GEM HELPS STUDENTS CREATE A BETTER TOMORROW
December videoconference between students at Effat University and CHC.
Global Education Motivators operates on the world stage from CHC’s campus. By Brenda Lange
itting in his office, surrounded by memorabilia of a long and storied career, Wayne Jacoby, director of Global Education Motivators (GEM), passionately addresses global issues from his own little corner of Chestnut Hill College. At one point in his 30-year career, the teacher of U.S. History became a global educator and founded GEM in 1981 with two colleagues from Springfield High School. In search of grant funding, Jacoby met with a representative from the Pennsylvania Department of Education; the three educators soon incorporated and found space for an office in the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit in Erdenheim, Pa. “We talked about the changes happening in communities around the country, realized schools weren’t keeping pace with those changes and we decided we needed to educate the teachers,” he remembers.
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GEM’s first activity was to lead a group of teachers on a trip to Japan, where they stayed with local families, an approach that helped them “develop cultural sensitivity. We would meet the people, stay in their homes, visit their schools and teach alongside them,” Jacoby says. “Communication is a key to world peace.” By the third year, GEM was leading trips to China, Australia, India and New Zealand, in addition to Japan. Through study travel trips, teachers earned graduate credits at CHC and created lesson plans that incorporated their experiences. Believing that communication across cultures was often missing in schools, GEM developed videotaped exchanges between international classes. That early experience with videotaped education and interaction led to the creation of the “U.N. in Your World” series for high school students to learn about global issues across cultures. This series brought United Nations’ officials into schools in real time. GEM was the first educational organization to do these types of programs in the 1990s.
Published on May 24, 2016