TEAN’s Choose Earth initiative is our way of building environmental and social responsibility into the ethos and outcomes of education abroad. At TEAN, we believe that studying abroad should include learning about—and finding solutions to—our most challenging societal problems, such as sustainable development, climate change, biodiversity, resource use, habitat preservation, gender inequality and social injustice in a globalized world.

To this end, TEAN is committed to providing experiential learning opportunities abroad that help build the knowledge, skills and attitudes students need to become locally engaged, civically minded and globally responsible. For us at TEAN, our Choose Earth initiative conveys the new imperative of global learning today—making informed choices, personal decisions and collective actions that sustain the vitality, diversity and longevity of the planet because the individual choices students make at the local level have a global impact..

To help students embrace and work towards sustainable living, our programs and practices are designed to foster global thinking and informed local action while various assessments keep students thinking critically about their lifestyle choices. TEAN also actively participates and contributes to a number of events and publication to help make sustainability a priority in the education abroad industry. As our core value of Choose Earth says: “let’s work truly together and choose a sustainable future for our planet.”

Assessment

Assessment

We want to know that our programs are changing the lives and life habits of our students and the people they meet. To help achieve this, we have built into our programs a number of tools and processes that help us assess how well we are changing the lives and life habits. Together, these assessment tools provide TEAN with quantitative and qualitative outcomes data that help us evaluate the impact our programs are having on the cognitive, affective and behavioral development of our students.

GPI

The Global Perspective Inventory (or GPI) is a web-based survey designed to assess a student’s developing attitudes and understanding of the world in the following areas: sustainability; environmental threats; mass consumerism; food, hunger, and nutrition; poverty and gender inequalities; and civic engagement. It is one of the most widely used assessment surveys in the industry. Prior to studying abroad, students take a general 35-question survey to measure their initial position on these topics as well as their home college experiences before departure. After their studying abroad experience and returning to their home environment, students then complete a post-test, which includes an additional 17 questions on their study abroad experiences. TEAN also articulates 10 institution-specific questions around sustainability and social justice issues in both the pre/post GPI surveys for a more thorough look at students’ cultural understanding and growth.

Sulitest

The Sustainability Literacy Test (or Sulitest) is a web-based survey that measures and improves knowledge, skills and mindsets around sustainability in four key areas: sustainable humanity and ecosystems; global and local human-built systems; transition towards sustainability; and roles to play in both individual and systemic change. The test includes both an international and national module, and TEAN is customizing an institution-specific module around sustainability and social justice issues TEAN students experience at each TEAN destination to further measure students’ attitudes and awareness around sustainability as well as what can be improved in each program.

Publications & Conferences

Publications & Conferences

Through formal presentations and publications, TEAN is leading and supporting efforts to encourage educators to view sustainability as the central concept for our age and a critical outcome of comprehensive internationalization. As such, TEAN advocates for building environmental awareness and sustainability literacy into the ethos and outcomes of higher education generally and specifically education abroad.

TEAN staff members have contributed to the following international education publications and conference programs:

Publications

Scott G. Blair and James M. Lucas. “Assessment and Evaluation” in Learning Across Cultures: Locally and Globally, 3rd edition, NAFSA, June 2017. Book chapter co-author. (in progress for publication in 2017).

Scott G. Blair. “Assessing Intercultural Competence – A Student Centered Experiential Toolbox”, book chapter in Deardorff & Arasaratnam-Smith, (eds.) Internationalization in Higher Education, Routledge, 2017.

Scott G. Blair. “Introduction to Assessment” in Adam Henry and Jennifer Malerich (editors and lead instructors) Study Abroad USA: Building Capacity for US Institutions. edX Online course (GBX 500x) under the aegis of US Department of State and Arizona State University. Curriculum development: Module 6: Orientation and Assessment, 2017.

Scott G. Blair. “The health of nations: Adam Smith, internationalisation and sustainable learning outcomes for the 21st century”. In EAIE Conversation Starter, EAIE Glasgow Conference, September 2015.

