SESP Shares Education Vision with Visitors from Republic of Georgia

SESP Shares Education Vision with Visitors from Republic of Georgia

Education leaders from the Republic of Georgia and OSEP

Education leaders from the Republic of Georgia visited the School of Education and Social Policy (SESP) on April 1 to learn about the School's model for partnerships with school systems and the latest trends in education research. The U.S. Department of State sponsored the delegation.

SESP representatives met with Elene Jibladze, director of the National Center For Educational Quality Enhancement, and Giorgi Sharvashidze, deputy minister at the Ministry of Education and Science for the Republic of Georgia. As they address education reform, the Georgia delegation wanted to meet with representatives from Northwestern University's Office of STEM Education Partnerships (OSEP) and the School of Education and Social Policy.

OSEP director Kemi Jona and associate director Amy Pratt shared OSEP's model as a way to develop partnerships with school districts that can enhance K-12 student learning. OSEP develops liaisons between K-12 schools and the cutting-edge resources of Northwestern University.

“We try to bring science, technology, engineering and math from Northwestern out to the K-12 community,” says Pratt. The advantages of the OSEP model are that it makes Northwestern faculty more competitive for grants, enhances K-12 education and fosters community engagement, which is an important mission of the University.

The SESP faculty members also provided an overview of outstanding research and curriculum design, as well as the latest trends in education research in the United States. The Republic of Georgia is working to reform education from the elementary level through graduate school.

Researchers at SESP are pursuing leading-edge research in STEM education, which can offer insights for developing education reforms. “The challenges in the Republic of Georgia are similar to challenges in the United States,” says Pratt. One challenge is how to develop motivation for students to pursue STEM fields as nations build a workforce to meet 21st-century needs.

WorldChicago hosted the delegation, which was invited to the U.S. through the International Visitor Leadership Program of the U.S. Department of State. WorldChicago is a nonprofit organization that assists guests of the U.S. government who visit the Chicago area from abroad. Virgil Bodeen of the U.S. Department of State also accompanied the delegation.

The mission of Northwestern University’s Office of STEM Education Partnerships (OSEP) is to connect K-12 students and teachers to the world-class science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) resources of Northwestern University and beyond. OSEP programs include professional development workshops for teachers, mentoring programs for teachers and students, inquiry-based STEM learning programs for students, and partnership initiatives between Northwestern University and K-12 schools and other organizations. 

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 4/3/14