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FALL 2016



EDUCATION Discover new hands-on lesson kits for Germany. (Page 11) DIALOGUE Share your TOP experience in new ways. (Page 7) EXPERIENCE Check out “A Day in the Life of a TOP Fellow.” (Page 20)

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Biking Over the Berlin Wall by Hilary Land, TOP 4 2016 Fellow Tourists casually ride their bikes from west to east Berlin over what was once the Berlin Wall. The Berlin Wall Trail, here a line of concrete panels which disrupt the surrounding cobblestone pattern, marks where the former border was located. This photo was taken from the back of the Reichstag building, overlooking the Spree River.

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s I look out my office window onto K Street NW, I can see the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the International Finance Corporation, and the Embassy of Mexico. A constant stream of air traffic into “National” airport reflects the pulse of the District. The newest jewel in the Smithsonian crown, the National Museum of African The TOP Team: (from left to right) Jan Marie Steele, Dr. Christoph Veldhues, Jenny Windell, Wood Powell American History and Culture, will soon open to the public. Political tension buzzes discreetly behind the scenes as Super Kandalaft, and Jürgen Konrad who work every day to teach Tuesday rushes toward us in less than 55 days. Who will win refugees and help them to find their place in Germany. Such the election? How will this city evolve? What will change? activists might be portrayed in the media as lone warriors, shouting against the prevailing winds, “We CAN do this!” The What remains constant as ever is our commitment at the reality is that they are not alone; they are surrounded by Transatlantic Outreach Program (TOP) to serve social studneighbors, elected officials, clergymen, and community memies and STEM educators with curriculum, professional develbers who, despite the unfortunate events that took place in opment opportunities, virtual exchanges, and study tours to Bavaria in late July, see the influx of refugees as something Germany, all designed to promote the “global competence” completely unexpected: as an opportunity. of students through committed teachers like you who seek to bring the world into their classrooms. The National Edu- When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, or as the Gercation Association (NEA) defines global competence as “the mans say, Wenn dir das Leben Zitronen gibt, mach Limonade acquisition of in-depth knowledge and understanding of in- draus. As someone who suffered two broken elbows and ternational issues, an appreciation of and ability to learn and subsequently had no use of his hands and arms for eight work with people from diverse linguistic and cultural back- weeks, and now, some five months after the bicycle accident, grounds, proficiency in a foreign language, and skills to func- still contends with physical therapy and anticipates further tion productively in an interdependent world community.” surgeries to unlock greater range of motion, I have become all too familiar with adapting. It takes amazing loved ones German Chancellor Angela Merkel echoed similar sentiments and colleagues. It takes a willingness to help and be helped. in her November 3, 2013, speech to the U.S. Congress when It takes time. It takes patience. So too is it for the refugees she proposed the 21st century challenge of the American-Euand for the people of Germany. They are adapting. They are ropean partnership, saying: “We are thus faced with the task analyzing. They are solving. And whatever the future holds in of tearing down the walls in people’s minds that make it difNovember and beyond: we in the United States will adapt. ficult time and again to understand one another in this world of ours.” As a young child who lived in Berlin on November 9, Jan, Jenny, Christoph, and I look forward to welcoming you 1989, I will never forget the drumbeat of the city, the distinct to Washington, DC, for the National Council for the Social sound of sledgehammers tearing down the Wall. Fast forward Studies (NCSS) Annual Conference in December. Until then, to 2016 with debates raging on both sides of the Atlantic we hope you enjoy the latest edition of our Modern Germany about closed borders and higher walls, I can’t help but won- Update. We thank all of our Partners, Teachers, and Alumni der: Who will tear down the walls of the mind? What is the whose contributions make TOP possible. Here’s to the next modern day sledgehammer? It is you. It is the teacher. 10 years in Washington! This past summer our six study tour groups were led by Jenny, Nate, Jan, Christoph, and Mike who took nearly 100 teachers to small towns like Gaggenau, Friedland, and Kaufbeuren. The groups were met by educators like Falk Hartmann, Kinan

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See you soon, and thanks for reading. Wood Powell Managing Director










About TOP

TOP Alumni Network

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7 18 25 26

Greetings from the TOP Team Connect with TOP on Social Media Where is the next TOP Workshop? At YOUR School! 2016 TOP Fellow of the Year Announcement

TOP in the Classroom


Alumni Contribution: TOP to GAPP - The Next Step by Matthew Bundy

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Cultural Corner

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Ransomed to the West: The Lippmann Stasi File

Alumni Contribution: Hands-on History: Lesson Kits for Germany by Bruce Mize Going Green

I’m a TOP Alum and I want to give back… Through the Lens: Alumni Photo Competition Opportunities for TOP Alumni TOP Alumni News

TOP Study Tours 20

Alumni Contribution: A Day in the Life of a TOP Fellow

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TOP Guides Spotlight: Where are they now?

by Hilary Land

2016 TOP Fellows 2016 TOP Study Tour Recaps TOP Study Tours FAQ

Alumni Contribution: The Importance of International Education by Candice Webert


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ocial media is a powerful tool for connecting, sharing, supporting, learning, and having some fun! This summer the Transatlantic Outreach Program challenged its 2016 Fellows to share pictures, videos, and other content on social media using the hashtag #TOPstudytour. Many of this year’s study tour participants took part, documenting their experiences on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It was so much fun to follow their adventures and feel like we were right there with them exploring Germany! Of all the posts we saw this summer, we have selected three as winners of the 2016 TOP Fellow Social Media Challenge. Congratulations!


C O N TA CT TO P Online: By e-mail: By phone: 202-847-4700 By postal mail: Transatlantic Outreach Program (TOP) Goethe-Institut Washington 1990 K Street NW, Suite 03 Washington, DC 20006


Facebook/goethetop Twitter/TOPteachGermany Instagram/TOPteachGermany



YouTube/TOPteachGermany Pinterest/TOPteachGermany Flickr/TOPteachGermany


1st Place: Ellie Musson, TOP 6 2016 2nd Place: Kate Hoffner, TOP 2 2016 3rd Place: Adam Koester, TOP 6 2016

COVER PHOTO Mercedes Benz Museum, Stuttgart, by Christopher Ippolito, TOP 3/STEM 2016 Fellow “The TOP 3/STEM group explores the rich history and architectural beauty within the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, during their 2016 summer study tour.” 6 M O D E R N | GE R M A N Y | U PDAT E 2 0 1 6

Dr. Christoph Veldhues, Director Language Programs North America Wood Powell, Managing Director Jenny Windell, Public Relations and Alumni Coordinator Jan Marie Steele, Education Coordinator


m u l a P O “I’m a T ant to and I w k…” c a b e v i g

Fact: TOP has the best group of alumni, ever. We know that you all are constantly sharing what you learned on your TOP study tours with your students, promoting TOP to your colleagues, and bringing new, talented educators to the program. It is because of your support that the program continues to thrive and grow. Thank you! As much as you all do, we often hear alumni say, “I want to do more for TOP, but I don’t know what to do.” We are honored that you want to share your valuable time with us, whether that be just a few minutes or several hours, and we have brainstormed a list of ways you can stay involved with and help the program:


Share TOP resources with your colleagues. Go to the TOP website, order the teaching materials you’d like to share, and receive them at no cost!


Report your TOP workshops. If you do lead a workshop, please let us know by sending an email to Jan Marie Steele, TOP Education Coordinator (jan.steele@ The number of professional development workshops being led each year is a key indicator of the success of the program, and we want each and every TOP workshop to be counted.



Lead a TOP workshop at a neighboring school or district. If you have told just about everyone you know about your TOP experience, reach out to neighboring schools and districts – they may not know about the program yet. Remember that TOP accepts both social studies and STEM teachers. This may be an expanded target group for you.

Participate in TOP mini-grant, blog, essay, and photo competitions. These initiatives are designed to support your efforts to teach about modern Germany in the classroom and to generate content for TOP to use in its newsletters, website, and social media.


Mentor a colleague. Identify a coworker who you think would make a great TOP Fellow. Then mentor them through the application process by helping them lead a workshop, showing them how to use Send the TOP study tour TOP materials in their classroom, proofreading application to your profestheir essays, and writing a recommendation letter sional organizations and for their application. contacts. Become a “TOP Ambassador.” Not every TOP Fellow knows Write an article about your someone who has been through Offer to host a meet-up experience with TOP for your the program. We need a dedicated for local TOP Alumni. state social studies council group of alumni who are willing to We can help you idennewsletter. Share TOP posts and volunteer their time to speak with tify and invite other announcements in your accepted TOP Fellows and help Alumni in your area! social media networks. them prepare for their study tours. These fun, casual events






can help you build your professional network and give you new perspectives on how others are incorporating what they learned in Germany into their lessons.

