Later this month, College of Education professor David Cline will head to India for about two months to teach science courses at the Kittur Ranichennama Residential Sainik School for Girls.
“We have had this exchange first with Carrollton schools, and then with Saginaw Township schools,” Cline said. “Every year, for about the last 10 years, there have been students and teachers from India who come here, live and work for (a few) weeks and then they go back. Then, a team from here goes to India. We have had several elementary and secondary candidates that have gone.”
Cline hopes to bring SVSU teacher candidates and graduates back to India next summer.
He hopes his students, both in India and the United States, gain an increased awareness of different cultures and the ability to see things from a different perspective.
“(The teachers in India) have certainly had an impact on my teaching in exchange, and it’s always good to get those teachers in my class and get that awareness,” Cline said. “I have grown quite a bit as a teacher because I can understand somebody else’s perspective.”
Cline was first invited to India to work with teachers on science curriculum and inquiry methods.
“The school is standard sixth through 12th grade, but my experience is more elementary,” Cline said. “The reason I am going this fall is that they are interested in starting grades first through fifth, and they asked for my expertise in helping with that.”
The Kittur Ranichennama Residential Sainik School for Girls is an elite, nationally recognized school in India. The school’s humanitarian mission includes expanding education opportunities in their society and offering scholarships to students from local villages.
“The school’s founder believed in education for women in India at a time where it wasn’t fashionable,” Cline said. “If you visit the public schools in India, a class of 25 might be 20 boys and five girls because there is still this tradition of girls should learn at home how to cook, clean and care for children. Those skills are important, but … they need to know how to function in a society.”
Cline is working with the Study Abroad office to expand the program and give students the opportunity to experience teaching in another country.
“It’s an exciting, healthy opportunity,” Cline said.