Teachers Union Blazing Trail for Global Education Access

10 May 2016

When you take an educator out of their classroom, even for a day, and bring them together with their colleagues – be it virtually or face-to-face – you give them the space to invent what great global learning and teaching looks like. When teachers have access to rich professional learning opportunities on a regular basis, schools and districts reap exponential rewards. The Illinois Education Association (IEA) understands this, and is leading the way for unions nationwide fighting for access to high-quality professional development for their teachers.

In a recently released press release, we announced our new partnership with IEA – a valuable opportunity to expand that access to an entire state of educators. Through our nationwide work with the NEA Foundation, we crossed paths with IEA during a global study tour and quickly learned of their commitment to global education. Hoping to create a new model of offerings for educators, IEA approached us for help reaching their over-100,000 educators across more than 870 school districts. “We want to be a complete support system for high quality professional development,” says Mary Jane Morris, Director of the IEA’s Center for Educational Innovation. “Which is why we’re excited to partner with an organization like Primary Source that shares our mission.”

IEA Representative AssemblyPrimary Source headed to Chicago in April to kick off the partnership with a presentation at IEA’s Representative Assembly. Executive Director Jen Boyle joined Deb Cunningham, Senior Program Director (seen at right), and Bob LaRocca, Director of Strategic Collaborations, in communicating the importance of global education and examples of it in action in the classroom. “We were excited to have an opportunity to introduce our work to a new group of educators, and to inform them of the global learning opportunities available through the partnership,” says Bob.

With four spring webinars available, and additional workshops on the way, educators will be able to consistently access relevant resources and materials to support their curricular development. The collaborative nature of the partnership means we will continue to work with IEA leadership to expand global learning in teachers' classrooms.

For Primary Source, it’s an honor to join forces in this manner. “Organizations like IEA are embracing global education and advocating for teacher enrichment,” says Bob. “Getting our courses and resources into the hands of hundreds of thousands of educators across the state, regardless of demographic, is an essential way to make that happen.”

To learn more about how you can develop global learning approaches in your school or district, contact Bob LaRocca at



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