VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University is consistently recognized for producing a high number of student Fulbright award winners. Turns out, Villanova alumni are strong Fulbright candidates, too.
Barbara Sliker Weikert, EdD, '03 MA believes it is part of her mission as an educator to learn and share best practices, particularly pertaining to global education, in order to unite people across the world. This Norristown Area School District music teacher will take a big step in advancing that mission as she participates in the Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program this year.
Dr. Weikert teaches at the Eisenhower Science and Technology Leadership Academy and was one of only 76 US teachers, and one of only two music teachers, chosen for the Fulbright grant. She will be part of a nine-person US contingent to travel to Senegal to collaborate with other teachers and enhance global education opportunities for students.
Says Dr. Weikert, "During this experience, I am looking to learn about the Senegalese educational system in two areas: first, from a broad perspective, I am seeking to learn the role of family in education; second, I hope to learn how communities, regardless of location, provide robust educational opportunities with limited resources. What are the similarities and challenges in developed countries as compared to developing countries?"
Dr. Weikert is committed to developing global citizens, and she views the Fulbright grant as a meaningful step in her life journey. She is currently working with the Pennsylvania Council for International Education to strengthen global competence components in the K-12 curriculum. She is also working with the Norristown Area School District to integrate the four components of global education as described by the Asia Society (Investigate the World, Recognize Perspectives, Communicate Ideas, and Take Action) as well as the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations.
"As an educator, I believe that I am called to facilitate learning, creativity and curiosity to develop competent, ethical citizens who understand the benefits of collaboration for a sustainable and peaceful world," Dr. Weikert says. "Educators have broad experience in interacting with large numbers of individuals daily, forming individual connections to inspire and change the world. In order to be an advocate for change, it is essential that one possesses the ability to listen to the stories of others. Each individual has a voice and a story to tell."
Recipients of Fulbright grants are chosen on the basis of academic and professional accomplishments, as well as leadership potential. The program is sponsored by Fulbright, the International Research and Exchange Board and the Bureau of Educational Affairs for the US Department of State.