Educators learning from each other
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The University of Iowa is one of two institutions a delegation of Russian educators is visiting for an in-depth look at different facets of higher education. While here, the group is learning to embrace 21st century challenges such as working with diverse student bodies, students who are “digital natives” unlike their instructors, and e-learning while building a premier research institution.
Members of the Russian delegation prepare to hear welcome remarks from UI officials. Photo courtesy of Belin-Blank Center Photo Services.
The delegation of 10 comes from the National University of Science and Technology (NUST MISiS), which Russian President Dmitry Medvedev designated as the country’s first national research university in 2008.
Prior to arriving in Iowa City, where they are staying for a week, the group visited the American Councils for International Education, a nonprofit located in Washington, D.C. “It is an honor to be one of two sites they visit to better inform themselves about the ‘state-of-the-art’ in contemporary higher education,” says Laurie Croft, an administrator of professional development at the UI College of Education’s Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development.
The Belin-Blank Center is hosting the group with help from Margaret Mills, a UI Russian professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the entire university is being showcased through presentations and interactive visits across campus.
Belin-Blank Center director
The group arrived Monday, April 23, and was greeted by UI President Sally Mason, Provost P. Barry Butler, and a team of deans from across campus including College of Education Dean Margaret Crocco, College of Engineering Dean Alec Scranton, and Downing Thomas, associate provost and dean of UI International Programs.
During their week in Iowa City, they are learning about everything from service learning to the role of athletics at a research institution.
From 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 25, the group will be at the College of Education’s Teacher Leader Center with James R. Stachowiak, associate director of the Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research. Stachowiak will give the visitors hands-on opportunities with technologies for an inclusive 21st century classroom.
At 8 a.m. on Thursday, April 26, they’ll observe Associate Professor Edwin Dove’s innovative ”Engineering Problem Solving II” course in Room 2217 of the Seamans Center.
“We are excited for the Belin-Blank Center and the University of Iowa to host this group of university educators from Russia,” says Nicholas Colangelo, director of the Belin-Blank Center. “This entire week will be an example of educators learning from each other.”