K-12 applications due: december 1, 2015 who can apply? K-12 educators in area public, private, or charter schools

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Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program

The University of Detroit Mercy

African Contributions and Contemporary Issues in Northeast Brazil: A Curriculum Development Project Integrating Social Sciences and the Arts – 2016 Program



K-12 educators in area public, private, or charter schools: (Up to 7 will be selected)

Up to seven K-12 full-time educators who teach social sciences (history, social studies, political science, economics) and/or the arts (performing, visual, and/or language arts) will be selected to participate in this project. Selected participants will collaborate with UDM faculty and staff to develop curriculum enhancement projects that focus on African Contributions and Contemporary Issues in Brazil.

Interested candidates are required to submit an application. See APPLICATION & GUIDELINES for details.

PRIORITY CANDIDATES: For the purpose of the UDM GPA Program to Brazil, priority consideration will be given to full-time K-12 educators in low-income school districts, primarily located in Detroit and/or area public, private or charter schools. To be eligible for this program, teachers must be employed in a full-time teaching position at the time of application. Two additional quality points will be awarded to applicants located in priority districts including, but not limited to, Detroit, Highland Park, and Hamtramck.

ALL OTHER CANDIDATES: K-12 teachers in other school districts located in Michigan and throughout the United States are encouraged to apply and may be selected to participate in this opportunity.


Eligible GPA Participants

In addition to meeting the criteria above, an individual will be eligible to participate in a GPA project if s/he is:

  • A citizen, national or permanent resident of the United States; and

  • Currently employed full-time in a U.S. school system, institution of higher education, Local Education Agency or State Education Agency (not applicable to students); and at least one of the following:

    • A teacher in an elementary or secondary school (please see note below);

    • A faculty member who teaches modern foreign languages or areas students;

    • An experienced education administrator responsible for planning, conducting, or supervising programs in modern foreign languages or area studies at the elementary, secondary, or postsecondary levels;

    • A graduate student, a junior, or a senior in an institution of higher education who is a prospective teacher in the areas of social sciences, humanities, and foreign languages. The student should meet the provisions set by his or her local and state education agencies.

    • An individual who has previously participated in another Fulbright-Hays GPA or Short-term Program Abroad is eligible 2 years after completing their last GPA.

(Note: All GPA participants must be educators, students, pre-service teachers, or administrators who fulfill the criteria above and the selection criteria set by their respective group projects, and are currently teaching, studying, and/or administering in the eligible fields of humanities, social sciences, foreign languages, and/or area studies. Area studies is defined as a program of comprehensive study of the aspects of a society or societies, including the study of their geography, history, culture, economy, politics, international relations, or languages. Project participants may also be working in interdisciplinary areas such as business, health, social work, math, science, counseling, engineering, the environment, and technology. If an educator or student is working in a variety of subject areas, s/he must spend the majority of his/her time working with eligible subject areas, as described. In the case of the UDM Brazil GPA, candidates’ primary subject areas must be in social sciences or the arts, as described in the first paragraph of this document.)

Curriculum Project

EACH participant on a Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad (GPA) Program is expected to submit a curriculum project as the result of attendance in the program. For the purpose of the UDM GPA in Brazil, the curriculum project will consist of an e-Portfolio that contains 1) a unit plan or series of lesson plans related to the experience, and 2) an accompanying curriculum visual presentation or audio-visual project that can be used for multiple outreach purposes. All projects are due within 2 months of returning from Brazil (final date TBA). All projects must be implemented the semesters immediately following program completion. Outreach presentations at the school and district levels must occur within 1 year of returning from Brazil. Additional presentations at the state and national levels may occur within 2 years of program completion.

Participant cost-share:

The UDM Group Project Abroad to Brazil award will fund a majority of participant costs while in Brazil, including some travel expenses to and from Brazil. However, participant cost-sharing is encouraged by Fulbright-Hays and, for the purpose of the UDM GPA is set at $1,500 USD per participant—not including incidental expenses such as (but not limited to) passport and visa fees, laundry, phone, and some meals not covered by the grant. This amount is non-negotiable.

1 month commitment in Brazil

In additional to attending all pre-departure coursework in language and cultural studies at UDM and online, participants are required to commit to 28 days to 1 full month in Brazil. Projected dates are end of June to end of July 2016.

Restrictions on Non-Participants

In accordance with the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad regulations: Spouses, other family members, and friends, who have not been selected to participate in this project are NOT permitted to join the group at any point during the program.


Objectives of the project

Goal: To give participants multiple perspectives of the African American experience through scholarly research and dialogue in Northeast Brazil to inform learning, build and enhance resources, and internationalize their curricula in meaningful and measurable ways.


  1. To build curricular collaborations and enhance scholarly exchange between K-12 and university teachers and administrators that enhance area studies; help participants internationalize their school programs and curricula; and develop and implement curriculum projects, lesson plans, resources, and materials that inform teaching and learning.

  2. To enhance collaboration between world languages and other disciplines and to cultivate Brazilian Portuguese language and intercultural competence in ways that align with the ACTFL 2013 World Readiness Standards for Learning Languages that emphasize the interplay between linguistic and cultural competency and assess learning via the three modes of communication (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational).

  3. To gain intercultural competence by investigating cultural products, practices, and perspectives through the 5Cs (culture, community, collaboration, comparisons, and communication), cultivating culturally informed pedagogy.

