From Media Giraffe
Jump to: navigation, search

Steve photo 09.png


Steve Wilmarth lives in Westbrook, Connecticut and spends 4-5 months a year as a visiting professor at Ningxia Teachers University in Guyuan, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in northwest China. Steve is also the Managing Director of his own social entrepreneurial start-up non-profit organization, New School Student Ambassadors, Inc., which runs educational and cultural exchange programs for students in northwest China and the US, using social media and creating sustainable social learning communities.

"While our mainstream media concentrates on the extraordinary development in China over the past 25 years since the close of the Cultural Revolution, only about 300 million people in a country of 1.4 billion citizens are enjoying the rising wage and living standards that comes with China's entry into the economic community of nations. In northwest China in general, and in Ningxia in particular, poverty rates are the highest in all of China.

"It's no coincidence that northwest China is also home to some of China's highest concentrations of ethnic (Hui, Uyghur, Tibetan, Mongolian, etc.) and religious (Muslim, Tibetan Buddhist) minorities. How do you teach journalism in northwest China, where journalists are highly restricted by government policy, without calling it journalism? Through our government supported projects, we try to prepare young students with the skills they will need to be successful in a 21st century knowledge economy. Our hands on projects give Chinese students a chance to collaborate, communicate, and create their unique content by working in online project teams with US students. We give impoverished Chinese students the tools they need - Internet access, Flip mini-video cameras, smart phones, and online social media and teach them how to document and reflect on their lives and experiences. We provide people who live at the bottom of the economic and social order in this part of Central Asia, with a voice that empowers them to connect with the outside world. Our work includes teacher education programs and curriculum consulting work with social organizations and universities in northwest China."


About Steve Wilmarth

Steve Wilmarth is a teacher, writer, conference speaker, and specialist in instructional curriculum design based on rapidly changing workforce needs in a global knowledge economy. He founded and serves as the President and Managing Director of New School Student Ambassadors, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit community supported organization providing educational and cultural exchange programs between US students and students in northwest China. Steve is a contributing author to a book titled Curriculum 21: Essential Education in a Changing World, (edited by H. H. Jacobs; published by ASCD; available December, 2009) in which he describes five major socio-technology trends that will transform learning communities over the next several years. His current projects include developing participatory learning communities in northwest China, and student and teacher exchange programs between Chinese and US university students using project-based curriculum and real-world case study methods.

Steve currently serves as a visiting lecturer at Ningxia Polytechnic & TV University and Ningxia Teachers University in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, PRC. He is a Visiting Scholar at the Yale Law School Information Society Project, where his research and writing contributions focus on the intersection of global access to knowledge, education, and human rights issues, and a Research Fellow at the University of Connecticut’s Academy for Global Economic Advancement. Steve was a co-founder and Senior Program Development Specialist of the Center for 21st Century Skills in Litchfield, Connecticut. He has been a featured speaker at numerous international conferences on curriculum design and education reform.

In addition to his work in China, Steve is a co-author whose book, Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World is due to be released in December 2009. In this book, Steve presents 5 socio-technology trends that change everything in learning and teaching, and lays out a compelling case for the power of social production, social networking, new modalities of search and discovery, media grids such as video services and 3D virtual worlds, and the science of non-linear learning that makes "biology the mother science of learning in the 21st century," to fundamentally change our understanding of learning and teaching and define a new standard for what it means to be an educated global citizen in the 21st century. Steve is also a visiting scholar at Yale University Law School's Information Society Project, engaged in a research effort on digital education, which will result in a book project. He is a co-founder and former program development specialist at the Center for 21st Century Skills in Litchfield, CT. (Steve's LinkedIn profile)

Steve has been a full-time classroom teacher in the subjects of economics, psychology, and world history at an independent boarding school, a full-time history teacher at an inner-city urban high school, and a technology director at an independent boarding school. Prior to his experience as an educator, Steve played a lead role in three high-tech, venture capital funded start-ups.

Why Northwest China?

Watch the video.

A classroom full of expectant students at the experimental Hui Nationalities Middle School in Guyuan City, Ningxia Hui A. R., PRC

IMG 0172.JPG