Camden Conference in the Classroom Pilot Program a Success

By Camden Conference | Jul 02, 2015
Courtesy of: Camden Conference Students from the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences at the Strand Theatre attending the 2015 Camden Conference.

Seven high schools in Maine participated in a pilot program that included offering a course on the 2015 Camden Conference topic: Russia Resurgent and the teacher and some students attending the three day Conference in February. The purpose of the pilot program was to promote offering courses on current foreign affairs in Maine high schools and to increase the attendance of high school students at the annual Camden Conference.

The impact of providing this support system to high school teachers was significant. In 2012, only nine high school students attended the Camden Conference, and no high school offered a course on foreign affairs. In 2015, because of the pilot program, 56 high school students attended the Conference and 51 of those students were enrolled in a course at their high school on Russia. Courses were offered by eight high schools.

The nine month system of support, called Camden Conference in the Classroom, began with a workshop in September featuring presentations by experts on Russia. Teachers received a range of resources about Russia for use in their course. Following the Conference, teachers showed speaker videos to students enrolled in their course who did not attend the Conference. At the end of the school year students entered an essay contest sponsored by the Conference on Russia today and its impact on global affairs; the winners are featured in the High School section of the Conference education webpage.

Teachers expressed enthusiasm for the support system and all pilot teachers plan to participate in the 2015-16 Program on The New Africa. These teachers now call themselves the Camden Conference in the Classroom Cohort, and hope to influence trends in Maine high schools for preparing students as global citizens.

Students expressed excitement about attending the Conference and learning about Russia from experts. They appreciated speakers offering differing perspectives on Russia which raised many questions about the complexity of global dynamics.

The Camden Conference thanks pilot teachers from the following high schools for their strong commitment to preparing students as global citizens: Gould Academy (Bethel), Foxcroft Academy (Dover-Foxcroft), Maine Academy of Natural Sciences (Hinkley), Oceanside High School (Rockland), Edward Little High School (Auburn), Portland High School (Portland), and Medomak Valley High School (Waldoboro).

The mission of the Camden Conference is to foster informed discourse on world issues. For more information, visit www.camdenconference.org, email info@camdenconference.org, or call 207-236-1034.

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