If you would like to volunteer your time or have questions about any of these opportunities, please contact TOP Public Relations and Alumni Coordinator Jenny Windell at

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Transatlantic Outreach Program (TOP) to German American Partnership Program (GAPP)

The Next Step Grebenstein Stolpersteine


f you have participated in a Transatlantic Outreach Program (TOP) study tour of Germany, or even if you have not had the opportunity, the German American Partnership Program (GAPP) could truly enhance the global educational environment at your school. I traveled to Germany as a TOP Fellow in 2010, and it was a wonderful experience. I use the concepts and ideas learned on my TOP tour in my Comparative Government lessons to this day. After my TOP study tour, though, I wondered: “How can my students get involved in an exchange?� If you would like your school to have an annual opportunity to host teachers and students from Germany for a two-week stay, and if your students are interested in returning the visit and experiencing a homestay in Germany, GAPP is for you.

learned upon their return is an enriching, global experience for everyone involved.

Like TOP, GAPP is independent program associated with the Goethe-Institut. The opportunity to bring in a group of 15 students from Germany and let them enjoy the cultural aspects of your school and community is immeasurable. Having your students live with host families in Germany and then share what they

One of the most important skills for making the most of a GAPP exchange is the ability to observe day-to-day life and to immerse yourself in what is going on in your host community. During my first GAPP exchange stay in Germany, I lived in a small village called Grebenstein. The students attended school at the Albert

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The TOP teaching materials are perfect for preparing American students for a cultural stay in Germany. At our school, the German teacher teaches language, culture, history, and lessons about daily life in class. In my Comparative Government class, I use Germany as one of my prime comparative models in teaching about different forms of government. The TOP instructional resource Germany in Focus is a great help for that. Over the years of our exchange, I have visited all sorts of classes at our German host school, and the TOP materials are also a natural fit for bilingual instruction in Germany about cultural and STEM topics.

Schweitzer Schule in the neighboring city of Hofgeismar. I remember a walk I went on with the son of our host family. He was 7, and we were having a wonderful time. Luckily my German is good enough to have a great conversation with a seven year old. We came across a Stolperstein, translated literally as stumbling stone (see for more information). These are the little bronze squares placed in German sidewalks with information about a Holocaust victim. A Stolperstein is placed in front of the last chosen residence of a person before they were taken away. The child I was with knew that we were not allowed to step on the Stolpersteine, but he was not totally sure what they meant. When we returned home at the end of our walk, I listened to his mother convey in a very honest and appropriate way, the truth about a very difficult part of German history. It was a lesson that I will carry close to my heart for the rest of my life. A lesson that I will do my best to convey to my students. This past summer, the European Cup Soccer Championship was going on

Fachwerkhaus in Grebenstein

Photos courtesy of Matthew Bundy

City Hall Hofgeismar

while we were there. The excitement of Iceland progressing to the final rounds was of great interest, and Germany reaching the semi-finals generated lots of excitement in the community. I had the opportunity to go with my host, Georg, and his friends to watch a soccer game at a screening in the local village of Niedermeiser. It was fascinating: 20 raucous Germans watched their Fußball team beat Northern Ireland. The cheers and victory were great, but after the game, the highly infectious combination of meeting the locals and eating Bratwurst was amazing. The common bond was that these friends were in the local volunteer fire department together. They were mechanics, city workers, farmers, and store owners. Just about every type of occupation was represented. We talked about politics and the war in Afghanistan, climate change, electric cars, Iceland’s soccer team, the economics of oil prices, the American political landscape, the fate of the European Union, NATO in the Ukraine, German soccer, how long will Putin stay in office, and Germany’s World Cup victory

over Brazil. My conversation partners were a bit more obsessed with soccer than my friends at home, but most of the other topics were pretty standard. Yet it was fascinating for me to hear their wide range of perspectives on these topics. My experience reflected the interesting and varied experiences my students were having as they joined their GAPP host families’ activities. If you are interested in taking your global education to the next level and would like to take students along, I strongly recommend starting a GAPP exchange partnership for your school. It will definitely be worth the time and effort. It is easiest to start a GAPP partnership if your school already has a German language program. If your school does not offer German, the GAPP program occasionally allows exchanges that would be cultural only and not a language study exchange. If your school already has a GAPP program, volunteer to have the teacher from Germany team teach with you or visit your class. The teachers from Germany are usually English teachers

and have good language capabilities. Talk with your GAPP coordinator, volunteer to host, and you just might have the opportunity to join the return trip to Germany.

For more information about the German American Partnership Program, please visit their website:

Matthew Bundy is a social studies teacher at Mountain Home High School in Mountain Home, ID. He was a TOP 3 2010 Fellow.

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FOR YOU “Play Like a PIRATE” by Quinn Rollins


uinn Rollins (TOP 2A 2008 Fellow) has a new book out that will help you liven up your instruction! The ideas presented in this resource, which offers innovative strategies for hands-on lessons, can be adapted for use with any age group and any subject matter. By making play a part of the learning experience, your students will make meaningful connections with the content (increasing their concept retention) and have fun while doing so (resulting in improved student engagement). n

ISBN: 978-0986155543 Publisher: Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. (February 20, 2016)

FOR YOUR INSTRUCTION “The Berlin Wall – A multimedia history”


his resource is a comprehensive online project featuring 250 short film clips that document life in the divided city from 1961 to 1989. One terrific feature of this interactive timeline is that you can save the clips that interest you and create your own Berlin Wall documentary. This could be an excellent task for your students, especially since the site is optimized for use with mobile devices. The timeline includes the following categories: the border, escaping, contemporary witnesses, everyday life, politics, opposition, culture, East, and West. n This resource has been made available by Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg rbb. Website:

FOR YOUR STUDENTS “Graffiti Knight” by Karen Bass


f you are looking for a gripping page-turner for students curious about life in postwar Germany, consider adding “Graffiti Knight” to your school library. This work of historical fiction takes place in Soviet-occupied Leipzig in 1947. The main character Wilm uses graffiti to express his frustrations as he navigates from one suspenseful adventure to the next. Published in 2013 by Pajama Press, “Graffiti Knight” earned the 2014 Canadian Librarian Association’s Young Adult Book of the Year Award. Trigger warning: the plot of this story involves the rape of a teenage girl by Soviet soldiers. n “The last quarter of the book is nonstop action . . . Wilm is a flawed but engaging protagonist, prone to headstrong actions, and he matures believably over the course of the story.” – School Library Journal

“…The book makes it clear how war and its aftermath touch everyone… a fresh perspective on life for the Germans after WWII.” —International Reading Association

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Age Range: 12-15 years Grade Levels: 7-11 ISBN: 978-1927485538 Publisher: Pajama Press; Reprint edition (March 1, 2014)


Hands-on History:

Learning Kits for Germany

By Bruce B. Mize, TOP 5 2015 Fellow

Nothing brings history to life better than hands-on learning. While traveling through Germany as a Fellow of the Transatlantic Outreach Program (TOP), I was honored to see history come to life right before my eyes. On my TOP Study Tour, I was able to experience and understand history in a way that simply could not be communicated to me through history books. Experiencing the richness of German culture and history was for me like some people would describe visiting Disneyland. It was like feeling and response that I wanted to bring to my classroom.


pon returning from my study tour, it became my goal to share what I had learned about Germany’s history and culture with those who may never see the world outside of their own state or even their own small town. I want my students, and other students across the country, to have a greater respect for the past. My 16 years of classroom experience have shown me that students today are so “plugged in” that the typical history book or video is not sufficient to grab their attention and spark that love of learning that we as teachers strive to instill in all of our students. One way of accomplishing that is to bring history to life through the use of artifacts and hands-on learning. Soon the idea emerged of creating a hands-on history experience for my students, packaged in a way that it could be sent around the country to be used in other classrooms as well. With support from a TOP Alumni Mini-Grant, what started out as a simple artifact kit for one or two concepts has bloomed into a total of five kits on Germany, ranging from Cold War economics to modern day immigration issues. Currently there are five kits with the following themes: East German Stasi, Berlin Wall, Immigration, Renewable Energy, and East German and West German Economics. Each kit comes with a set of TOP teaching materials, as well as lesson plans developed by former TOP Fellows, which cover every spectrum of the social studies from elementary through secondary. In addition, each kit will come with access to an online “livebinder” of resource materials to assist you in planning and implementing the use of each kit. Resources in the “livebinder” include lesson plans, websites that have been vetted, links to multimedia presentations, and access to other information that will enhance your classroom experience.


Bruce Mize is a high school World History teacher at West Point High School in West Point, Mississippi, USA. He was a TOP 5 2015 Fellow and a Fall 2015 TOP Alumni Mini-Grant winner.

being a kid again, soaking in all the sights, sounds, and smells. This is the type of

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g East German Stasi:

This kit contains period correct artifacts that can be safely used in your classroom. Artifacts such as a Stasi uniform and cap with correct markings, identity papers and dog tags, photographs of historic items and sights, a copy of an actual Stasi file (along with video), books to enhance learning about the Stasi, and items used by the Stasi during interrogations. The video “Ransomed to the West: The Lippmann Stasi File� was also created to accompany this kit. Please see page 14 of this newsletter for more information.


