Area teacher travels to Denmark sponsored by CIU

Published 11:04 am Friday, August 10, 2012

Leslie Rhinehardt at Kronsburg Castle in Elsinore, Denmark during her trip to the country as part of the Global Teachers Denmark 2012 program. (photo submitted)

by Channing Marshall
Leslie Rhinehardt of Chase High School in Rutherford County recently took a trip across the Atlantic with 30 other North Carolina Educators for the Global Teachers Denmark 2012 program.
“I didn’t have much downtime but when I did I was even able to do a little bit of sightseeing,” said Rhinehardt, “Overall it was a wonderful experience.”
This experience, sponsored through The Center for International Understanding (CIU), was developed to help teachers bring cultural understanding on a global level into the classroom, as well as experience another country’s school system.
The eight-day program allowed for these educators to explore, through Denmark’s socio-economic dimensions, possibilities for worldwide communications through technology.
Since 1990, CIU has taken more than 600 North Carolina educators abroad to 12 different countries. Founded in 1979, the center said it strives to make NC one of the most globally engaged states in the nation.
Before leaving for Denmark, the teachers attended an orientation in Chapel Hill, which covered the basics of overseas travel. While at the orientation they heard two speakers, one who was a Danish citizen currently living in the Chapel Hill area, Mette Juul Sorensen, who gave an overview of Danish history, culture and education. Erica Edwards, executive director for the Center for European Studies, the European Union Center and the Trans-Atlantic Masters Program of UNC, offered the second talk, an “Introduction to the EU and How Denmark Fits.”
Over the course of the trip, Rhinehardt was able to attend multiple learning excursions. She visited a learning facility that teaches children from pre-K to high school about water usage and energy consumption and visited a private school where she learned about how each level is taught and given examples of student work. In Denmark, students around the age equivalent of eighth or ninth grade get to choose different routes to continue their education, including engineering, trade (agriculture mechanics or car mechanics) or even university.

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