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The International Center
for Transcultural Education






Friends and Colleagues,

Over its twenty-five year history, The International Center for the Study of Education Policy and Human Values has earned an international reputation for the preparation and development of sophisticated and sustained transcultural and historical research and education initiatives that engage participants in collaborative efforts to explore diversity and image-making in education; reveal historically invisible and/or unrecognized voices; illuminate the educational foundations of discrimination and school achievement; and conceive of as yet unimagined forms of human community and education.

As we have done our work, we have become aware of the centrality of transcultural education as a building block for the construction of education purposes, policies, and practices for the newly interdependent and communicative world of the twenty-first century. Thus we have adopted a new name: The International Center for Transcultural Education (ICTE).

We do so with an awareness that we are living in both deeply dangerous and exquisitely promising times. Young people are growing up with an unprecedented awareness of their connections to one another. They are able to observe immense disparities of wealth and poverty, privilege and status. They are increasingly aware that they speak different languages, inhabit different nations, worship at different altars, respect different kinds of authority, live in relative states of conflict and/or cooperation, and conceive of their roles as men and women in particular ways. Will education authorities emphasize their differences and obscure their common humanity? Will young people, as they learn to read and write, study history, geography, literature, mathematics, or science, learn that conflict is inevitable or preventable, that intuition and reason are both important foundations of human learning? Will the messages in their textbooks invite them to discover rather than fear diversity? Will the instructional practices of their teachers help them to cultivate dignifying identities, transcend stereotypes, and engage in a search for common ground?

We invite you to join us in a collective effort to discover ways to link academic learning to the cultivation of open-mindedness, civic competence, transcultural understanding, economic capacity, critical dispositions, and spiritual generosity in rising generations of students all over the world.

Barbara Finkelstein
Professor and Founding Director

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Who we are

The International Center for Transcultural Education (ICTE) is an initiative of the Department of Education Policy and Leadership, College of Education at the University of Maryland College Park. The Center is a research organization that convenes networks of scholars, researchers, educators, oral historians, policy makers, and social advocates who are committed to the transformation of education policies, practices and perspectives through transcultural teaching and learning.

Our Mission is to enhance the quality of education by preparing educators and students to meet the social, economic, political, and cultural opportunities and challenges of a global community.

Our Vision is to create transcultural education experiences that transform schools, transcend stereotypes of nationality, race, class, religion, education level, and gender, and to discover and strengthen connections between people of different cultures, nations, and generations.

Transcultural Education Programs join classroom teachers, curriculum supervisors, instructional leaders, and education policy makers and planners in curriculum transformation initiatives, transcultural education leadership programs, global learning and exchange programs, and studies of teaching and learning in different settings around the world. The Mid-Atlantic Region Japan in the Schools (MARJiS) program has become an internationally known model. Based on its success, the Center has begun two new regional initiatives in Africa and Latin America and another in history teaching and learning through the Oral History Institute.

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Professional Development

Through ongoing professional development initiatives, workshops, lectures, conferences, and scholarly exchanges ICTE prepares leaders of international education reform by enhancing the quality and possibility of transcultural dialogues among and between scholars, educators, policy makers, non-governmental organizations, and education advocates in the university, the region, the nation, and abroad. Professional development activities include:

  • content-based, culture-sensitive in-service workshops for teachers, curriculum supervisors, education policy leaders, and university faculty in the region, the nation, and abroad

  • short-term, U.S. education and culture study programs for education policy makers, planners, teachers, and school administrators from outside the U.S.

  • specialized seminars for schools, museums, and community groups

  • curriculum development and the preparation of model lessons for students and teachers

  • networks of educators, policy planners, and advocates through research symposia and conferences

  • leadership development seminars, workshops, and courses for parents,educators, community builders, and scholars

  • transcultural assessment studies and leadership training for culturally based evaluations of education purposes, policies, and practices [please see publication list here]

  • fellowships, visiting scholars, research associates, and exchange programs

  • oral history education and training for organizations and scholars seeking to recover and record the perspectives of historically unrecognized groups

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ICTE staff serve as advisors and consultants to school districts, education policy makers, teacher associations, non-profit organizations, international agencies, publishers, college and university faculty, and community leaders seeking to build global education partnerships, prepare model instructional materials, design curriculum development initiatives, and conduct in-service professional development workshops. Clients have included, among others, The Institute of International Education, the Fulbright Commission, American Councils ACTR-ACCELS, Search for Common Ground (Initiative for Peace and Cooperation in the Middle East), the United States-Japan Foundation, the Human Rights Education Network in Japan(Hurights Osaka), UNICEF, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Embassy of Japan, the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the Japan-United States Friendship Commission, the National Equal Justice Library, and the National Education and Museum Archive, and local and state education departments.