Berlin Wall: This kit focuses on the Berlin Wall and the experiences of people living in East Germany. It can also be used to discuss the artistic aspects of the Berlin Wall by looking at the East Side Gallery. The kit contains a period correct border guard uniform and cap, a 4-D model of the city of Berlin, an actual piece of the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie passport stamps, photographs of the Berlin Wall, and photographs of the East Side Gallery.

g Renewable Energy:

This kit looks at the renewable energy policy of Germany and how it has transformed the country. It contains a science station that shows how renewable resources like wind and solar can be used to harness energy. Actual recycling bags and information guides are provided to show how people in Germany are recycling on a day-to-day basis. Lastly, the kit contains a container of bio-fuel seeds along with photographs of renewable energy outcomes in Germany.

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East German and West German Economics:


This kit is designed to highlight the differences between the economies of East Germany and West Germany during the Cold War. The kit comes with a pre-made lesson and activity that helps students of all ages to understand the differences between a market economy and a command economy. Artifacts included are period correct cold weather and summer hats, a model BMW (to represent a product of the modern German economy), and a model Trabant car (to represent the East German economy). All the materials needed for the lesson and the activity have been printed on cardstock and laminated.

g Immigration:

This kit focuses on the topic of immigration and the situation with refugees that modern Germany is facing. More and more people are fleeing crises in their homelands and seeking asylum in Germany. The kit includes flags of the 12 countries with the most asylum seekers in Germany to help you initiate conversations with your students about factors contributing to this migration. Although many are unaware of this, there is a long history of migration to Germany. The largest minority community in Germany today is that of Turkish people who were recruited in the 1960s as guest workers for the booming post-war economy. To help you teach about Turkish cultural influences in Germany, the kit contains a custom made German/Turkish flag and a Turkish coffee set. In addition, you will have access to literature that explains the immigration processes for people who would like to stay in Germany. Lastly, I have included a teddy bear and photo. The teddy bear is used to help discuss the refugee issue in Germany and how it affects young children from war-torn countries.

How can I get a “Hands-on History” kit? To request a “Hands-on History” kit on modern

these kits will enhance your students’ learning

Germany, scan the QR code below and fill out the

experiences and bring a new-found love of learn-

request form. You can also contact me directly

ing history, especially that of Germany, into your

at Kits can


be loaned out for a maximum of two weeks. The cost of shipping to your destination will be taken care of. All that is asked is that you cover the cost of shipping the kit back so that it can be made available for others. It is my sincere hope that

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RANSOMED TO THE WEST: The Lippmann Stasi File


uring their study tour in 2015, the TOP 5 Fellows had the opportunity to visit the Stasi Museum in Berlin and to speak with a time witness, Mr. Bernd Lippmann. In his deep voice and Saxony accent, Mr. Lippmann shared with the group the story of how he was imprisoned in 1974 by the East German Ministry for State Security (MfS), or Stasi, for copying and distributing literature. As Mr. Lippmann listed the books he had copied, the teachers were struck to recognize that several of the books he was arrested for distributing, including George Orwell’s Animal Farm, are now required reading for their students. It quickly became clear to the group that Mr. Lippmann’s story has great value for North American students and teachers alike. Following his study tour, TOP 5 Fellow Bruce Mize applied for and received an alumni mini-grant through the Transatlantic Outreach Program. With part of the funds, Mr. Mize contracted his TOP study tour guide Martin Jabs, who is also a talented documentary filmmaker, to film and translate an interview with Mr. Lippmann so that his story could be shared widely. This video, which is in German with English subtitles, is now available on TOP’s YouTube page (see QR link below) for use in your classroom! In the video interview, Mr. Lippmann tells the story of how he, as a 22-year-old physics teacher, was arrested by the Stasi for distributing literature. He describes the events which led to his arrest, his imprisonment, eventually being ransomed to West Germany, and his continued work as a civic activist in the west. Mr. Lippmann also describes how he felt after the fall of the Berlin Wall, when he was able to view his Stasi files and discovered that it was the brother of his then fiancée who had spied on him and turned him in to the Stasi. The interview then shifts to tell the story of Mr. Lippmann’s childhood sweetheart, a West German girl named Iris, with whom he eventually lost contact as a result of the border regime and his imprisonment. Following German reunification, Mr. Lippmann eventually became Chairman of the Stasi Museum/ASTAK in Berlin. Iris, who had become a teacher, happened to bring a group of her students to the Stasi Museum on a field trip. It was there that the couple unexpectedly reunited, and they later got married. Finally, Mr. Lippmann offers some important advice for young people today, highlighting the importance of getting your information from multiple news sources, of being open to multiple points of view, and of supporting democratic values, including the secret ballot. 9tOBYU51ERg

With its intrigue, spies, romance, and triumph, your students are sure to make a connection with Mr. Lippmann’s story, and history will come to life for them! You can access this video using the QR code or by visiting TOP’s YouTube channel: n

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The Importance of International Education in the Social Studies Classroom By Candice D. Webert


ocial studies education is one of the most important disciplines of the modern-day curriculum. Social studies covers four major disciplines: geography, economics, history, and civics. These content areas are reflected in: • National Council for the Social Studies’ National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies (NCSS Bulletin 111)

TOP 1 2016 Fellows Candice Webert and Kadi Bumann speak with students at the Winfriedschule in Fulda, Germany.

home state of Louisiana. Even with all of my state’s rich heritage, diversity, and culture within its bounds, the experience of another country helped me broaden my perspective on the selective information I had learned about places around the world, including Germany.

During my TOP study tour, I realized how important international • National Council for the Social Studies’ Social Studies for the education is in social studies. Students must understand and be conscious of the world and issues that not only impact their soci Next Generation: Purposes, Practices, and Implications of the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies ety, but the societies of other countries. This was impressed upon me when my group visited the “Winfriedschule” (Winfried School) State Standards (NCSS Bulletin 113) in Fulda, Germany. We toured the school and then had the oppor • State Standards considering local and regional narratives tunity to meet with students in the cafeteria during their break. “The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people They were able to speak with us intelligently about a variety of make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as current global issues in English (their second or third language). citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interDuring our discussion, the students spoke very passionately about dependent world.” (NCSS 1994) To bring this vision alive for each the upcoming U.S. presidential election. They did not hesitate to and every student, we need to globalize the social studies share their opinions and comparisons of our major party candicurriculum. dates to political figures in Germany. Their ability to speak and During my 12 years as a social studies educator, I have had op- apply their insights reminded me of the goals we try to reach portunities to participate in several institutes meant to provide through Common Core Standards. I realized that our curricular educators with global knowledge, which they in turn can use to shifts towards standards-based education will further challenge engage their students and bring more global experiences into the students to understand global issues and form a position, as the classroom. One of the best global professional development ex- German students did throughout our discussions. periences I have had was the opportunity to travel to Germany with the Transatlantic Outreach Program (TOP). It was during this study tour that I reflected on my own curricular and global experiences. This tour encouraged me to not only immerse myself in German culture, but to foster greater understanding of their government, economy, and historic events that have influenced the younger generations. This was a challenge to me, as I was not familiar with the German language or with certain aspects of German history outside of the World War II era. I also had never traveled to Europe, so this experience stretched me beyond my normal limitations and comfort zone. The world is far greater than just my beloved

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Following our discussion with the students, our group met with the school’s social studies department, where we discussed how they create their curriculum, as well as the benefits and challenges of teaching social studies. Their curriculum uses a spiral approach to social studies. Students in lower elementary grades learn basic social studies concepts, such as map skills, and upper grades learn history at different phases, beginning with local, shifting to national, and then world histories. In comparison, the social studies curriculum in my state incorporates a course of each type of history at each academic level. Elementary school students learn local, state, and national history in grades 3-5 respectively. Students grades 6-8 learn world, United

The TOP 1 2016 study tour group poses for a group photo with their colleagues from the Winfriedschule social studies department in Fulda, Germany.

