Education, University of Pennsylvania, Indiana
Eirini Pougounia participated in a series of virtual educational exchanges between her classroom on the island of Kalymnos and classrooms all over the world, led by her fellow Fulbright Distinguished Teachers of the 2020 program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The Greek teacher responded to a proposal for collaboration with three high schools in Indonesia and a high school in India. Each school was represented by ten students and a teacher coordinator.
The goals of the meetings were the development of English language communication and awareness for intercultural education: to introduce the students to different cultures, to teach them to respect and appreciate the value of each culture, to help them understand the importance of diversity and realize how much they have in common with peers of different backgrounds. All the students expressed their excitement with this type of exchange and the desire for similar activities to be repeated in the near future. The school renewed its appointment with the same schools as many of the Indian and Indonesian students were eager to learn more about Greek culture and the Greek education system.
In the meantime, a further meeting took place with students from Brazil, Finland and Mexico. With these international get-togethers, Eirini hopes to enable her students to escape from the routine of distance learning, to travel mentally to distant places and to meet their global peers.
Eirini Pougounia is a Fulbright Alumna of the 2020-2021 FDAI program
Images: Eirini Pougounia