together to look at the nutrition education from a larger context: cross-cultural; historical; curricular; and 21st century skills. Our topic on Global Nutrition for 2012 Competition enables us to address many program areas across the University including global education, health education, and special education while improving teacher quality, integrating proficiencies in math, science and world languages, and integrating 21st century tools and technologies. Project Based Global Nutrition Project Our workshop modules titled: Global Kitchen Project. We conducted four workshops under this title and one showcase/celebration day as a culminating activity. Some of the project based learning activities we outlined for the workshops include:

What is in my lunch box? Calculation of the nutritional value of foods in student lunch boxes and communication with children around the world about what they eat for breakfast and lunch using Voicethread software for collaboration. Media Literacy: Deconstruction of TV ads, magazine ads and food commercials, Deconstruction of Nutrition Facts on Food boxes and containers. Students analyzed food commercials and designed a lunch matt on Kidpix software listing the Nutrition Facts that learned. Each student matt was printed and laminated to take home. Ecological Cooking Projects: Students engaged in Waste Free Lunch project learning to pack their lunch with healthy choices. They explored green eating choices and solar cooking. Myth and Misconception in Nutrition- Digital Storytelling Multilingual Multimedia Project. Each group 3 to 4 students picked and research a health topic, used library to develop information literacy skills, created a presentation using glogster and podcasted their project to their school site to share with friends and family.

Our lessons activities and projects were designed by the team using UDL model to fit the needs of all children (e.g. special education, ELL). Ultimately, we seeked to improve students eating habits as well as encourage a global view on alternative food choices and prepare them to be global citizens. As they participate in future international activities and travel abroad projects, they continue to be aware of global food choices while exploring locavores (PBS, 2007). By the end of the June 2012, the participating students and teachers will be able to participate in the project based global nutrition workshop modules and receive their global nutrition expert badges (Ed.Gov, 2011) based on completing the global nutrition modules. So far, the badges were given to the students based on the activities they participated. They identified the key health issues and information that relates to the children. We are encouraging the students this month to create a multilingual postcast/ multimedia presentation for their parents at the end of the school year and share their knowledge on nutrition integrating global education and 21st century skills while collaborating with their peers in other countries. Rubrics for the multimedia projects were developed by the research team using Rubistar in order to assess childrens weekly projects and reaction journals (verbal or written) to workshops. The participants completed pre- and past assessment instruments that indicate significant increase in their health education, global competencies and 21st century skills. Finally, they will demonstrate the outcome of their project based media projects/ posters to their peers, teachers and parents during the celebration day. Our projects, resources, curriculum materials will shared on our weebly page- http://myildiz.weebly.com/projects.html With the support of the school administrators, teachers can provide opportunities for children to learn about, understand, and practice these healthy eating behaviors in the classroom so that prevention and intervention efforts can be successful. By offering workshops to teachers in elementary grades (sas obesity in children in these grades is prevalent), this project aims to help them acquire the knowledge and skills needed to properly educate children about healthy eating behaviors and engage them in activities to demonstrate these behaviors. The workshop included the Obesity Epidemic video from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and literature about obesity and prevention efforts as well as other global means (e.g., media literacy skills, multiple perspective). We collaborated with the elementary school teacher, health teacher/ nurse to attend a needs assessment meeting to explore the current Standards and the integration of the Common Core