States History (from 1492-1877), and Louisiana History. They are then assessed in the 8th grade on material learned during grades 5-8 in a cumulative state test. The majority of the content on the assessment is from content addressed in previous years. This has caused frustration among 8th grade teachers, who have had to reteach 3 years of material in addition to teaching Louisiana History in order to prepare students for the test. The state is currently revising the 8th grade social studies assessment to reflect more of the content taught the 8th grade year. In high school, students take civics, free enterprise, American History (1877-present), and their choice of World Geography or World History. There is certainly not much time to teach current global issues. Classes that do address global topics are often offered as electives or Advanced Placement courses that may not be accessible to many students. Through it all, teachers have been frustrated and have resolved to simply cover material and facts instead of teaching for depth of knowledge. I realized that while the curriculum in my state attempts to cover many topics, these topics do not follow a scope and sequence that promotes a depth of knowledge among learners. In many of the elementary grades, social studies education is not emphasized and is not taught as part of the mainstream curriculum. Many students do not begin a full course of social studies until middle school (grades 6-8). Even in these grades, the sequencing of the courses leaves students confused and unable to differentiate between local, state, national, and international content. Based on my experience at the Winfreidschule, I have decided to create a proposal based on the scope and sequence of social studies education I was introduced to while on my study tour in Germany. I hope to one day present this to my district and state level school system. In Germany, social studies education begins in kindergarten, and each year builds on knowledge of previous skills and content mastered to encourage depth of knowledge. I would like to take part in revising the scope and sequence to incorporate local and state history in lower elementary grades, United States history and government in upper elementary and middle school

Candice Webert is Assistant Principal at Youree Drive Middle Advanced Placement Magnet School in Shreveport, Louisiana. She is a TOP 1 2016 Fellow.

grades, and world geography, world history, and economics courses in high school. The revision of the scope and sequence would spiral social studies education from a smaller focus to a broader one within K-12 education. It would also support students’ learning for depth of knowledge, not just basic facts. Students would be able to foster greater understanding of different people and world systems, which are crucial aspects of global learning. Additionally, my plans to internationalize the curriculum include conducting presentations and workshops about TOP and the resources they have available for teachers. While I realize that resources are scarce for traveling and field trips, there are numerous programs and resources that provide virtual experiences for students and educators. I also plan to advocate for more foreign language in my school district. Communication is an important part of international education. In Germany, students are introduced to foreign language in lower elementary school, whereas in many school districts in the United States, it is introduced in middle and high school. Selections are limited as to what languages students may learn, and unfortunately, budgets for foreign language programs are often reduced or eliminated in order to save core classes. International education is just as important for my students as it is for me. It is our responsibility as educators to prepare students to compete and excel beyond the local realms of our towns, cities, or states. The twenty-first century has brought with it a variety of media and technology sources that connect people around the world in a matter of seconds. Information and internationalism are at the fingertips of the twenty-first century learner. The world systems, which include aspects of geography, history, civics, and economics, depend upon students having the necessary background and foundations to make socially conscious decisions. International education in the social studies classroom is increasingly important as we strive to mold the next generation of thinkers, leaders, and entrepreneurs of the twenty-first century. n This is the winning submission for the 2016 TOP Alumni Essay Competition. Congratulations, Candice! 2016 M OD ERN | G ERMANY | U P DAT E 1 7



First Place: Rebecca Reiman (TOP 5 2014) Title: World

Cup Stateside

Description: Local kids were playing soccer with a commemorative ball from Germany’s World Cup victory. I was immediately transported back to watching the World Cup finale with my TOP group at a Biergarten in Dresden!

Through the Lens Fall 2016 Alumni Photo Competition This year TOP Alumni were invited to submit photographs on the theme of “Germany in the USA and Canada.” We received many wonderful submissions which highlighted German culture, business, architecture, history, and more, as found in the United States and Canada. Thanks to everyone who participated and congratulations to our winners!

Third Place: Renee Stanton (TOP 4 2016) Title: A Taste

of Germany in Georgia Description: The city of Helen is a hidden German gem tucked away in the mountains of Georgia. This is the perfect getaway for lovers of all things German, including Oktoberfest celebrations in September and Christmas markets in December!

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2 Second Place: Bruce Mize (TOP 5 2015) Title: Haribopalooza Description: Just like Haribo gummies, Germany has a great deal of variety to choose from. Photo taken at Volsen’s Bread Paradise located in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Where’s the next TOP Workshop?

At YOUR school! The February 3rd application deadline for 2017 TOP Study Tours is just around the corner. If you are looking for ways to make your application stand out, we have just the thing: lead a TOP workshop for your colleagues!


ou know what works best in your classroom. To lead an effective workshop, you do not need to be an expert on Germany or on our materials; your colleagues will appreciate your practical “How can we use this with our students?” perspective. School-based workshops can be especially productive, since you can collaborate as a team to find ways to incorporate lessons on modern Germany into your current curriculum.

Which materials should I order for my participants? Place an order for free TOP teaching materials at We will be happy to send you level-appropriate resources for as many participants as you expect. You can return any extras on our account.

For High School Educators: order 1 copy of each resource for each participant Germany in Focus Field Trip to Berlin DVD and instructional guide Modern Germany Update

For Middle School Educators: order 1 copy of each resource for each participant Let’s Explore Modern Germany Germany in Focus Modern Germany Update Field Trip to Berlin DVD and instructional guide (use with 6th grade and up)

For Elementary Educators: order 1 copy of each resource for each participant Let’s Explore Modern Germany Modern Germany Update

Order free TOP teaching materials from our online webstore!

Be sure to also order 1 copy of the TOP Toolkit for Professional Development for yourself so that you have everything you need to lead your TOP workshop. Your colleagues will thank you for helping them find out about these ready-to-use resources on modern Germany. You will gain experience coordinating professional development, and you will also earn extra points for your 2017 study tour application. Start planning your TOP workshop today!

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A Day in the Life of a TOP Fellow By Hilary Land, TOP 4 2016

According to its website, the Transatlantic Outreach Program “promotes education about Germany, fosters intercultural dialogue, and provides the opportunity for North American social studies educators, STEM educators, and decision makers to experience Germany.”


afe to say I was skeptical that those lofty goals could be met in a 14-day study tour and yet, somehow, magically, they were. Perhaps it is misleading to allude to magic however, when I witnessed first-hand the tireless work of the TOP Team. They are fully committed to providing the most diverse and relevant learning experiences possible, as evidenced by my own two-week trip. During our excursions, we spoke to policy makers, toured a high school and vocational school, visited an urban garden, explored monuments, admired art, and experienced enough variety in our content to discuss nearly EVERY current event impacting Germany, the United States, and Canada… and all while we managed to make relevant and insightful pedagogical connections. The benefits of the program are, of course, enormous. I certainly have a much richer understanding of the modern legacies of World War II, the Cold War, and German educational, political, and social structures. But there have 20 MO D E RN | GE R M A N Y | U PDAT E 2 0 1 6

Hilary Land is a kindergarten teacher at Davisville Public School in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She was a TOP 4 2016 Fellow.

also been less predictable benefits. I now have a richer understanding of American and Canadian educational systems and the unique struggles and successes that impact different geographical areas. I have a more refined way of posing pro-

four German cities, varying in size, geography, and cultural/historical significance. We engaged in a mix of visits to public spaces and more formal private meetings.

Though none of us knew what to expect, we were all captivated and had many questions.

Our first day in Regensburg is a nice snapshot into a TOP study tour, as it was a busy day offering opportunities to explore the city, as well as to have specific information provided by the mayor and city council members. We had arrived at Regensburg the day before after a three-hour train journey from Frankfurt and had the luxury of meeting the mayor at 10am. Sleeping in was a welcomed rarity. We had a plentiful continental breakfast at the hotel (which I learned is not actually an oxymoron) and headed to the town hall. In our meeting with the mayor, he and his team discussed the influx of refugees and the city’s Integration Policy, developed to help tackle many of the issues facing newcomers. Throughout the meeting the Germans

fessional questions, new ideas for my classroom organization and content, a growing list of future professional development opportunities, and a network of engaged and skilled professionals open to collaboration. I have acquired role models who have imparted new leadership skills and met new friends eager to embark on further adventures. So what is a typical day with TOP like? During my TOP tour our group of twelve Americans and three Canadians visited

spoke openly and showed us slides with statistics regarding demographics, settlement patterns, and state-wide policies. Though none of us knew what to expect, we were all captivated and had many questions. Many of us wanted to know what these policies looked like on the ground, which unexpected challenges had arisen, and how the refugees were being integrated into the education system. Often the most interesting questions were inspired by my group members who had read the optional readings that I had, in fact, skipped in a frantic panic to get my report cards finished. So there’s some advice — read the articles. They’ll help you to formulate intelligent questions to impress the presenters and your tour group! The Germans answered our questions in a candid manner, which we quickly learned would be the norm with all of our presenters. Following the meeting, we had a brief free time (a theme throughout our packed days) in which, if I’m perfectly honest, we all probably bought gelato. We then met our city centre tour guide who would take us on a detailed historical tour of Regensburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2006. You may notice that the orientation documents repeatedly mention comfortable footwear, which is excellent advice, considering that our Fitbitted group members were logging a casual 16,000 steps daily. At this point, hungry and tired, we made our way over to our dinner destination. Prepare to be well fed throughout your journey. There will be copious opportunities to eat delicious things and to

enjoy the flavours of Germany. Stretchy pants would be a smart packing option. For the final event of the day, it’s safe to say, we probably ate more gelato.

You can expect to be inspired by new ideas and to always have somebody close by to whom you can turn and make a link to education, to pedagogy, and to your classroom. In general, you will see a lot of early mornings, late nights, and sweaty flights of stairs thanks to hefty suitcases. You can expect jam-packed itineraries focusing on two or three different themes each day and to be intellectually stimulated for two straight weeks. You can expect to be inspired by new ideas and to always have somebody close by to whom you can turn and make a link to education, to pedagogy, and to your classroom. For me, personally, it some-

times meant being confronted with historical and cultural information with which I was uncomfortably unfamiliar. It means being humbled by the limitation of your own world knowledge and inspired to fill in as many gaps as possible. You can also hope to learn about education practices across the different states and Canada, and you will definitely talk a bit of politics. You can expect to be asked tough questions about your country’s shortcomings by curious and informed German individuals and to be challenged to defend your opinions and ideas. So, enjoy the incredible opportunity to soak up new perspectives from around the world and approach each day of your TOP study tour with a keenness to learn and a willingness to share your experiences. n 2016 M OD ERN | G ERMANY | U P DAT E 2 1

T O P G U I D E S S P O T L I G H T : Where are they now?


