Our 2017-2018 Kent State Student Academic Scholarship recipient, Ricky Lovell, had a very successful – and busy! – fall term in northeast Ohio. Ricky, a senior in the College of Education, Health, and Human Services’ integrated social studies education program, completed his teaching practicum at Nordonia High School, focusing on history, civics and American government courses. In October he attend a WASF-funded enrichment session at Euclid Park Elementary, engaging students during an interactive lesson focused on different adaptations animals have to have to be successful in their environments.
The highlight of Ricky’s senior year, and perhaps his entire Kent State experience, is currently unfolding across the Atlantic Ocean. On Jan. 11, with the help of the WASF, Ricky journeyed to the Netherlands to begin his student teaching placement which lasts until early May. Ricky has been placed at t'Atrium school in the Netherlands where he is teaching economics and social studies, which Ricky says is “very dynamic as it is based on Dutch society.”
“This [class] provides a great platform to engage my students in cross cultural dialogue about different cultural norms,” Ricky says. “As the Netherlands has a large welfare state compared to the United States, it is very interesting to hear their world views and how they view the U.S. from an outside perspective.” Students at t'Atrium are exposed to a global perspective in the classroom, and all students partake in a week-long exchange program with schools in India and China to better understand eastern cultures.
The teaching environment has also provided Ricky with different perspectives. “I have been very intrigued with how informal education is in the Netherlands as opposed to the U.S. Teachers typically wear jeans and a T-shirt to school and their relationships with students are much more like that of peer-mentor,” Ricky says.
When not in the classroom, Ricky is taking full advantage of his time in Europe. Having recently returned from a five-day stay in Barcelona, he intends to visit Paris, Berlin, Rome, Athens, Ireland and the UK before May. Ricky says “I am very eager to visit Athens and Rome as they are both major civilizations that social studies classes spend a lot of time on, yet we fail to discuss the modern version of these cities. I think it will be very enlightening to compare the modern city to the past golden ages.”
The Warren A. Sill Fund is proud to support adventurers like Ricky in and out of the classroom.