Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Turkey Curriculum Grant Deadline Extended

If you didn't get your American Turkish Society Curriculum Development Grant application together in time, good news!  You've got until December 28 to submit your ideas for curricula on Turkey.  Grants awarded up to $2,500. 
Here's the information:

 The American Turkish Society's Education Program is pleased to announce the availability of Curriculum Development Grants for 2013. The program, which was initiated by The Society in the spring of 2010, offers funds to elementary and secondary school teachers in the U.S. to develop innovative curricula, projects and other classroom activities about Turkey.

Check the details on applying and submit by December 28.   You'll know the results in mid-January.  Let me know if you're a grantee!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Free Online Course on EU

So excited to be working with the EU Center of Excellence at UNC and LEARN NC and getting ready to teach my four-week online course for North Carolina teachers! The fun begins November 28.  Read more about it here and register now! 

The European Union: An Introduction for Teachers is designed to introduce teachers to the history and function of the EU, and to support them in choosing among the EU's very useful online resources for teaching and learning. 

I developed the course to help teachers connect their knowledge of Europe (which is usually very deep) with an understanding of the EU (which most teachers would like to deepen) through online resources, including video, and discussion with peers.  The goal is to improve and increase instruction about the EU in our classrooms, especially through use of digital resources.  What's your final project?  A standards-based, technology-rich lesson plan on the EU for your classroom. 

It's free, offers 2 CEUs upon completion, and begins November 28.  Registration is open now.  If you've not yet taken an online course, please realize that I've designed it to be very user friendly.  I've developed and taught online courses before.  I really enjoy it, and want students to enjoy it, too. 

Ready to register? Go to LEARN NC's enrollment page here.  You can also contact me at reginaUNDERSCOREhigginsATuncDOTedu 


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Re-Orienting the Veil Conference

“Re-Orienting the Veil”
Feb. 22-23, 2013
Fed Ex Global Education Center
Chapel Hill, NC
Free, registration required

Presented by the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations and the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies
“Re-Orienting the Veil” is a conference featuring an interdisciplinary, cultural, religious, historical and political discussion of the meaning of the Islamic headscarf.  It will include presentations on veiling by visiting scholars and faculty, photographs from the Esse Quam Videri project, and a hands-on session with a selection of veils from different cultures.  
NC scholarly communities,  students,  NC K-12 and community college educators, and the general public are all invited to attend free of charge.  Registration is required.  
*NC K-12 teachers are eligible to earn one CEU through attendance and completion of pre- and post-conference activities.* 
For more information and to register for the conference, contact Outreach Director Dr. Regina Higgins,

Monday, October 15, 2012

Nobel Prize in Economics

The 2012 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was divided equally between Alvin E. Roth and Lloyd S. Shapley "for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design".

Put in the kind of language most of us can understand, Roth and Shapley won the joint Nobel for their work on the role of game theory and math in predicting stable economies. It all comes from the Gale-Shapley algorithm and its theoretical and practical applications. (That's why I'm including "math" among the labels here. Math teachers, this Nobel's for you!)

And that's it for Nobel Week. Quite a global experience, with plenty of ideas and people to research!

Friday, October 12, 2012

EU Wins Nobel Peace Prize

The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the European Union (EU) "for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe".

The EU is an exciting and controversial selection for the Peace Prize. For a thoughtful explanation of the decision, go to the Nobel Prize site here.  (And think about using this text as a very up-to-date primary source to analyze.)

Explore the EU site, EUROPA, for background, history, latest news, and some very addictive games to expand your knowledge of the newest Laureate. Make the most of the moment and learn how to teach the EU, and use EUROPA in your classroom.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Nobel Laureate Mo Yan

Mo YanToday the Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to Mo Yan, a Chinese novelist, "who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary".  More information about his life and writing here

A note on the Laureate's name--it's a pseudonym.  His real name is Guan Moye. Mo Yan means (with nice irony) "don't speak."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Nobel Prize Week--So Far

Three days, six Laureates:

Monday: John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka jointly won the prize in Physiology or Medicine "for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent".  In other words, cell development isn't necessarily irreversible. Mature cells can return to a stem cell state and develop differently.  Explanation and some very promising medical uses here.

Tuesday: The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded jointly to Serge Haroche and David J. Wineland "for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems". That's to say they developed ways to work with individual particles without damaging them.  (And this one has the best chance for a mention on The Big Bang Theory.) More information here.