Ayla Öztürk-Banha


have been accompanying TOP groups since the beginning. I believe it was 2002 when my colleague Wolfgang and I took our first TOP group around Bonn and Koblenz. I really enjoy accompanying TOP groups because every group brings its own unique dynamics and wonderful personalities. The TOP group leaders and participants come as guests and leave as friends. I am still in contact with many participants and am so happy when I hear from them. I can also say that the TOP programs are really interesting and well organized. Not only do the guests learn about Germany, but we as guides get to see cities, institutions, and organizations which we otherwise would never see. Thanks to my work as a TOP guide, I have slept in monasteries and castles, gone on beautiful walks through the Black Forest, taken part in fascinating conversations at the Bosch Stiftung, spoken with time witnesses at the Point Alpha Foundation in Geisa, and enjoyed wonderful evenings salsa dancing or watching soccer with my new friends.

Things are going quite well for me. My agency, 2GetherEvent, continues to support the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with special alumni projects. I support international guests from developing countries who come to Germany to attend various conventions on topics like energy, water, nutrition, education, etc. One of my highlights this year was seeing President Obama at the convention in Hannover. Additionally I support our other agency, 2GetherConcert. For the second time we are organizing the “Over the Border” World Music Festival in Bonn, where we will be inviting musicians from all over the world.


Martin Jabs

universe of the most beautiful hearts and minds – this is what I see when I look at the eight years I’ve been working with TOP now. With a constantly changing Germany – and U.S. – my work has been as challenging as it has been fulfilling. In guiding teachers through our country, through the beauties and horrors of our past & present, from Point Alpha to “Station Z,” I’ve learned so much from our learners, too. And for someone who has been shy for a big part of his life, working with the most engaging and diverse groups of teachers has also helped me to grow in that sense. Working hard has never been so easy!


My plans for the future are to continue to work with wonderful international groups and musicians and hopefully to have more time for my own travels. Perhaps I will be able to come back to the USA after 14 years and renew my wonderful memories there. If I do, I will look forward to seeing many of my TOP friends again! n

In my “other life,” I direct documentary films, often portraits of people produced over many years. Last year, I shot a short film with a Stasi eyewitness for a former TOP participant, to be used in class. I am inspired that this “other” life can now contribute to the TOP bridge. And there are friendships, too – what’s more beautiful than discussing poetry with someone who was here years ago, agreeing and disagreeing on what we read? So all of this I take into my future plans, where I have decided to expand another activity more and more: teaching film! n

*See page 14 to learn about a documentary film by Martin Jabs that you can use in your classroom! 22 MO D E RN | GE R M A N Y | U PDAT E 2 0 1 6

2016 T R A N S AT LA N T I C O U T R E A C H P R O G R A M F E L LO W S Rachel Adams Morton High School Morton, IL, USA Donna Andrews-Newhouse Foxcroft Academy Dover-Foxcroft, ME, USA Andrew Angstrom Christchurch School Christchurch, VA, USA

Jennifer Davidson University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE, USA Khieta Davis East Lower School Rochester, NY, USA Tracy Dawson-Greene John F. Kennedy Middle School Florence, MA, USA

Larry Dexter Jennifer Back Byron Bergen High School Westwood High School Mesa, AZ, USA Bergen, NY, USA

Julie Ingram Florence Middle School Florence, MS, USA

Christopher Masino Bowie High School Bowie, MD, USA

Christopher Ippolito Ocean Township High School Oakhurst, NJ, USA

Susan Mathison Oyster River Middle School Durham, NH, USA

Jason Jirsa Northeast Middle School Minneapolis, MN, USA

Jennifer McCann King Philip Regional High School Wrentham, MA, USA

Janet Ruest Chemainus Secondary School Chemainus, BC, Canada

Katherine McColeman Ridgemont High School Ottawa, ON, Canada

Tracey Salamondra Hartney School Hartney, MB, Canada

Shannon McLean Shakopee High School Shakopee, MN, USA

Colleen Sandham Western Canada High School Calgary, AB, Canada

Joy Kinley Starmount High School Boonville, NC, USA

Marion Bageant Garfield Elementary School Spokane, WA, USA

Megan Kirts Blair Dyer Catalina Foothills High New West Charter School School Los Angeles, CA, USA Tucson, AZ, USA

Thomas Barker South Middle School Lawrence, KS, USA

Matthew Erbach Adam Koester Streamwood High School Edwardsville High School Streamwood, IL, USA Edwardsville, IL, USA

Kari Milton Bancroft Middle School Long Beach, CA, USA

Joshua Bobrow Uncommon Charter High School Brooklyn, NY, USA

Derek Frieling Lafayette High School / Missouri Western State University St. Joseph, MO, USA

Fernando Molina Santee Education Complex Los Angeles, CA, USA

Shannon Bomben A21 Academy Windsor, ON, Canada Jennifer Boulton Glenbard North High School Carol Stream, IL, USA Alice Brown The Avery Coonley School Downers Grove, IL, USA Leokadia Bumann Henry County High School New Castle, KY, USA Natalie Cardenas Del Valle Alternative Education Program Austin, TX, USA

Howard Krug Vanguard Collegiate High School Rochester, NY, USA

Karen Krzystof-Bansley Allison Graves Maddock Elementary Washington High School School Washington, MO, USA Burbank, IL, USA

Alexandra Mooskin Saint Stephen’s & Saint Agnes School Alexandria, VA, USA

Marie Hartman Old Mill Middle School South Millersville, MD, USA

Michelle Kyte Silverthorn Collegiate Institute Etobicoke, ON, Canada

Eleanor Musson Hendley Elementary School Washington, DC, USA

Alexander Hernandez G. Holmes Braddock Senior High Miami, FL, USA

Jacqueline LaBelle Manvel High School Manvel, TX, USA

Kim O’Neil National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Liverpool, NY, USA

Lindsey Herting Lincoln High School Lincoln, NE, USA Gail Hirschy Chester County Career Center Chester, SC, USA

Amos Hofer John Chancey Peace Valley School Putnam City North Starbuck, MB, Canada High School Oklahoma City, OK, USA Katherine Hoffner Hill Elementary Candice Chupek Austin, TX, USA Copley High School Copley, OH, USA Downing Hudson Waccamaw Middle School Theresa Currier Pawleys Island, SC, USA Severna Park Middle School Severna Park, MD, USA

Andrea Lance Crayton Middle School Columbia, SC, USA Hilary Land George Syme Community School Toronto, ON, Canada Elizabeth Lupfer Glenbrook South High School Glenview, IL, USA

Sue Protheroe Solon Middle School Solon, IA, USA Saundra Rathburn Lake Shore High School St. Clair Shores, MI, USA Clarena Renfrow Rutland High School Rutland, VT, USA

Sandra Makielski Davisville Middle School North Kingstown, RI, USA

Mary Ellen Richichi Independence Middle School Jupiter, FL, USA

Randall Martin Desert Ridge Middle School Albuquerque, NM, USA

Andrea Rietsch Eagle Academy High School Highlands Ranch, CO, USA

Darwin Rodriguez Mater Academy Charter Middle/High School Hialeah Gardens, FL, USA

Renee Stanton Honey Creek Elementary School Conyers, GA, USA

Haydee Rodriguez Central Union High School El Centro, CA, USA

Ryan Stough Los Angeles County Office of Education Downey, CA, USA

Susan Sawczak Martin County High School Stuart, FL, USA Katherine Schroeder York Community High School Elmhurst, IL, USA Joel Scott Strawberry Crest High School Dover, FL, USA Erin Sebek Fillmore High School Fillmore, CA, USA Marc Serrano Shawnee Heights High School Tecumseh, KS, USA Greg Sill Smithtown High School West Smithtown, NY, USA Michelle Simon McKinley STEM Elementary School Owatonna, MN, USA Lisa Smith Cross Timbers Middle School Grapevine, TX, USA Justina Spencer Arcadia High School Arcadia, CA, USA Dan St. Laurent Lake Shore High School St. Clair Shores, MI, USA

Christine Taylor Christopher Columbus High School Miami, FL, USA Allysa Teeter West Windsor - Plainsboro RSD High School South West Windsor, NJ, USA Brian Trusinsky Thomas Jefferson Senior High School Bloomington, MN, USA Angela Ulrich Hilltop Elementary School Glen Burnie, MD, USA Lisa Vardi Bullis School Potomac, MD, USA Ashley Wall West Bay Christian Academy North Kingstown, RI, USA Candice Webert Youree Drive Middle Advanced Placement Magnet Shreveport, LA, USA Kristina Wenger Louisa County High School Mineral, VA, USA Mark Wiese Mankato West High School Mankato, MN, USA Brandi Williams Glen Burnie High School Glen Burnie, MD, USA Maryrobin Wills Kiowa Middle School Kiowa, CO, USA Priscilla Zenn Allen Park High School Allen Park, MI, USA

