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Concordia Teacher Awarded for Global Understanding

September, 2011
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Concordia Social Studies teacher Mark T. Johnson is the winner of the 2011 National Council for Social Studies Award for Global Understanding. Mr. Johnson is in his 5th year teaching at Concordia and his subjects taught include AP US History and Humanities. Mr. Johnson leads Concordia’s Model UN program, spearheaded a speaker’s series [primarily featuring authors] to enliven his students’ understanding of the world, and in 2009, he pioneered Shanghai History Day, which brought National History Day to students living outside the US.

The NCSS Global Understanding Award recognizes “a social studies educator who has made notable contributions in helping social studies students increase their understanding of the world" (socialstudies.org).

The application was quite extensive; in addition to the letter of nomination and professional reference letters, it required Mr. Johnson to submit lesson plans, supporting documents and a detailed narrative regarding the award criteria. In her nomination letter, Karin Semler, Concordia Director of Student Life, remarked that “Mr. Johnson embodies respect, a desire for understanding, and a drive for maximizing opportunities to the benefit of Concordia’s students and the greater community.”

According to Mr. Johnson, “effective global education integrates multiple perspectives, nurtures cultural sensitivity and an appreciation of diversity, assisting students in becoming informed participants in an increasingly interconnected world.”

The award will be presented in December at the 91st Annual Conference of the National Council for Social Studies, “Dimensions of Diversity”, in Washington, D.C. In addition to receiving the award, Mr. Johnson will have the opportunity to deliver a presentation at the national conference in D.C to educators from across the US.

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