Wednesday: The 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded jointly to Robert J. Lefkowitz and Brian K. Kobilka "for studies of G-protein-coupled receptors".  A giant step in understanding how our cells can sense and react to our environment.  Read more about it here.

It's been a big week for shared Nobel Prizes.  But next up is the Literature Prize.  Whoever gets it will almost certainly have it all to him/herself.  We'll see who it is tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Teaching Turkey Curriculum Grant

I know, I know, it's Nobel Prize Week, which is a big deal. But curriculum grants take precedence even over news of Nobel Laureates. 

Here's a great opportunity to introduce Turkey into your classroom.  Curriculum grant up to $2,500. Deadline Nov. 30.  Apply!

From the American Turkish Society:

The American Turkish Society's Education Program is pleased to announce the availability of Curriculum Development Grants for 2013. The program, which was initiated by The Society in the spring of 2010, offers funds to elementary and secondary school teachers in the U.S. to develop innovative curricula, projects and other classroom activities about Turkey.
Call for Proposals Spring 2013 Curriculum Development Grants

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Lebanese in North Carolina UPDATE

If you're in the Chapel Hill area, hope you'll join us for the first in a series of films about the Middle East to be screened at the Varsity Theatre on Franklin Street.

Cedars in the Pines:

The Lebanese in North Carolina

A Film by Akram Khater and Danica Cullinan (2012) 

Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012

7 pm  Varsity Theater 

 FREE admission for ALL  

Cedars in the Pines is a documentary about the 120-year history of Lebanese immigrants in North Carolina. Interviews with first, second, and third generation Lebanese Americans convey individual and family experiences of departure, struggle, opportunity, and community and, at the same time, raise broadly relevant questions about the immigrant experience in terms of maintaining culture and the relationship between identity and place.

Introduction and post-screening discussion by the film’s executive producer, Dr. Akram Khater, director of the Khayrallah Program for Lebanese-American Studies at NC State. 

More about this extraordinary film here.  Hope to see you!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Getting Ready for the New Year

So excited and delighted to have met Iredell-Statesville teachers at the World View Partners' Program last Friday.

The Middle East is a challenging region to teach, but everyone in the session (perched on side seats, the chair for the computer desk, and anywhere else they could find) was ready to work at it.  Proud to be working at it with them. 

I shared suggestions for regional reading, now featured as "Middle East and Language Arts" on the sidebar.  My favorite?  Can't get enough of those Turkish folk tales.  How can you not love a story that begins "Once there was, and once there wasn't . . .  "?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

New Lesson Plans from NC Civic Education Consortium

The NC Civic Education Consortium has just posted powerpoints and lessons plans from their Warren A. Nord Teachers' Seminar, "Challenges to Democracy."  Scroll down here and browse. 

Take a special look at Exploring Perceptions of American Muslims and Islam in the United States - Dr. Tim Marr , Associate Professor of American Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill

Thanks to Paul Bonnici and Christie Hinson Norris for a terrific program and resources. Great background and ideas for teaching here!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bookshelf Grant from NEH

This is one for your public library and/or local community college to jump on right away. 

The National Endowment for the Humanities is offering a great collection of books, DVDs, and online support to 1000 libraries (including public libraries and community college libraries).  The Muslim Journeys Bookshelf is designed to help the public learn more about the "people, places, history, faith and cultures of Muslims around the world, including those within the U.S."

It's a great opportunity to deepen understanding of Muslim histories and cultures in your community.  Learn more about the project and how to apply here.  Deadline is September 25, 2012. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Curriculum Grant to Teach Turkey

Great opportunity to apply for a curriculum grant to teach Turkey!  Note that the deadline is June 18

American Turkish Society Curriculum Development Grants

Apply now for The Society's Curriculum Development Grant to encourage teaching about Turkey!

NEW Application deadline for Fall 2012 Curriculum Development Grants: June 18, 2012  

Initiated in spring 2010, The American Turkish Society's Curriculum Development Grants offer funds in the range of $250-$2,500, to elementary and secondary school teachers nationwide to develop innovative curricula, projects and other classroom activities about Turkey. Our aim with this grant program is to increase knowledge about Turkey among teachers and students and stimulate interest in teaching and learning about Turkey. Preference will be given to schools that do not currently have Turkey-related programs in place. The American Turkish Society encourages all applicants to identify additional sources of funding where possible. 