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Resource Center

ICTE maintains a teacher-friendly Resource Center and lending library of high quality books, curriculum guides, videocassettes, multi-media sets, maps, posters, periodicals, and other resources on transcultural education and instruction. Materials are available for loan to school administrators, teachers, students, education policy makers, and scholars. To date, the Resource Center has served thousands of students and teachers.

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Collaborations and Partnerships

University of Maryland College Park
American Studies Department
Asian-American Studies Program
Center for Children, Relationships, and Culture
Center for Education Policy and Leadership
Latin American Studies Center
Consortium on Race, Gender, and Ethnicity
Center for International Development and Conflict Management
Center for Minority Student Achievement
David C. Driskell Center for the African Diaspora
Committee for East Asia Studies
Department of Women’s Studies
Department of History

Collaborations with local school districts, departments of education, NGOs, and community leadership organizations in the region include: Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Maryland State Department of Education, Montgomery County Public Schools, Prince George’s County Public Schools, Prince George’s County Superintendent of Schools, Virginia State Department of Education, African Immigrant and Refugee Foundation, among others.

Harry S. Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Cape Coast University, Ghana
University of Cape Town, South Africa
University of Osaka, Department of Human Sciences, Japan
University of Tokyo, Japan
University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

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Research and Scholarship

ICTE research efforts aim to transcend stereotypes and undermine discrimination in all its forms especially as it is manifested in studies and constructions of public education purposes, polices, and practices. The wealth of the organization’s research agenda is realized through the examination and preparation of education programs, international symposia, conferences, publications, and research products of collaborative work among and between scholars, post-doctoral fellows, teachers, policy makers, human rights advocates, students, and other educators. The ICTE research agenda explores:

  • connections between cultural images and education practices in the U.S. and other parts of the world

  • treatment of minority and immigrant groups in education policy and practices in diverse nations and cultures

  • the role of educators, education institutions, and curriculum developers as mediators of culture and status

  • images of culture as revealed in curriculum policies, teacher roles, classroom management strategies, and textbook contents

  • community and family education policies and practices

  • traditions and dilemmas of teaching about war

  • new approaches to peace education

  • the historical experience of children, young people, and teachers in schools

Click here to be directed to our publications section.

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ICTE's Leadership


Barbara Finkelstein, Professor and Founding Director of ICTE, and faculty advisor to the Mid-Atlantic Region Japan in the Schools (MARJiS) program and the Oral History in Education Institute (OHI), has received an array of prestigious awards and fellowships for work that examines historical and transcultural dimensions of education policies, practices, and processes as they have impinged on the lives of children, youth, minority and immigrant groups, and shaped the quality of education opportunity available to them. (Curriculum Vita)


Dr. Eileen Julien, a senior advisor to the ICTE, is Executive Director of the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the African Diaspora. A former Guggenheim fellow, founding director of the West African Research Center (Dakar, Senegal), and the author of literary studies including African Novels and the Question of Orality, "Terrains de rencontres: C'saire, Fanon and Wright on Culture and Decolonization" (Yale French Studies 90), and "The Extroverted African Novel" (Il romanzo, ed. F. Moretti), Dr. Julien has helped to fashion scholarly exchanges and research partnerships that link students and teachers, scholars and artists across disciplines, nations, and cultures.


Carol Anne Spreen, Assistant Professor of International Education, is ICTE co-director and EDPL faculty advisor to the Africa-in-the-Schools program (AIS). Her work centers on comparative school reform and international education policy and planning, with a focus on socio-cultural studies of classrooms and curriculum change, critical ethnographies of school communities, and examinations of transcultural leadership and intergroup practices in Africa, Latin America, and the United States. (Curriculum Vita)


ICTE's research partner Professor Ryoko Tsuneyoshi, is Associate Professor of Education, University of Tokyo, and comparative education specialist in the University of Tokyo Center for Clinical Research on School Development. She is international program leader of the Center for Research on Basic Scholastic Competence, and a prolific scholar of socialization policies and practices in Japan and the U.S.


Roberta Z. Lavine is Associate Professor of Spanish, Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, has served as Associate Director of the School of Languages and Literature, has received major awards for Innovation in Teaching, and now serves as faculty advisor to ICTE’s Latin America in the Schools program (LAIS). Her research and publications center on language pedagogy, business language, cross-cultural communication, and the uses of interactive technology and virtual reality to promote cross-cultural proficiency and understanding. (Please click here for the Department of Spanish and Portuguese website.)

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