East Orange educator, NJEA apprentice selected as 2018 NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellow

The NEA Foundation named Ikechukwu Onyema, a chemistry educator at East Orange Campus High School in East Orange, N.J., as one of the 48 public school educators to become a member of this year’s class of Global Learning Fellows. Onyema will spend a year building global competency skills (the capacity to understand and act on issues of global significance).

As a result of the Fellowship, Onyema will be better equipped to prepare students for global citizenship. Fellows also create valuable global lesson plans for their students that are freely shared with educators across the nation and the world through open-source platforms.

“Residing and teaching inside of the United States can be dangerous, in that it gives one the impression that the rest of the world is ‘like this,’ ” says Onyema. “I’m very clear on the importance of broadening my education through travel experiences that involve deep cultural inquiry.”

This class was selected from more than 400 applicants from across the country. These new Fellows teach all grade levels – and all subjects: from visual and performing arts to agri-science, vocational studies to history. They come from rural, suburban, and urban schools. They are National Board Certified, curriculum coaches, IB coordinators, foreign language speakers, and more. Some have participated in similar programs, and some have never traveled abroad. The diverse cohort will allow educators to learn from each other and bring global perspectives to a wide range of students.

“We believe that educators are the key to giving students the skills to thrive in an interconnected world,” said Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation. “We created the Global Learning Fellowship to provide professional development in teaching global competencies and to support educators as they integrate these skills into classroom instruction.”

Over the course of a year, the NEA Foundation staff, partners, and field experts will support Onyema as he immerses himself in online coursework, webinars, and collegial study, including a two-day professional development workshop this fall and a nine-day international field study next summer, bringing the full cohort together with experts in global learning.

The workshop includes sessions led by leaders in global competency and country-specific knowledge.

The Global Learning Fellows have completed online learning focused on integrating global content into their core instruction. They created more than 70 global-focused, K-12 inquiry-based lessons which can replicated. Download these free, global lesson plans, and find additional lessons on

Get to know all of the 2018 NEA Foundation Learning Fellows by visiting The NEA Foundation will accept applications for the 2019 Global Learning Fellowship this fall. NJEA Apprentice selected 2018 NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellow

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