During a six-week stretch in the fall semester, the UW–Madison School of Education hosted 22 teachers from 12 countries across Eastern Europe and Central Asia as part of the Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement (Fulbright TEA) program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by IREX.
The visiting educators were part of a Fulbright TEA Media Literacy Cohort, which focused on helping teachers promote and develop media literacy and critical-thinking skills that they can use in their home classrooms, schools, and communities.
One of these teachers, Hungarian educator Viktoria Toth, wrote a reflection on her experience in Madison that is titled, “Dare to Ask, Dare to Act,” and is published on the U.S. Embassy in Hungary’s website. Toth discusses her experiences learning from American educators and dealing with culture shock, as well how the Fulbright experience influenced her.
Toth also examines and compares education in her home country to what she learned about American schools during her time in Madison.
“In my education, I was taught, in a way, not to ask many questions, and to look out for some outer forces which would tell me the directions I needed to take in my life,” she writes. “In Madison, in the USA, I felt like an independent thinker, because I was surrounded by a diverse, motivated group of professionals — who were modeling the teaching methods they use to educate children in the U.S. to make them capable of developing society.”
She concludes: “From Wisconsinites I learnt the importance of taking a break, relaxing when needed, and taking things with a grain of salt.”
Learn more about Toth’s experience as a foreign educator in Wisconsin.