FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Having been a country for just over three years, Kosovo (formerly Serbia) is a developing nation working to increase the 21st century skills within its schools and communities. Jeffrey Nowak, associate professor of science education at Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), is the development consultant working with USAID.gov and Kosovo Education Center (KEC) to create a basic education program for the country.
Nowak has a history of working in international development with USAID.gov, having created a national education program for the country of Macedonia. As director of the Northeast Indiana Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (NISTEM) Education Resource Center, Nowak is an expert on the continuing global focus on technology and project based learning (PBL) in education.
Nowak’s work in Kosovo has taken him to the country several times. In March of this year he visited the “Green School” in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, to design two science labs focusing on technology and environmental education. The “Green School” is a geothermal, solar-powered, state-of-the-art, model school for the Balkans.
The focus of his upcoming trip to Kosovo, October 7–14, will be to implement a professional development program for teachers that focuses on the concept of PBL in the classroom. In addition to furthering interest in science-related activities, Nowak will also organize a classroom makeover that will be shown on national television in Kosovo. The classroom makeover will include the general public and parents as well as educators.
“Our work with the school will involve not just students but the entire community in this classroom makeover,” says Nowak. “The support of the community is important as we create a safe, comfortable, and effective learning environment for students.”
Nowak is responsible for the design of classrooms, furniture, and teaching aids to further the learning process for students. The classrooms will be equipped with the best combination of multi-purpose, state-of-the-art equipment, multimedia, and furniture.
“At the end of the day this will be a state-of-the-art learning environment for teachers and students. We are equipping the residents of Kosovo with the tools they need to succeed in 21st century learning and that is something to be extremely proud of.”
For more information, contact Nowak at 260-481-6960 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Nowak’s primary teaching responsibilities at IPFW include the courses dealing with Science Education. Inquiry-based instructional strategies and the use of "best practice" technologies in the preK–12 classroom comprise his writing and research foci. Nowak serves on several campus committees and as a faculty advisor for the IPFW Educators for Excellence.
For more information about the Basic Education Program at the website.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The media and the public can follow Nowak’s experiences in Kosovo at the IPFW Kosovo blog or or IPFW in Kosovo Twitter site. Nicole Wilkins, marketing specialist for IPFW’s University Relations and Communications, will document the Kosovo trip by posting tweets, videos, and photos, as well as blogging about the experience. Wilkins and Nowak invite the media to take an interactive part in the experience by asking questions via Twitter, the blog, or e-mail at email@example.com.