2016 M OD ERN | G ERMANY | U P DAT E 2 3




ach year it is our privilege to sit down as a team and select the Transatlantic Outreach Program (TOP) Fellow of the Year. As we share with one another the interactions we have had with TOP alumni and the many ways in which you have all supported and promoted the program over the past year, we are filled with a renewed sense of gratitude and purpose for our work. Narrowing down so many stellar candidates to just one is no easy task, but it is one that we take seriously, and we are honored to share with you our decision. The Transatlantic Outreach Program is pleased to announce that Mrs. Jacqueline Littlefield of Saco, Maine, USA, has been selected as the 2016 TOP Fellow of the Year. In conferring this distinction, TOP recognizes and celebrates Jackie’s dedication to strengthening and advancing the relationship between Germany and North America through education. Since traveling to Germany with TOP in 2008, Jackie has represented TOP on the local, regional, and national level through professional development workshop leadership. She has presented TOP sessions at the National Council for the Social Studies Conference in 2013, 2014, and 2015, and she leads multiple workshops in the northeastern United States each year. Together with TOP 2014 Fellow of the Year Connie Manter, Jackie co-authored the TOP Toolkit for Professional Development, a resource which has benefitted educators all over the United States and Canada seeking to implement and share TOP resources. This award represents our gratitude for Jackie’s generosity with her time and expertise. We are delighted to honor her achievements. Please join us in celebrating Jackie during the annual TOP Fellow of the Year Award Reception during the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Conference in Washington, DC. The date, time, and location will be announced via email and on social media in the coming weeks.

National Council for the Social Studies Conference December 1-4, 2016 Washington, DC Visit our Booth (#425) Friday, December 2 8:30 am-5:30 pm Saturday, December 3 8:30 am-5:00 pm

Attend our TOP Session

Jacqueline Littlefield, a former educator, taught elementary education, grades K-8, at several schools in Maine. Upon her retirement she worked as Education Coordinator for the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine, providing support and programming on the Holocaust and human rights for schools across Maine. She has also taught adult education high school diploma and ESL students. Mrs. Littlefield coauthored the TOP Toolkit for Professional Development with TOP colleague Connie Manter. As a TOP Network Trainer, she facilitates workshops across the Northeast. She is also a training facilitator for the Anti-Defamation League’s Echoes and Reflections program. Jacqueline is a United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Fellow and a Jewish Foundation for the Righteous Fellow. She is a former Maine Holocaust Educator of the Year. She was a TOP participant in 2008 and again in 2014.

Can I Come In? Political Borders and Human Migration Presented by Lou Kindschi, Oregon High School, Oregon, WI Friday, December 2 10:00 am to 11:00 am Attend our Vital Issues Session Topic: Refugees in Germany Join us for the TOP Fellow of the Year Reception In honor of Jackie Littlefield

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Spring 2017 Alumni Mini-Grant In the spirit of continuing the dialogue on modern Germany and increasing global competency in North American classrooms, TOP offers its Alumni funding for class, club, and school-wide projects related to current issues in Germany.

Lesson Plan Competition

Criteria: The purpose of this Mini-Grant is to support a class, club, or school-wide project that encourages students to learn about, research, experience, and discuss current issues using Germany as a case study. You may propose funding for a project on any topic that is of interest to your students, as long as it relates to contemporary issues in Germany. We encourage projects that involve online exchanges with German students and are happy to help connect you with a partner teacher.

Eligibility: Mini-Grants are available to all TOP Alumni (past Fellows) and can be used to support a class, club, or school project at any grade level.

Available Funding:

Mini-Grants in the amount of $500 - $2,500 are available for use in the first half of 2017. Your proposal should include a detailed budget for the project, with the proposed total project cost falling anywhere within the available range. Funding could be used, for example, to pay for project-specific supplies, local student transportation, classroom equipment for online exchanges, newspaper subscriptions, etc. All requests for funding must be directly related to what you need to carry out the proposed project with your students. We will not fund: teacher travel without students; basic school supplies such as paper or pencils; food/beverage costs, etc.

Application Process: Proposals should be approximately 2-3 pages in length and provide a title and detailed description of the project, its objectives, activities, and learning outcomes. Proposals should also include a detailed project budget. All proposals should be submitted as an email attachment to

TOP is looking for new lesson plans to complement the “Ransomed to the West: The Lippmann Stasi File� video (see page 14 of this newsletter), which was recently created as part of a TOP Mini-Grant project. Alumni are invited to create and submit a lesson plan based on this video, and we will select several winners. The winners will receive a $150 prize, and their lesson plans will be featured along with the video on the TOP website!


Lesson plans that use this video can be for any grade level or subject. Each lesson plan should have a connection to current issues in Germany and North America and should include an extension involving online exchange with a German class. We envision that this subtitled video will work best with middle and high school students, but we are open to receiving lesson plans for all grade levels. You are also welcome to create a lesson plan for a grade level or class you do not currently teach.

Formatting: Lesson plans should follow the format laid out in the TOP Unit Requirements document, available on our website.

Submission Process: Please submit your completed lesson plan as an email attach-ment to

Deadline: Lesson plan submissions are due by Monday, January 9, 2017.

Project Period and Deadline:

Proposals are due by Monday, January 9, 2017. The proposed project should be completed during the first half of 2017.

2016 M OD ERN | G ERMANY | U P DAT E 2 5

TOP ALUMNI NEWS 2004 Jennifer Jolley has received the Brevard Public School District’s High School Social Studies Teacher of the Year award. She will be recognized at the annual Florida Council for the Social Studies conference and awards ceremony in Orlando, FL, at the end of October. n

Henry Rehn was selected as a 2015 Keizai Koho Fellow and spent 10 days in Japan. In 2016 he studied for 2 weeks in Mainz, Germany, with 15 other Fulbright-Kommission fellows learning about the educational system of Rhineland Pfalz. He was also selected by Colonial Williamsburg as one of 25 history teachers who spent a week learning about the history of America. n

Lynne Farrell Stover, Associate Director for Program at the James Madison University Center for Economic Education, has a new three-book series out. From the Big Screen to the Classroom: Using Movies to Teach in the Content Areas is published by Pieces of Learning. n

2005 n Jason

Buelterman continues to serve as the International Baccalaureate Programme Diploma Coordinator at Johnson High School in Savannah. He recently helped to successfully write the application for the school to become an IB Career-Related Programme school so that they can include more students in the IB experience. Jason recently was re-elected to his fifth term as Mayor of the City of Tybee Island, Georgia. Brandi Cook Gammell has had a busy 2016! In June she completed all her requirements for the Madison Fellowship, which included graduation from Ashland University with a Master’s degree in American History and Government. On July 4, 2016, she married Doug Gammell, who is also a social studies teacher and associate head baseball coach for Florence-Darlington Tech Baseball. n

26 MO D E RN | GE R M A N Y | U PDAT E 2 0 1 6

Later in July she was asked to serve as her school’s curriculum coordinator and will begin her 20th year at Marion High School this fall. Next school year, she will also be an Adjunct Political Science Professor for Francis Marion University in Florence, SC. Kay Gandy was awarded a Fulbright Hays Seminars Abroad grant and spent a month in Senegal, West Africa, in June. In May, Kay was in China working with Chinese teachers, and this fall semester she will be teaching at Harlaxton College in England. n

Joseph Iannacone is still teaching middle level history at The Hewitt School in New York City, where he is also the Coordinator of Auxiliary Academic Programs. Summer 2015, he taught an intensive history of the Greco-Roman World for “Prep for Prep” at the Lawrenceville School in central New Jersey. Afterwards, he spent a fortnight in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece with family. This summer he served as an educational consultant at the Mount Vernon Museum in New York, developed two writing programs for independent and public school teachers, and spent frequent weekends in Nantucket as well as another fortnight with family in the Dodecanese. He invites his fellow 2005 alumni to please follow him on Twitter! @JosephIannacone n

2007 James Carrasco-Kinney said “I do” to his boyfriend, Manuel Carrasco, Jr., on July 27th, 2016, after ten years together and on their tenth anniversary. The couple moved to Tolleson, AZ, three years ago, which meant John left his first teaching job at Yuma High School to take a Middle School Social Studies 6th-8th position at Kachina Elementary School in the Peoria Union School District #11. The couple also bought a new home last fall, their first together. n

Tom Coen is now working as an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Virginia Commonwealth University and Randolph Macon College, in addition to position as Government teacher at a Stafford County, VA High School. He is also the creator and co-host of “Rappahannock Issues,” a television program on current issues and politics on CVTV, a public access channel in central Virginia. The program has had national, state, and local elected leaders as guests, hosted debates, and covered a diverse range of topics from drug use to farming to cyber terrorism. n

n Mike

Raymer recently took a group of educators to Cuba to study the numerous economic and political changes that are taking place there as a result of the transitioning of U.S.-Cuba relations. Meetings were held with Cuban economists, government officials, and Cuban entrepreneurs. As the Transatlantic Outreach Program 2015 Fellow of the Year, Mike also led a group of TOP Fellows to Germany this summer.

