Gannon Faculty Reach Global Audience

Kingston_croppedPosted: July 17, 2012

Gannon University’s dedicated and dynamic faculty members aren’t just training future educators and leaders in their classrooms on campus.

They are reaching a global audience while embracing the University’s Mission of service.

Dr. Kathleen Kingston, associate professor, School of Education, and Dr. Ann Bomberger, assistant professor, English Department, recently returned to the United States after spending almost two weeks in Amann, Jordan. Kingston and Bomberger led a series of professional development workshops for teachers and administrators with the Latin Patriarch Catholic Schools and with a number of private schools in Jordan. The workshops were attended by teachers and administrators from all over Jordan, including Amman, Madaba, Salt and Karak.

Earlier this year, Kingston traveled to Thailand for the same purpose: leading professional development workshops and related training for teachers and administrators. For Kingston, as a faculty member in Gannon’s School of Education, offering the workshops are rewarding in the sense of helping other educators.

“Working with them abroad is a result of my commitment to the profession,” she said. “Educating others is where my heart is, and leading the workshops is an extension of what we do in our classrooms.”

Bomberger also found the trip to Jordan to be extremely rewarding. “I’m very grateful for an opportunity to experience a different culture and way of life and reflect on how they live and communicate,” she said. “Teaching in another country allows me to think about the commonalities and differences between cultures as well as reflect upon how culture shapes communication.”

Kingston notes that educators in Jordan tend to be “content driven,” in terms of their superb knowledge of subject matter in areas such as math and science. She and Bomberger focused on providing a helping hand in terms of teaching methods and pedagogy, which is the “art, science and profession of teaching.”

“We sought to share with them best-practice teaching methods that they could use in their schools and with their students,” Kingston noted.

John Charles Arnold, an Erie-area science teacher, joined Bomberger and Kingston in Jordan. Together, they offered a series of workshops that included:

  • A Belief That All Students Can Learn: Teaching Strategies to Support the Success of All Students
  • Teaching Strategies for Gifted Learners
  • Teacher Supervision and Evaluation
  • New Teacher Orientation
  • Teaching Strategies to Support Oral Language Acquisition
  • Teachers as Leaders
  • Strategies for Teaching Writing in English

In the future, Kingston expects that the type of professional development Gannon offers abroad will evolve. Going forward, Gannon faculty likely will focus more on training educators in other countries to lead the types of workshops she, Bomberger and others have been leading. “This shift in focus will result in an even broader contribution and commitment as we help other countries build capacity and sustainability that otherwise would not be possible due to the time and expense involved in traveling internationally,” Kingston said.

She and other Gannon University faculty have been offering professional development workshops and teacher training abroad since 2007. Gannon began to send its faculty internationally in part because of relationships that Gannon University President Dr. Keith Taylor and Tom Hassett, Gannon’s director of international admissions, have forged with educators, schools and institutions internationally.

Serving and educating others also is in keeping with Gannon’s mission of service and volunteerism. In addition, one of the primary goals of Dr. Taylor is for the University to continue its growth as a global institution.

Gannon University is a Catholic, Diocesan university offering nearly 100 academic programs, including doctoral programs in physical therapy and organizational learning and leadership. Gannon enrolls more than 4,000 academically talented and diverse students. Learn more at http://www.gannon.edu.