Symposium on International Students
Dr. James Baer-The International Student
“A World of Knowledge: International Students in the Community College Classroom” --Dr. James Baer, Moderator
International students bring with them many life experiences and knowledge about their native countries. However, because many need to improve their English or come from traditions where students quietly listen to instructors and do not give opinions, we often fail to utilize this population as a resource in our classes. This symposium will bring together several international students who will give their opinions about how community college instructors can use the skills and knowledge of international students in the classroom and some instructors who have had success with this population. Join us for a lively discussion about opening up our classrooms to a "World of Knowledge."
A Student Presenter Writes:
"A diverse student body at NOVA will benefit students and teachers alike. Being in such an intercultural environment itself will help reduce people’s uneasiness when they are with different people. Having friends from different cultures or countries will certainly open their minds and eyes to see there are other ways to do things as well. Beyond that, the teachers can use these international students as resources in class. Students can talk about her or his intercultural experience, giving opportunities to other students to hear first-hand experiences from international students. Then people can overcome the limit that most students face in class; their knowledge is not only from books now. International students can provide different points of view. It is also possible to address misconceptions about certain cultures or regions through contact with international students. When students want to learn a foreign language, international students can be a rich and significant resource. Above all, it provides opportunities for people to realize that we are not fundamentally different from each other. It is like finding commonality in differences."
About the Moderator:
James Baer is professor of History at NVCC on the Alexandria campus, campus representative for the Center for Teaching Excellence, and past recipient of the Chancellor's Fellowship. Jim coordinated a special project to study how to get students to effectively use textbooks. Jim also has special research and study interests in Latin America and specifically Argentina. He is co-author of the book: Cities of Hope, People, Protests and Progress in Urbanizing Latin America, 1870-1930 (with Ronn Pineo), Westview Press, 1998. In March 2003, Jim facilitated the CTE’s Spring Colloquy: Faculty Reflections and Exchange – “Getting Students to Read and Effectively Use Textbooks for Positive Results.” A summary of this colloquy can be found on the CTE website at: www.nvcc.edu/loudoun/cte/id19.htm.