  4. To leverage technology to record experiences and to develop and store curriculum projects. E-Portfolios will be used to gather research materials easily and to store, manage, access, and retrieve information that can be readily integrated into the curriculum; to track progress; store notes; and house documents, photos, and other resources and materials that will generate lesson plans and curriculum projects that can be used now and readily adapted for future purposes.

  5. To generate and disseminate research and scholarly products that speak to a wide audience of students and educators (locally, regionally, and nationally) using a variety of platforms, mediums, and technologies.

The most direct effect of the project will be on the classroom teaching of participants who will integrate their learning experiences into their own teaching practices. Participants in this GPA will be expected to present at professional conferences and hold workshops in their schools, districts, and communities. Curriculum projects will not only link appropriate content standards but will also strengthen assessments of student learning in these areas.


Participants will be required to complete a comprehensive, carefully planned program that will form the basic groundwork to better appreciate and comprehend Brazil’s multi-faceted race relations, African heritage, and history. This learning experience will be a process that entails three phases: pre-departure, in-country, and return-programming.

Pre-departure phase: The pre-departure phase includes Portuguese language instruction and culture and country seminars. These activities will occur face-to-face on the UDM campus, as well as online using the Blackboard Discussion Board. All participants are required to undergo training using e-Portfolios; all are responsible for researching relevant articles and information on Brazil that will form the basis of a collective annotated bibliography; all will post, share, and participate in the scheduled Discussion Board sessions; all will create preliminary documents (outlines, graphic organizers, etc.) to aid in their curriculum projects.

In-country phase: All participants are expected to participate fully in daily programming in Brazil, including attending Portuguese language instruction, cultural and educational seminars, site visits, workshops, cultural experiences, and weekly workshops dedicated to debriefing and reflecting on experiences, synthesizing research and resources, project planning, and e-Portfolio management.

Return phase: The return phase includes follow-up, project completion, peer review, and dissemination. UDM will link lessons to its Fulbright page and the IFLE site where teachers can continue their educational experiences by uploading new lessons, exchanging ideas for classroom and curriculum development, and disseminating those plans.

Projects & Dissemination Plan: All participants are required to produce a curriculum project on The African American Experience in Brazil related to or analyzing its products, practices, and perspectives. Participants can research one area of the African continuities that enhances content area instruction. Each plan or project must include appropriate authentic assessments; each group member will design at least two original assessments. These items will be published on our website, and will be stored in their e-Portfolios for easy retrieval. Curriculum projects and unit plans will be published on UDM, school, community and department of state websites. GPA peers will review projects prior to posting.

One cannot talk about Brazil without acknowledging the African influence in the Northeast cities of Salvador, Bahia, and São Luis, Maranhão. Yet, tensions exist between regional racial pride and social inequality throughout the country. Brazil shares a similar history of enslavement of African peoples with the United States. However, slavery continued in Brazil several decades after it is was abolished in the United States. In 1888, an estimated four million slaves were imported to Brazil from Sub-Saharan, West, and Central Africa compared to the United States, which imported approximately 500,000. Brazil is a cultural mélange of these groups with lasting African legacies and traditions; however, many in the United States have little knowledge about the slave trade in Brazil or of the African influence on contemporary society. The “African American experience” is so often contextualized to the United States, and Latin and South America are left out of the conversation. By studying the arts, social science, and history of Brazil, U.S. educators will grasp the complexity of slavery from a more global perspective and will better understand its implications on our two societies. Comparisons can be made where our two countries converge in experiencing racial discrimination and where we diverge in our approaches to confronting and eradicating inequality.

The overarching goal of this GPA is to provide a 4-week collaborative learning experience in Brazil that gives participants multiple perspectives of the African American experience through scholarly research and dialogue in Northeast Brazil that aimed to inform learning, build and enhance resources, and internationalize curricula in meaningful and measurable ways.

To achieve this goal, participants will investigate cultural products, practices, and perspectives of African identity; recognize the interdependence of cultures through exposure to art, culture, and religious traditions, and through visits to educational institutions and social organizations.


See APPLICATION AND GUIDELINES link for more details.

Applicants will be evaluated on ALL of the following areas.

  1. Curriculum Vitae (10 points) – not to exceed 3 pages.

  2. International/intercultural experience and/or goals: Information about intercultural competence, past travel experiences (or ability and willingness to travel if they have not traveled outside of the United States) (10 points) – not to exceed 2 pages.

  3. Project plan and implementation: A statement of particular area(s) of interest, a proposed plan of interest and use of the experience in classroom instruction, rationale for how their project and lessons will relate to specific content area(s), and a plan and timeline for dissemination and implementation of lesson(s). (35 points) Not to exceed 4 pages.

  4. Demonstrated need: A statement on their need for participation in this project, their school or district need for this experience, a rationale for how the experience will tie into their professional and institutional goals. (35 points) Not to exceed 4 pages.

  5. Reference from a current supervisor: Letter of support from a supervisor regarding candidate’s interpersonal skills, ability to work with others, and their feelings on how the candidate would represent their school and the United States as a citizen. (10 points). LETTER FROM SUPERVISOR SHOULD BE SENT BY SUPERVISOR to UDM GPA Project Lara Wasner at wasnerle@udmercy.edu referencing candidate’s name in the subject line.





  • GO TO APPLICATION & GUIDELINES link for submission information.

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