Star Community Newspapers
May 22, 2009
By Jim Kilpatrick
Rebecca Duty, 27, teacher at Coppell Middle School-West, has received a grant from World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth and is now a World Affairs Fellow and will spend the summer in Turkey on a study tour.
She will be in Turkey 11 or 12 days.
Duty was at Region 10 in Richardson when she learned she had been selected to make the tour.
She said, when her name was announced she just clapping and didn't realize it was her, who had been chosen.
“I was overwhelmed when I learned I had been chosen,” Duty said. “I couldn’t believe it.”
Duty is an eighth-grade girls coach and teaches seventh-grade Texas history. She graduated from the University of North Texas.
Duty will represent the council, the city of Coppell, the Coppell ISD and Texas in Turkey.
“I think the trip to Turkey is going to be amazing,” Duty said. This will be her first trip overseas.
Her selection was based on her application, recommendation and narrative, according to Jennifer Bowden, director of education at the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth.
The study-tour itinerary is a comprehensive event, both culturally and academically. Duty will be touring schools and meeting with officials of the Ministry of Education while in Turkey.
Duty’s project in Turkey will compare the cotton growing industry in Turkey with Texas’s industry and how it affects the world market.
When she returns from the summer expedition, she, along with all of the other fellows will present a follow-up workshop sometime in October. She will also focus on how the children in Turkey express themselves and compare that to how her students express themselves.
She will be blogging with her students in Texas while touring Turkey so her students will get the opportunity to be with heronline.
“She will be able to bring back adventures and experiences to share with the kids,” said Vern Edin, principal at CMS-West.
This is Duty’s fifth year of teaching and her second year in Coppell ISD.
“The World Affairs Council is excited about these opportunities that we have been able to provide to our teachers,” Bowden said. “We are looking forward to working with her.”
The grant comes in three parts:
*1.Turkey in Transition began with a full day workshop April 25 at the Region 10 Education Service Center and included geography, history, economics, foreign policy, culture, society, religion, and classroom resources. The workshop concluded with lesson plan development for classroom use written by the workshop participants.
*2. A study tour of Turkey with four North Texas educators visiting and studying in Turkey from July 13-July 23 at a cost of $600 per teacher plus domestic airfare. All tour expenses are paid by the Turkish Cultural Foundation.
*3. Finally a presentation called Portrait of Turkey, a mini-series for students and teachers from September 2009 to May 2010.
Bowden said that understanding international issues is essential for competing in a global economy and the challenge for today’s educators is preparing students for our increasingly interdependent world.
“In Dallas/Fort Worth and across America, students consistently display a shocking lack of basic knowledge about the world outside our own country,” Bowden said. “According to a National Geographic survey, more than half of young American adults cannot locate major countries like France, the United Kingdom, or Japan on a world map.”
The vast majority do not know where critical areas such as Iraq, Israel or Afghanistan are located, she added.
The Council received a grant from the Turkish Cultural Foundation to increase teacher’s knowledge about Turkey.