Philadelphia just became the first World Heritage City in the United States. The announcement came at the XIII World Congress of the Organization of World Heritage Cities in Peru last month. Philadelphia joins an elite list of about 270 cities in UNESCO's World Heritage Cities program. Mayor Michael Nutter said, “As a World Heritage City, Philadelphia is being officially recognized on the global stage for its wealth of contributions to the world as the epicenter of American democracy and for its enduring commitment to preserving the unique historical and cultural assets in our diverse community."
The Middle East Center, South Asia Center, Center for East Asian Studies and the Penn Museum are working with teachers, students and schools to integrate World Heritage themes into the classroom. Following the Global Education Summer Institute in July, a World Heritage Tool Kit was created by local teachers full of lesson plans and ideas for explorations. The Tool Kit has lesson plans from many disciplines including STEM and covers global regions. It includes a reference section for websites, local resources, and best practice tips. The Tool Kit was shared at Philly's first World Heritage Teacher Workshop on Saturday Nov. 14th. Over 40 local educators participated in the professional development program. Representatives from the Global Philadelphia Association and the City of Philadelphia attended.
"I gained knowledge about Philadelphia-based connections to significant cityscapes around the world."
"I learned how to reinvigorate lessons infused with global ed."
"Thank you for providing this outreach to support global understanding."
"The networking and sharing ideas with other teachers is always invaluable... plus free curriculum!"
"I learned about connecting students with world heritage- right here in Philly!"
(teachers comments from the workshop evaluation)
This Spring the Centers will continue to support World Heritage education programs at schools in the Greater Philadelphia region. You can check out the Took Kit here: http://globalphiladelphia.org/sites/globalphiladelphia.org/files/PHLWHtoolkit-nov2015.pdf