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Award for Global Understanding given in honor of James M. Becker

with funds generously provided by the Longview Foundation

The Award for Global Understanding Given in Honor of James M. Becker recognizes a social studies educator (or a team of educators) who has made notable contributions in helping social studies students increase their understanding of the world.

The award includes a $2,000 cash award, a session to present at the NCSS annual conference; complimentary NCSS conference registration; and up to $700 in transportation/lodging reimbursement.

Application Submissions:

NCSS is closely monitoring the coronavirus pandemic and advisories issued by the District of Columbia pertaining to large event gatherings. Although the situation continues to change daily, NCSS remains committed to the well-being, health, and safety of our Annual Conference attendees. We are presently in close contact with our partners at Destination DC and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Please check back on this page for updates on the opening date for award submittals.


  • Anyone may nominate.
  • Nominees must be NCSS members at the time of nomination.
  • Nominees must be social studies educators who are affecting the global understanding of P-12 students.
  • Nominees must agree to be available to present their work at the NCSS Annual Conference and via webinar or other outreach means if selected as the recipient of the award.

Selection Criteria:

Nominees must demonstrate how they excel in teaching social studies for global understanding in the criteria listed below:

  • Teaching includes several elements of global education, such as global interdependence, multiple perspectives, global systems, cultural universals and cultural differences, perspective consciousness, global issues, global history, local/global connections, appreciation of diverse cultures within the local community, nation, utilizes scholarship from organizations or academics located outside of the United States or is international/transnational in their scope, and world, as well as any other recommendations listed on the NCSS Position Statement defining Global Education ,
  • Infuses primary and secondary sources (websites, documents, media, literature, people, etc.,) from other world regions into instruction to counter stereotypes, exotica, misinformation, or lack of knowledge.
  • Makes use of current scholarship from history, the social sciences, or other appropriate fields so that students learn up to date information on historical scholarship and/or cultural, political, economic, technological, or environmental changes across the planet.
  • Facilitates student’s cross-cultural experiences that allow them to meet and work together with people different from themselves, increase their intercultural skills, and develop appreciation and interest in diverse cultures.
  • Develops curricula and assessments and uses technology in ways that integrate world-mindedness with active learning, a spirit of inquiry, and the development of critical thinking skills.
  • Is professionally involved in global education through activities such as sharing expertise in workshops or professional meetings, political action, research, global education projects in the local community or state, online projects, curriculum development committees, publications, association activities, etc.
  • Uses NCSS Standards and C3 Framework concepts


Submission Requirements


Each nominee/applicant will be responsible for gathering and submitting all required materials by the assigned due date. Failure to submit all materials by the deadline will disqualify the nominee/applicant for the current award cycle.




Applicants must complete the online application and be prepared to upload the following documents within the application.  Links to external websites are not acceptable, and will be disregarded by the selection committee.  Max. file size to be uploaded for each non-text box item is 1MB. File types accepted are: pdf, doc, docx.

1. Activities - The applicant will describe the activity/activities of which he/she is most proud that exemplify 2-3 of the award criteria in his/her social studies teaching for global understanding. (Embedded text box limit 500 words).

2. Philosophy of Teaching Social Studies - The applicant will describe his/her approach to teaching social studies for global understanding. This can include, but is not limited to, interaction with students and parents, pedagogical approaches, integration of technology, differentiation of curriculum to accommodate learning styles and abilities and views on assessment. (see (Embedded text box - limit 500 words)

3. Curriculum vita/resume (2 page maximum) that includes:

  • The professional resume or curriculum vitae must contain the following information, but does not have to be in this format.
    • Education;
    • Professional Work History;
    • School-related Organizations, Activities, and Responsibilities;
    • Leadership roles;
    • Membership in Professional Organizations;
    • Awards/grants/other honors;
    • Presentations and/or publications; and
    •  Community Activities

4. Applicant/nominee lesson plan including:

A social studies unit or lesson plan that integrates global perspectives and cross-cultural understanding elements (per award selection criteria) that you have created and successfully taught ?(not to exceed 500 words double-spaced), which includes the following:

  • Topic taught
  • Grade level
  • Objective and Rationale (text box, max 25 words)
  •  A brief statement indicating the position of the lesson within a larger unit of study (text box, max 50 words)
  • Use of NCSS Standards and C3 Framework concepts
  • Prior learning (text box, max 75 words)
  •  Resources and/or materials (text box, max 50 words)
  • Time Frame (text box, max 20 words)
  • Use of NCSS standards and C3 Framework concepts (text box, max 100 words)
  • Accommodations for all learners (text box, max 50 words)
  • Description of lesson (text box, max 250 words)
  • Reflection on Student Learning (text box, max 250 words)

5. A letter of support from the nominator (2 page maximum) ) 4 letters total:

  • Highlight the nominee's major strengths and accomplishments in infusing global perspectives and cross-cultural understanding into his/her current work assignment

6. A letter from your immediate supervisor (2 page maximum) addressing the following:

  •  What creative projects make this teacher's work outstanding in teaching global understanding?
  • How are the concepts of the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework integrated into this teacher's work?
  •  In what ways has this teacher influenced students?
  •  Describe how this teacher demonstrates professional leadership and related to his/her colleagues.

7.  A letter from professional colleague (teacher in your building, professor, district supervisor, etc.) (2 page maximum) addressing the following

  • Describe ways this teacher exhibits excellence in social studies instruction, including how this teacher integrates the concepts of the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework into their work.
  • How does this teacher demonstrate global knowledge of content that leads to high levels of student learning?
  •  Describe how this teacher demonstrates knowledge and appreciation of students' varying skills, approaches to learning, and cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

8. A letter from parent or student that highlights teacher effectiveness, unique abilities, memorable experiences, etc. (2 page maximum)

  • Highlight teacher effectiveness, unique abilities, memorable experiences, etc.

Preference will be give to nominees directly affecting the global understanding of P-12 social studies students. Review the contents of your submission carefully. The Subcommittee reserves the right to remove from consideration any application that fails to meet all submission requirements. The selection subcommittee will consider composition, spelling, grammar, etc. in the evaluation process. Nomination materials that are incomplete or that do not meet the established criteria will not be considered.

You will have five days to access and update your form after your initial submission. For questions, contact



Biographical Sketch


Please prepare to submit a 200 word biographical sketch in a narrative format that includes both personal and professional information. Please include several of your top accomplishments in teaching for global understanding, any professional leadership activities and memberships and what you feel to be your biggest strengths as an educator. If you are selected as the award winner, this statement will be published in publicity materials (200 word limit)



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