On November 29, Bank Street College held a panel discussion, Opportunities in International Education, to bring together the different experiences of Bank Street staff and alumni to inform current students and educators who are thinking of working or traveling abroad.Dr. David Penberg (’84)—whose teaching and leadership experience has brought him to Bogota, Guangzhou, Mexico City, and Barcelona—moderated the discussion. Dr. Penberg impressed upon the audience how “teaching and living abroad broadens how we think about and approach learning and teaching anywhere.”
“The extended cross cultural experience,” he explained, “is akin to taking a cold shower every morning…when outside of your own culture, you develop a laser-like vision for understanding your own culture, and everything we often take for granted.”
Left to right: David Penberg, moderator; panelists Beth Norford, Debbie Kurtzberg, Stan Chu. Melanie Okadigwe (not shown) joined online from Tortola, British Virgin Islands.
Four Bank Street alumni participated on the panel, each of whom has experienced the impact of teaching around the world:
Stan Chu (’72) is the Director of two general education master’s programs for assistant teachers in the Graduate School. He has worked around the world, most recently providing professional development in Nepal.
After practicing law for 22 years, Debbie Kurtzberg switched to teaching and earned her master’s from Bank Street in 2009. Most recently, she served as Director of a primary school in Beijing.
Beth Norford (’89) has created a non-profit corporation – Educational Alternatives Worldwide (EAW) – offering consultancy, training, and support to organizations throughout the world that wish to implement progressive pedagogy.