To view the complete details of the grant program including application process please visit here.

About the Society:

The American Turkish Society
, founded in 1949, is America's oldest not-for-profit organization seeking to enhance economic, political, and cultural ties between Turkey and the United States. The Society achieves its mission by bringing together leaders in government, including Prime Ministers, Ministers of State and Ambassadors, as well as business leaders, journalists, and scholars covering a spectrum of fields. It also provides fellowships, grants, and other opportunities for cultural exchange between the two countries; and presents and supports programs highlighting Turkish arts and culture through its cultural division, Moon and Stars Project.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Musical Flashmob on the Train

File this one under "public transit," "global," and "music."  (Not to mention "free.")

 It's the Copenhagen Philharmonic treating the commuters in the subway to a performance of "Morning Mood" from "Peer Gynt."  Save for a dull-ish, end of the year day, and watch how students brighten up. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Score One for Social Studies

Correct map of Byzantine Empire under Justinian
I love this one.  At New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art ("The Met," that is), a thirteen-year-old visited the Byzantine Gallery.  When he took a close look at a map of the Byzantine Empire under Justinian, something seemed wrong.  He had a question for the museum staff.  Why weren't the regions in northern Africa and Spain included? 

It took a few months, but recently Benjamin Lerman Coady received an email from the Met's curator for Byzantine art, acknowledging the error in the Met's map. 

Some seventh-grade student (and teacher)!  And a good argument for more field trips  . . . .

Monday, April 23, 2012

EU Workshop Coming Up

Please help to spread the word of this upcoming workshop on the EU.  Note that you can attend in Chapel Hill or in Waxhaw, near Charlotte. (And don't forget that Turkey's a candidate country!)

The New NC Essential Standards: Incorporating the European Union
Join your colleagues for a 1-day workshop designed to help North Carolina K-12 teachers better understand our interconnected world by learning more about the European Union. This workshop will include presentations on the European Union and transatlantic relations, along with sessions on how to incorporate the EU into the new NC Essential Standards. Teachers will also learn about resources that use technology to enhance content and better integrate the EU into the school’s curriculum. One CEU will be awarded for completion of the program.

Chapel Hill, Thursday, June 14          Waxhaw (near Charlotte), Friday, June 15

Early Bird Registration Deadline: May 1 (registration fee $30)
Regular Registration Deadline: May 15 (registration fee $40)

Space is limited to the first 60 participants. Register today!

For more information, please email and/or call 919.843.9852

Sponsored by: UNC Center for European Studies and EU Center of Excellence

More information and registration form here.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Great Honor

So very happy and honored to be serving on the Executive Board of the NC Council for the Social Studies.  Thrilled to be working with and for NC social studies teachers!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

CHOICES Scholars Online

I've spent the last weeks enjoying sessions with teachers at the wonderful NC Social Studies Conference (I've called it Vegas for social studies geeks), a conference on Africa (where a colleague and I presented resources for teaching North Africa and the Middle East), SERMEISS (a small and vibrant gathering), and a new teacher workshop presented by UNC's Office of Admissions.  Saw so many old friends and made some new ones. No wonder I love the early spring.

And what could be better after such a whirlwind of workshops than to open my email and find that CHOICES has been at it again, creating terrific, up to the minute resources on The U.S. Role in a Changing World. My very favorite part is the short, two to three minute videos (CHOICES is calling them "Scholars Online") elucidating particular issues in U.S. policy. 

And there's an even bigger selection here.  Scroll down and take your pick. (The Middle East in Transition, anyone?)  It's absolutely addictive.  Perfect for your own background study and for sharing with students as well. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Culture Kits on UNC Homepage--and not basketball!

So happy and proud to see my visit to an elementary school and the sharing of the Daily Life in Cairo culture kit featured on UNC's homepage

What a fun group this third grade class was!  They loved the stories of watermelon juice you could buy on the street, and how Cairo kids their age were learning both Arabic and English (imagine!), and the games, and (even!) the school books.  Several decided then and there that they would learn Arabic.  I hope they do. 

I'm so very excited for the students and for us!  Carolina does a great job of outreach, and our school partners are the best.  And because basketball will most certainly return to the homepage, I'm including the permanent link.  Enjoy.