Standards focusing on Global Education and Nutrition in the elementary education curriculum. From February to March 2012, the research team (which includes faculty and teacher candidates) collected data on contextual and instructional factors by observing classroom practices. The data collected guided the development of professional development workshops for classroom teachers in March and April 2012 and the Global Nutrition Workshops for the elementary school students. Based on the needs assessment and collected data, we designed a pre- and post survey for the 5th graders to collect data on background information of the participants, technology skills, and eating habits. The survey were based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (http://www.cdc.gov/ nchs/nhanes.htm). This survey ascertained the level of knowledge gained from the global nutrition education. In order to be able to effectively educate all the elementary school children, the research team (along with our reserarch assistants) co-created an interdisciplinary global education curriculum using the Universal Design for Learning (http://www.cast.org/udl/) model for meeting the learning needs of reaching all students including children with special needs and English language learners. We conducted four workshops for the students to provide them with the skills and knowledge to help improve their healthy eating habits. We conducted observations of their implementation of these knowledge and skills in the classroom. To the goal of this project is to develop a research based curriculum that promotes healthy eating habits among elementary students. Here are the guiding questions in the project: 1. How does project based interdisciplinary workshops improve elementary teachers knowledge and skills to engage children in global learning activities that promote healthy eating behaviors? 2. What are the classroom teachers personal experiences, discoveries, and challenges in integrating global competencies and 21st century skills into the project based global nutrition curriculum? 3. How have the eating behaviors improved in the children receiving the nutrition curriculum in the participating classrooms? Documentation of classroom observations before and during the workshop and elementary students pre and post questionnaires were examined, categorized, and analyzed for factors that promote global education, health education, and educational technology. Content analysis (Krippendorff, 2004) was conducted to identify the best combination of curriculum and the use of 21st Century tools that promote the awareness of nutrition in childrens development and learning. This project confirms that interdisciplinary project-based learning in global context contribute to successful outcomes, the results provide significant policy implications for educational initiatives that support the global education and 21st century skills among young children and innovative framework for teacher professional development. We build on the findings of this pilot work to apply for external funding to support a large-scale project of the interactions and conversations among a larger and more diverse sample of children in elementary classrooms around the country while collaborating with other elementary students in other states and countries.

References CAST. (2011). Universal Design for Learning. Retrieved from http://www.cast.org/udl/ Center for Disease Control (2010). The association between school-based physical activity, including physical education, and academic performance. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Ed.Gov. (2011). Digital Badges for Learning. Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/digital-badges-learning Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. (2011). Americas Children: Key National Indicators of WellBeing. Diet Quality. Retrieved from Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/344/locavore.html Child Statistics. Retrieved from: http://www.childstats.gov/americaschildren/health6.asp Freedman D, Wang J, Thornton J. C, et al. (2009). Classification of body fatness by body mass index-for-age categories among children. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 163, 801 811. Freedman D. S, Khan L. K., Dietz W. H., Srinivasan S. A., & Berenson G. S. (2001). Relationship of childhood obesity to coronary heart disease risk factors in adulthood: the Bogalusa Heart Study. Pediatrics, 108, 712718. Freedman D.S., Kettel L, Serdula M. K., Dietz W. H., Srinivasan S. R., & Berenson G. S. (2005). The relation of childhood BMI to adult adiposity: the Bogalusa Heart Study. Pediatrics, 115, 2227. Freire, P. (2002). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum. Guo S. S. & Chumlea W. C. (1999). Tracking of body mass index in children in relation to overweight in adulthood. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 70, 145148. Hoyland A., Dye, L., & Lawton C. L. (2009). A systematic review of the effect of breakfast on the cognitive performance of children and adolescents. Nutrition Research Reviews, 22(2), 220243. Kuczmarski, R. J., & Flegal, K. M. (2000). Criteria for definition of overweight in transition: Background and recommendations for the United States. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 72 (5), 107481. Masterman, L. (1985/2001). Teaching the media. New York, NY: Routledge. Ogden, C. L., et al. (2002). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2000 Growth Charts for the United States: Improvements to the 1977 National Center for Health Statistics Version. Pediatrics 109(1), 4560. PBS. (Nov 2, 2007). 10 Steps to Becoming a Locavore. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/344/locavore.html Rampersaud G. C., Pereira, M.A., Girard, B. L., Adams, J., & Metzl, J. D. (2005). Breakfast habits, nutritional status, body weight, and academic performance in children and adolescents. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 105(5), 743760. Taras H. L. (2005). Nutrition and student performance at school. Journal of School Health, 75(6), 199213.