Seth Brady is on a mission to train more globally-minded citizens. Since his participation in the Teachers for Global Classrooms (TGC) program, Seth has been working tirelessly to expose more students in his home state of Illinois to a global education that will prepare them for an increasingly globalized world. He credits his TGC experience with instilling in him a deeper understanding of just how powerful a skill set teachers can offer their students through a globally-focused curriculum. He has dubbed this power, not as IQ or EQ, but as GQ or “Global Intelligence.” With a high GQ, students can learn to “unlock a culture” and understand its values in a way that aids international collaboration and success.
Seth, a finalist for the 2015 Illinois State Teacher of the Year, has drawn on his experience in TGC to introduce innovative curriculum projects in his own classroom that increase international understanding and global competence. One such project encouraged his students to trace the origins of their clothing, an idea which was directly inspired by his TGC field experience on Bangka Island in Indonesia. Students were tasked with using business tools to explore the global economy, to find out how their clothes were made, as well as research and conduct a cultural analysis of these communities looking at religion, art, politics, language, and geography. Through this interdisciplinary lesson, students learned just how interconnected the world is and how much we take for granted. Seth described the exercise as a “mind-opener” to his students.
In addition to the innovative curricular work in his own classroom, Seth advocates for global education policy at a district and state level. He has mobilized a global education coalition and is leading the charge to introduce the Global Scholar Certificate option for Illinois high school graduates. To earn the certificate, students would be required to study world languages, take globally-focused coursework, engage in internationally focused community service and activities, and complete a capstone project. The certificate would be awarded to eligible students upon high school graduation and indicates that the scholars are ready to participate in a globalized world.
The Teachers for Global Classrooms program provides a year-long professional development opportunity for middle and high school teachers from the United States to become leaders in global education. Seth has truly embraced this call to action and embodies excellence in global education leadership at both the school and community level. Through his commitment and creativity, more U.S. students are being exposed to the critical “GQ – Global Intelligence” that will help them succeed in today’s interconnected world.
Each month, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA) Alumni Affairs Division, which supports alumni as they build on their exchange experiences, recognizes one outstanding alumnus or alumna. Seth Brady is this month’s outstanding alumnus, and his work will be recognized throughout November on the International Exchange Alumni website, ECA’s official website which serves more than one million Department-sponsored exchange alumni worldwide.