U.S. Department of Education Awards a Fulbright-Hays Grant to William Paterson Professors Sandy Alon and Laura Fattal for Group Study in Israel

College of Education faculty will accompany six aspiring teachers, as well as six professional teachers, on month-long trip by means of Fulbright-Hays grant

Laura Fattal (left) and Sandy Alon

Six William Paterson University students pursuing careers as teachers and six active New Jersey teachers will travel to Israel in summer 2017 through a Fulbright-Hays grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Sandy Alon and Laura Fattal, professors in William Paterson’s College of Education, have been co-awarded $95,000 to lead the four-week group trip. The Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad grant seeks to advance K-12 teachers’ cultural awareness of and interdisciplinary instruction about Israel.

While in Israel, the group of selected applicants will take part in experiential learning that includes visits to UNESCO historical sites, unique environmental landscapes and museums, as well as lectures at prominent educational institutions and hands-on learning with innovators of education technology.

Before their trip, participants will learn the basics of Modern Hebrew and emergent bilingual teaching strategies. Following the trip, they will develop a handbook of interdisciplinary lessons and an online photo-essay that documents their experience – an exercise in teaching global studies by means of the visual arts.

“With our University’s location in northern New Jersey – a multicultural area, it is paramount that we develop teachers who are culturally competent and equipped to provide inclusive instruction that advances global education,” said College of Education Dean Candace Burns.

Alon, an associate professor of educational leadership and curricula studies, serves as director of the College’s Center for Mathematics Success program. There, she trains teachers in methods of intervention for at-risk mathematics students from communities surrounding William Paterson’s campus. The studies provided under this grant, she said, will allow her to better prepare those teachers to meet the needs of diverse student populations.

Fattal, an associate professor focusing on arts integration courses for aspiring teachers, has served as the co-chair of the College’s Diversity and Curriculum Committee and is currently performing research on bilingualism and the arts. She is part of the Fulbright Specialist scholar roster, whereby she is asked to apply for education consultant positions around the world.

The Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad program assists U.S. institutions of higher education, state departments of education and private nonprofit educational organizations with the promotion, improvement and development of area studies and modern foreign language. The funds support short-term overseas projects that focus on training, research and curriculum development in those disciplines.

William Paterson has a history of global educational exchanges. The University has taken part in student and/or teacher cross-cultural programming in the Netherlands, India, Namibia and South Korea. Research on communicative strategies used by teachers of non-native language learners is ongoing between William Paterson and the Western Galilee College in Israel by means of publications and conference presentations. Implementation of technology has been pivotal in their shared goals of creating intercultural dialogue and innovative lessons while advancing inquiry-based global teaching and learning.

“This award provides extraordinary opportunities for teacher candidates, teachers, and faculty to further their global education and deepen understanding through intensive engagement supported by this grant,” Burns says.

Are you a William Paterson University student interested in applying for the trip? Find more information here.

Are you an in-service teacher interested in applying for the trip? Find more information here.