Sozial Studies: How Travel Abroad Empowers a Global Perspective
Keywords:social studies, global studies, international travel, teacher education
The personal experiences and values of individual teachers can tend to restrict the ability to promote a “global perspective” in the social studies, the subject area most suited to that concept. One antidote to this instructional myopia is the prospect of overseas travel, in the form of study tours, the type of which have been shown to have a great impact in this area (Wilson, 1982, 1983, 1993a, 1993b; Germain, 1998; Kirkwood, 2002). This article is a reflection on the findings of a two-week study tour of Germany in 2013, sponsored by the Transatlantic Outreach Program and the Goethe-Institut. During this tour, I was able to visit German schools, corporations, museums, , and to meet German educators. In this article, the value of such experiences to promote a global perspective, essential to global education, is examined—additionally, I analyze the impact that the German sozial approach might have on American educational decisions.