2008 n Adena

Barnett was named West Virginia DAR’s Outstanding Teacher of American History for 2016. She also placed third out of 56 competitors in the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Competition. n Jackie

Littlefield was one of 10 facilitators for the ADL’s Echoes and Reflection Holocaust Resource Guide selected to study at Yad Vashem in Israel last December. The 10 day institute included lectures by leading Holocaust scholars, opportunities to hear Holocaust survivors, and tours of Jerusalem and the Sea of Galilee area of Israel. Jackie has also been selected as the Transatlantic Outreach Program 2016 Fellow of the Year and continues her work with the TOP Network of Trainer Specialists in the Northeast region of the United States.

TOP ALUMNI NEWS 2009 n Rhonda

Leduc just finished a year of teaching in the Education program at Nunavut Arctic College in Canada. She taught Inuit students who wish to become teachers in the remote community of Cape Dorset, Nunavut, and also travelled to other communities to teach in the community-based degree program. She earned and experienced a lot about the Inuit culture (formerly referred to as Eskimo) including eating seal, walrus, beluga and caribou; making sealskin mitts, kamiks (boots) and parkas; getting around by snowmobile and ATV; and playing radio Bingo!

2010 n Matthew

Bundy earned an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Idaho in May 2016. This summer, he traveled with 15 students and three educators to participate in an educational exchange in Hofgeismar, Germany.

award, which is based on peer and student nominations. n Laura

Woelflein Bowe is going into her third year as a history and social sciences faculty member at King School in Stamford, CT, where she teaches world history and global studies. On August 5, 2016, Laura married Nathaniel Bowe in Manchester, NH. The couple included German music in their ceremony! n Michael

Gipson has been promoted to the position of principal at WilmerHutchins Elementary School in Dallas, TX. He just completed his first year and is looking forward to the second. Under his leadership, the school is embracing sustainability efforts on campus. n Joyce

O’Day has been selected as the Gilder Lehrman 2016 Nevada History Teacher of the Year. She also recently received a second MA in Urban Leadership. Joyce is currently teaching at Western High School - the largest Title I school in the state of Nevada.

2012 n Andi

Webb received the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program fellowship and has plans to study in Singapore for several months beginning in January.

2013 n Cayla

Baumann was invited in the spring of 2015 present the keynote speech at the Minneapolis World Savvy Gala. This project-based program has students researching a contemporary world problem at the local, national, and global levels. Cayla’s students were involved in the program and won first in the performance category, second in the exhibit board category, and third in the documentary category at the state level. Additionally, Cayla was one of two staff members from her school selected for the Minneapolis Public Schools Excellence in Education


2015 n Rob

Powers has been selected to serve on a panel reviewing the Massachusetts History & Social Science curriculum framework. The panel consists of 40 educators and experts and will review the state’s current standards and recommend revisions for adoption by the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. n Amanda

Smith recently received a position with Fulton County Schools in Atlanta, Georgia, as a Museum Teaching Specialist. She will be delivering and creating programming for elementary to high school students through the Teaching Museum. n Greg

Valley received the 6th Grade Teacher of the Year award from Chamblee Middle School this past year. He also coached the boys and girls swim teams at Chamblee High School and both teams finished top five at the State Championship!


Casolo was recognized as Teacher of the Year at Old Mill Middle School North in Millersville, MD. He has now switched to Annapolis Middle School and is being officially trained in International Baccalaureate education. This summer he spent time in Kenya and Tanzania.

Lance was selected as a 20162017 Teacher of the Year for Crayton Middle School and was also a finalist for the Richland County School District One Teacher of the Year award. Andrea was also selected for a district position as an Instructional Coach, focusing on technology integration in the classroom.

n Robert

n Lisa

n Philip

Jardine and Casey Siddons spent 10 days in Japan this July as Kezai Koho Centre Fellows! n Victor Shin has been named the Assistant

Head of School at Maryvale Preparatory School in Lutherville, MD. This is in addition to his existing position as Upper School Head. Victor also recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a doctorate in educational leadership.

n Andrea

Smith was awarded the 2016 James Madison Fellowship for Texas. It’s a huge honor and she is excited to begin graduate school in the fall at Ashland University, working on a Master of Arts degree in History and Government with a focus on the U.S. Constitution. Along with other Madison fellows, Lisa will attend Georgetown University for four weeks next summer taking a course on the U.S. Constitution. Lisa has received personal letters of congratulations from Texas Senator John Cornyn and Governor Greg Abbott.

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2 0 1 6 TO P S T U DY TO U R R E CA P S Braunschweig



Dates: June 3-18, 2016 Cities: Bad Wildbad, Geisa, Erfurt, Berlin Group Leader: Jenny Windell


Group Leader Highlight: Picking just one moment from a jam-

packed, educational, and fun TOP study tour is never an easy task, but in this case there is no question of what the group’s highlight was. TOP 1 had the opportunity and, indeed, honor of meeting with representatives of the Welcome In initiative in Fulda, Germany, as well as Kinan, a young Syrian man who fled to Europe seeking refuge and who is now living in Germany. The group was touched to hear Kinan’s personal story and was deeply grateful for the vulnerability and courage it took for him to share this with us. We were inspired by the members of the Welcome In initiative who have supported Kinan during this difficult time in his life and who give freely of their time to reach out to their community, offering long-term and new Fulda residents the opportunity to get to know and understand one another. For me, this is what a TOP study tour is all about: talking with someone from another culture, not just about them, and finding common ground, new ideas, and ways to work together. n

Dates: June 17-July 2, 2016 Cities: Esslingen, Frankfurt, Braunschweig, Berlin Group Leader: Jan Marie Steele Group Leader Highlight: On every TOP tour, we try to bring German and North American educators together to exchange ideas and learn from each other. In Braunschweig, the TOP 3 STEM Fellows were particularly lucky to enjoy the company of the STEM faculty members of the Wilhelm-Gymnasium

for two whole days! School was already out for the year, yet these teachers managed to convince their students to join us at the German Aerospace Centre School Labs for hands-on projects (test drive of a helicopter simulator, anyone?). Not to be outdone in terms of hospitality, the next day Wilhelm-Gymnasium teachers talked shop with us Passau in their classrooms, led us on a kayak/canoe tour from the school’s own dock through the waterways of the city, and then treated us to a TOP 2 phenomenal outdoor feast for dinner. A late night, cutthroat game of cards further Dates: June 17-July 2, 2016 solidified our friendships Cities: Passau, Geisa, Eisenach, with these German teachers. Quedlinburg, Berlin Group Leader Highlight: TOP 2 experienced many highlights over If you have ever heard that Group Leader: Nate Larsen the course of our two weeks in Germany. We were able to enjoy Germans lack a sense of huhome visits in Passau, walk along the former border between East mor, just talk with our STEM and West Germany in Geisa with a former West German border guard, learn from visits to several exFellows. They know otherceptional schools and experience life in a transition camp in Friedland. As wonderful as all of those wise, and they are probably things were, the most commonly talked about highlight of the study tour was our visit with Margot laughing out loud right now Friedlander. It was an incredibly powerful experience for the group to listen as Margot, a 94-year-old just thinking about those Holocaust survivor, read her book to us; to hear her story of survival in her own words and be able to wonderful days we had tosense the emotion in her voice and see the changes in her facial expressions. Her message, “Try to gether as a “family.” n make your life”, was one Margot’s mother shared with her in a note and it hit home for all of us. This visit complemented our interactions with, and education about asylum seekers in Germany today and made clear the positive impact that a person or group of people can have on another human being and society in general. n

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Dates: July 15-30 Cities: Munich, Nuremberg, Geisa, Leipzig, Berlin Group Leader: Jan Marie Steele




Dates: July 1-16, 2016 Cities: Frankfurt, Regensburg, Leipzig, Berlin Group Leader: Jenny Windell

Group Leader Highlight: I can see in my mind’s eye the happy and

excited faces of the TOP 4 group members sitting in the conference room of our hotel and sharing with each other their afternoon experience: home visits with students, parents, and teachers from the Albertus-Magnus-Gymnasium in Regensburg. For me, seeing their excitement was a highlight, and for them, I daresay, the home visits were a highlight of the trip. After visiting the school, where we had presentations and guided tours by students and sat in on a few classes, we enjoyed lunch in the cafeteria. Small groups of 2 or 3 study tour participants were then picked up by students or teachers. They were invited into the homes of their hosts, were treated to spreads of homemade cakes and coffee, and had the opportunity to see what every-day life is like for residents of this beautiful medieval city. Some hosts had taken their guests for a ride in the countryside to see castle ruins and churches. Another group went to see the home where Oskar Schindler once lived. One group was asked by their host’s young daughter to sign her petition to be allowed to get a dog. Another group met a haute couture dirndl designer and got to check out her creations. Everyone was convinced that their home visit was the best and I have to agree, they were! n

Dates: July 1-16 Cities: Heidelberg, Geisa, Wolfsburg, Hamburg, Berlin Group Leader: Mike Raymer

