Partnership with Local Educators
CMES draws on the expertise of scholars and specialists from the University of Chicago community and around the country to advance a descriptive and analytical understanding of North Africa, West Asia, Central Asia, and the wider Islamic world in both historical and contemporary contexts. The Outreach program's principal aim is to create new learning opportunities for K-12 and post-secondary educators, administrators, and students. These opportunities typically are thematic professional development conferences and workshops, but CMES also works directly with individuals and groups outside of the workshop setting to develop and customize other types of programs. The Center also organizes a variety of on- and off-campus activities and events intended for both academic specialists and the general public.
Ongoing training is crucial to effective teaching and professional advancement. Educators in the Chicago Public Schools, in the City Colleges of Chicago, and in school districts across the metropolitan Chicago area benefit from the experience and research of CMES faculty and scholars. Through CMES' professional development programs, educators expand and deepen their intellectual horizons and take a renewed spirit of enthusiasm back to their classrooms. In return, the Center's experts receive valuable insight into the opportunities and challenges of public education across a variety of disciplines. Working together with dedicated teachers and administrators, CMES is committed to enriching the educational experience of the city's K-12, community college, college, and university students.
Summer Institute for Educators
The University of Chicago Summer Institute for Educators is a multi-day, interdisciplinary professional development program for K-12 and post-secondary educators held every summer on campus in Hyde Park. Historically, the Summer Institute has brought together journalists, academics, policy professionals, and education specialists for an in-depth examination of issues of global significance that have social, political, and environmental implications. In its current format, the Summer Institute is organized and co-sponsored by the University's area studies centers (CEAS, CEERES, CLAS, and CMES), in partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and with support from U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center grants. All Summer Institute content is available online at UChicago Educator Outreach, a joint project of the the area studies centers mentioned above.
International Education Conference
The International Education Conference is a professional development program for educators designed to promote the internationalization of existing K-12 and post-secondary courses and curricula. It convenes once per academic year and is organized by the University's federally funded area studies centers. Like the Summer Institute, all International Education Conference content is available online at UChicago Educator Outreach.
Chicago Arabic Teachers Council
The Chicago Arabic Teachers Council (CATC) is a grass-roots organization committed to serving the professional interests and needs of the diverse community of public and private K-12 Arabic educators and their students in the city of Chicago and surrounding area. The CATC’s activities include workshops, conferences, and performances organized by and for K-12 and post-secondary Arabic teachers, textbook writers, educational administrators, and students. The CATC is hosted at the University of Chicago’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies in partnership with Qatar Foundation International.
The CATC serves the over 250 Arabic educators in Chicago and the surrounding region, including public and private school teachers at the elementary, high school, and university levels. As of the 2017-2018 academic year, four high schools and seven elementary schools within Chicago Public Schools offer Arabic as a world language, accounting for nearly 3,000 students of Arabic in the public schools alone. The University of Chicago, the host institution for the CATC, taught Arabic in its very first quarter of classes in the autumn of 1893 and has been teaching it continuously ever since. Arabic education in Chicago thus has a long history, and the CATC is committed to supporting the vibrant community of Arabic educators as it continues to grow and flourish.