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NCSS Global Understanding Award in honor of James A. Becker 2016

Kim Leegan and Ryan Daly
Westfield High School, Westfield, NJ

With funds generously provided by the Longview Foundation



This award further reinforces our mission to develop global awareness and ultimately instill a sense of global citizenship in our students.


Leegan and Daly provide their students with learning experiences that raise their awareness to issues of ethnocentrism and discrimination, emphasize the importance of a culturally and ethnically diverse society, and develop their capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance. Their students' study of social studies through the learning experiences offered by the Connecting with the Indigenous-Global Citizens Take Action project, is a journey in which they seek to uncover information, make connections and identify patterns in global history by raising thought-provoking questions such as: “How do indigenous peoples change when encountering the rest of the world and how does the rest of the world change from encountering indigenous peoples?”

Inquiry based, student centered and authentic, describe the foundations of Ryan Daly and Kimberly Leegan’s philosophy for teaching social studies for global understanding.  In keeping with this philosophy, they frame their teaching of global understanding around the following essential question:  What does it mean to be a global citizen?  Daly and Leegan strive for their students to be informed and remain curious in their study of social studies and to realize the ability each of them has to impact the world in which we live. Their goal is to help students see themselves as part of a larger global community and understand that global citizenship takes action. 

Our presentation was a wonderful opportunity to share our work and build a more robust social studies network with fellow educators.  The connections we forged were invaluable and we cannot thank you enough for supporting our work!

Leegan and Daly presented a session titled: "Connecting with the Indigenous: Global Citizens Take Action" at the 2016 NCSS Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., Dec. 2-4. The session shared insights into how educators can teach global competency by engaging their students in gathering research, evaluating evidence, and communicating conclusions with the ultimate goal of taking informed action.   

Kim Leegan earned a J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law, Newark, NJ, and a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT.  She is a New Jersey standard certified teacher of social studies and completed the New Jersey “New Pathways for teaching in New Jersey Program.” Among several responsibilities as a teacher at Westfield High School, she writes and revises the Global Perspectives Curriculum and creates the curriculum for Mock Trial. She serves as co-chair of the Give 4 Good Fundraiser to benefit the ‘Good Project’ and is coordinator of the ‘Shoe Drive’ to benefit ‘Mission Haiti Helping Kids.’

Ryan Daly earned a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from Kean University, Union, NJ, and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Social Studies from Montclair, NJ. He is a NJ Standard certified social studies teacher. Among his responsibilities as a social studies teacher at Westfield High School, Westfield, NJ, he develops and implements lessons aligned with the C3 Social Studies Framework, New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards, and Common Core State Standards. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of The Good Project in East Stroudsburg, PA.   

About the Longview Foundation.

About the NCSS Award for Global Understanding in honor of James A. Becker