2017 EVENTS

NSEE Annual Conference: St. Pete Beach, FL
Principles, Processes & Best Practice in Designing, Delivering and Assessing Experiential Learning Programs: A Field-Based Practicum: Full-day workshop

EAIE Annual Conference: Seville, Spain
The Mosaic in Shades of Green: Internationalizing Towards Sustainable Development. Session

EAIE Annual Conference: Seville, Spain
Holding the Mosaic Together! The Matrix of Intercultural Competence. Session

EAIE Annual Conference: Seville, Spain
Assessing Sustainability Literacy as a Learning Outcome in International Higher Education. Session

NAFSA Annual Conference: Los Angeles
Teaching and Assessing Sustainability Literacy in Education Abroad. Poster

NAFSA Annual Conference: Los Angeles
Learning Outcomes Assessment and Sustainability: BEVI Research Indicators. Poster

Asia Pacific Association for International Education: Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Assessing Sustainability Literacy as a Learning Outcomes in International Education. Poster

Diversity Abroad Conference: Minneapolis, MN
The Role Intercultural Competence Plays in Embracing Diversity Across the Academy. Session

Association of International Education Administrators: Washington, DC
The End of Turf War: A Five-Point Strategy for Sustainable Internationalization. Session

WISE – Workshop on Intercultural Skills Enhancement: Winston-Salem, NC
Intercultural Competence for a Sustainable Planet: Principles, Practice & Outcomes. Session

2016 Events

Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education: Baltimore, MD
Beyond Cultural Learning: Building Sustainability into the Outcomes of Education Abroad. Session

Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education: Baltimore, MD
Promoting and Assessing Sustainability as a Learning Outcome in Education Abroad. Poster

Forum on Education Abroad European Conference: Athens, Greece
Living the Change that Sustainability Demands: Lessons from Europe. Session

NSEE Annual Conference: San Antonio, TX
Assessment and Evaluation in Experiential Education. Half-day workshop

EAIE Annual Conference: Liverpool, England
You May Say I’m A Dreamer! Why We Value Intercultural Competence. Session

EAIE Annual Conference: Liverpool, England
Championing Sustainability as a Learning Outcome in Higher Education. Poster

NAFSA Annual Conference: Denver, CO
Mapping Global Learning. Session

NAFSA Annual Conference: Denver, CO
Intercultural Competence: Pathway to Global Learning. Session

NAFSA Annual Conference: Denver, CO
Climate Change, Sustainability and Global Learning. Poster

NAFSA Annual Conference: Denver, CO
Assessing Intercultural Competence: Pathway to Global Learning. Poster

NAFSA Annual Conference: Denver, CO
Everyday Ethics in International Education. Session

Forum on Education Abroad Annual Conference: Atlanta, GA
The Place of “Culture” in Education Abroad: A Debate. Session

Forum on Education Abroad Annual Conference: Atlanta, GA
At the Crossroads: Five Urgent Questions for Education Abroad. Session

2015 Events

NSEE Annual Conference: St. Pete Beach, FL
Experiential Education and Global Connectivity. Session

2015 EAIE Annual Conference: Glasgow, Scotland
Adam Smith and International Education. Conference Dialogue

2015 TEAN Advisory Roundtable: Chicago, IL 
“Assessing Up the Wrong Tree! – Learning Outcomes for the 21st Century”. Session

Choose Earth Symposium

Choose Earth 2018 Symposium

The Choose Earth! Reinventing Education Abroad for 21st Century Challenges
Symposium will be hosted June 14, 2018 in Chicago, IL.

Hosted by TEAN, this day-long symposium, focused on study abroad, service learning and overseas internships, explores good practice in designing, delivering and assessing study abroad programs that intentionally situate sustainability learning and literacy at the center of the student experience.

TEAN invites education abroad professionals for a full day of sharing ideas and building the innovative educational partnerships of tomorrow. When we reinvent study abroad for a sustainable future—when we Choose Earth!—we empower students to rise and meet the the greatest challenge of the 21st century.

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