Guest Blogging from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan


Editor's Note: Idaho State Rep. Brian Cronin is in Jordan this week with the Idaho Human Rights Education Center and a group of Idaho educators. He will post occasional essays on The Grip during his visit, furthering this blog's mission of highlighting global culture in Boise.

Brian Cronin
  • Brian Cronin
On Thursday, November 5, I departed on what was billed an “Education Mission to Jordan,” sponsored by the Idaho Human Rights Education Center. I am joined by 11 others, including IHREC staff and teachers from throughout Idaho, including Bonners Ferry, Orofino, Mountain Home, and Idaho Falls. IHREC is officially partnered with the Jordanian Center for Civic Education Studies in Amman—a partnership that is the impetus for this trip.

Funding for such missions is traced back to the No Child Left Behind law and the Education for Democracy Act, which funds the Center for Civic Education (CCE) in Calabasas, CA. The CCE has partnered with 28 states and over 65 countries. Out of the legislation, the Cooperative Civic Education Exchange was created with the purpose of, among other things, providing a means for the exchange of ideas and experiences in civics and government education among political, educational, and private sector leaders of participating eligible countries. And that’s how I, an Idaho legislator, and also a Board member of IHREC, got to come along.

Through its partnership with Jordan, the IHREC helped to build an e-learning civic education program for the King’s Discovery Schools (comparable to charter schools) in Jordan. The IHREC currently receives an annual contract from the Center for Civic Education as flow-through funding from the US Department of Education.

The teachers were to embark on the trip as a means of gaining cultural understanding that they could then impart to students. As for me, I believe much of reason I’ve been asked to join is so that I can gain a deeper appreciation for civic and international education and its role in statewide curriculum standards.