Gift from Janette and Don Carpenter Funds Study Abroad Experience

March 2, 2020

While some disciplines are bringing international students to learn in Waco, the School of Education is fortunate, through a generous gift from Janette and Don (BBA ’81) Carpenter, to have a fully-funded study abroad experience for its students.

The semester-long opportunity provides students with an immersive view into a variety of school settings examining local and global education structures, including a trip to Queretaro, Mexico.

“One week is not enough to finish the story, but hopefully what it does is whet an appetite and a curiosity and opens a door to what might not have been thought of as a possibility before,” said Don. “The program gives students an opportunity to look outside of what they’re used to and expand their horizons to make them think a little bit more creatively and globally and bring that back to enhance their abilities in the classroom.”

Immersing future educators in the heritage-rich city allows them to critically reflect on pedagogy in all contexts. The students explore how race, class, gender, sexuality, language, privilege, faith, worldview and other differences influence schools and communities.

“Our children both went through the education department, and we saw the benefits they got from the education programs. That first spurred us to think in terms of giving through education. That’s buttressed by the fact that, if you think about it, there’s probably no one who touches more people than a teacher and, particularly, a teacher with a faith in Christ. So the program seemed like a pretty wise investment as far as both education and the Kingdom of God,” said Don.

The Carpenters’ heart for globally-focused experiences gives future educators the chance to participate in a program that prepares them to step into any classroom around the world with care and consideration for cultural experiences different from their own. The Embedded Classroom aims to build up educators who are thoughtful in their calling and see their role as important and impactful in the context of a diverse global education system.