Group Leader Highlight: As a teacher, I learned to live for

those “lightbulb” moments. One afternoon in Berlin, I lost track of the number of times that TOP 6 Fellows turned to me and gestured that their heads were exploding. We were on a Berlin Postkolonial walking tour of the “African Quarter” of Berlin with Mr. Joshua Kwesi Aikins, a political scientist and activist who leads tours with a critical lens on Germany’s colonial past. We expected to learn about the experiences of black people who live in Germany, but our discussions that day resulted in so much more. Mr. Kwesi Aikins connects the events of German colonialism as paving the way for the faux-science, race-related thinking prevalent during the Nazi regime and the Holocaust. He argues that the events of the Holocaust would not have happened if not for colonialism. We contemplated the street signs we saw that honor those involved in the cruel acts of German colonialism. Activists are currently campaigning to change these street names. Even though the tour took place outside during a torrential rainstorm, we still wanted to spend even more time learning from Mr. Kwesi Aikins – one afternoon was simply not enough. We left the appointment with even more questions than we had when we arrived, and we are committed to sharing this inquiry experience with our students. n

Group Leader Highlight: Having the opportunity to spend time in Geisa

was easily the highlight of my time in Germany. From the moment we TOP 5 arrived in Geisa, I knew this was a special place. From the beauty of the castle we called home, to our meeting with the wonderfully generous Elisabeth Faber at the Faber Bakery, to the walking tour along the former East-West German border on a perfect summer day, all of us fell in love with this gem of a town in the Thuringian countryside. Our time in Geisa taught us many things about what the division of Germany did to families and friends and - more importantly - what the reunification process has meant to Germans from both sides of the former border. n


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u 1. Am I eligible to apply? Eligible applicants include the following who are employed in the United States or Canada as social studies and / or STEM educators: classroom teachers (grades K-12), university methods professors, curriculum coordinators, principals, applicable curriculum authors, and applicable state Department of Education employees. Instructional coaches, librarians, teaching assistants, part-time teachers, and student-teachers are not eligible to apply.

u 2. How do I apply? Follow the steps below: download the application form and use the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader software to open and complete the form.

u 3. When is the application

deadline? How long must I wait to be notified?

Applications must be postmarked on or before Friday, February 3, 2017. Applications are not accepted by e-mail or fax. Notification letters are typically mailed by March 1.

u 4. How much does the study

tour cost?

TOP pays for most expenses through the support of its public and private partners. TOP pays for most domestic and international transportation fees, hotel accommodation, two meals per day while abroad (usually breakfast and dinner), and any mandatory study tour related fees, such as museum entry etc. Each participant will have his or her own hotel room. • TOP pays neither for domestic nor for international airline baggage fees when incurred. The international airfare includes one checked bag up to approximately 23 kilograms / 50 lbs. • TOP does not pay for transportation fees in Washington, DC, during the orientation.

A refundable deposit is required upon acceptance. The deposit amount for 2017 participants is $350.00 USD. Deposit refund depends on the successful completion of the items listed in question 8 of this FAQ.

u 5. When do the study tours

take place?

The study tours are two weeks in length and take place during the summer months. The specific tour dates are listed at the top of the application form. Applicants are encouraged to select as many of the available dates as possible.

u 6. Is knowledge of the German

language a requirement?

Since TOP caters to American and Canadian educators of social studies and STEM, knowledge of the German language is NOT a requirement. German language educators wanting to travel to Germany are encouraged to contact their nearest GoetheInstitut for scholarship opportunities.

u 7. How can I improve my chances

of being selected?

Your application can be enhanced by leading a TOP professional development workshop. Workshop evaluation forms must be submitted on or before the study tour application deadline to receive credit. Our TOP Toolkit for Professional Development is a useful resource for planning and leading a workshop about contemporary Germany.

u 8. What is the catch?

We ask that all participants come prepared, able to assume the role of a student, willing to consider new ideas, willing to proactively engage themselves, to be inquisitive, and to learn as professionals during a fun, yet mentally and sometimes physically intense two weeks in Germany. This is a study tour. In fact, there is not much free time during the two weeks abroad.

• TOP does not pay for incidental hotel costs, including but not limited to longdistance telephone service, Internet service (wi-fi), laundry service, mini bar etc.

To adequately prepare participants for their study tour, we ask for participation in pre-departure webinars that are important for enhancing background knowledge, setting the stage, and providing a foundation for group cohesion. We also ask that predeparture reading assignments be taken seriously.

• TOP strongly suggests each participant budget $100.00 USD for study tour related gifts and gratuities.

Upon returning from Germany, every participant is required to 1) author an original unit of learning consisting of one or more

• TOP does not pay for passport/visa renewal fees.

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lessons and 2) conduct one TOP professional development workshop at the local district, state, regional, or national level by May 1 of the following year. The ‘unit’ may consist of any ‘contemporary-Germanyrelated’ topics of the participant’s choosing but should be aligned to C3 (College, Career, Civic Life) or NGSS (for STEM) standards for learning with the goal of enhancing and assessing students’ global competence.

u 9. Just how ‘physically intense’

are the study tours?

While groups travel long distances by plane, train, or bus, participants must sometimes walk distances of several miles (or up to 16,000 steps) per day. Punctuality is paramount, so walking briskly is sometimes necessary. Alternative arrangements will be made for participants with disabilities. Participants are also responsible for their luggage at all times. This can be especially challenging when embarking / disembarking trains. Elevators and escalators are also not omnipresent, so navigating stairways with luggage can be problematic for even the most experienced travelers. The nature of summer weather in Germany, from hot to cold temperatures to frequent rain can sometimes pose unique challenges to some travelers. Please note that air conditioning is not common in northern Europe.

u 10. What will the itinerary look like?

You tell us! Each study tour is designed with the specific areas of interest of the selected participants taken into consideration. The emphasis will be on contemporary German issues relating to the political system, education system, vocational education, economy, culture, migration and integration, and environmental sustainability. Additional themes of note include the legacy of the Holocaust, German unification, and European integration. The TOP study tours are designed to provide a comprehensive, 360-degree perspective of contemporary Germany.

Apply Online!



Dear Educators, We would like to thank you for taking interest in the Transatlantic Outreach Program. We know your time is precious, and we hope you have enjoyed the latest edition of our newsletter. Whether you are one of our experienced Fellows or are learning about us for the first time, we hope you have found something in this newsletter that will encourage you to build a professional relationship with TOP. The articles contained herein were written by educators just like you, who only a short time ago had never heard about the opportunities available to them through our program. Should you decide that your classroom is ready to “span continents,” be it through using specific teaching materials, leading workshops, going on a study tour, or engaging in an intercultural blended-learning project, then we hope you will strongly consider the Transatlantic Outreach Program as a partner on your journey. The Transatlantic Outreach Program (TOP) - a non-profit, public/private partnership between the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Goethe-Institut, Deutsche Bank, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, and the Siemens Corporation - was founded in 2002:

To promote education about Germany, To encourage intercultural dialogue, To provide educators the opportunity to experience Germany in person.

Main Office Address: Transatlantic Outreach Program Goethe-Institut Washington 1990 K Street NW, Suite 03, Washington, DC 20006 Primary Contact Information: 202-847-4700 Private Partners: Deutsche Bank Robert Bosch Stiftung Siemens Corporation

TOP promotes awareness of Germany within the context of its education and political systems, vocational training, corporate social responsibility, environmental sustainability, culture, history, geography, and more.

Public Partners:

One of the first questions many people ask us is, Why Germany?


Well, for one, many Americans have German ancestry. Germany is home to one of the world’s largest economies by GDP and is one of the world’s leading exporters. Germany is a prime mover in European integration and was a founding member of the European Union. Germany is an immigrant nation, bordered by more countries than any other in Europe. Germany is a global leader in environmental protection and “green” technologies. Germany and the USA are important international partners that share common problems and must work together to find common solutions. Finally, promoting dialogue between countries and cultures is the cornerstone of German foreign educational and cultural policy. It is about actively building bridges between peoples in an effort to foster greater understanding and enable nations to be viewed in their cultural and historical contexts.

President of the TOP Board:

If you are ready to learn more about what TOP has to offer you and your students, then we invite you to visit our website, send us an e-mail, and connect with us on social media!

Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany

German Ambassador Peter Wittig Workshops Sponsored 2015: 241/3,336 attendees Number of TOP Fellows 2015: 109 Number of TOP Fellows to Date: 1,398

Thanks for reading! The TOP Team

The Alte Brücke (Old Bridge) spans the Neckar river in Heidelberg, Germany. This photo was taken by TOP 5 2016 Fellow Howard Krug during his study tour.

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“What TOP Means to Me” created by Matt Cottone, TOP 1 2015 Alumnus


Profile for Transatlantic Outreach Program

Modern Germany Update - Fall 2016  

The official newsletter of the Transatlantic Outreach Program. Fall 2016 Edition.

Modern Germany Update - Fall 2016  

The official newsletter of the Transatlantic Outreach Program. Fall 2016 Edition.