Rural Teacher Global Fellowship


Program Overview


Gloria Waggoner and Marta Coleman: Walking in Gandhi's Shoes
Walking in Gandhi's Shoes — 2012.
The Rural Trust Global Teacher Fellowship program awards up to 25 fellowships a year to support the professional and personal development of rural teachers. The awards (up to $5,000 for individual teachers and $10,000 for a team of two or more teachers) support teachers’ participation in self-designed summer learning experiences and a two-day place-based learning institute in the fall. Teachers are encouraged to center their learning in an international travel and study experience, out of which they develop interdisciplinary, place-based learning curricula aligned with their specific state and local content standards.

This fellowship is a stand-alone grant not meant to supplement other grant funds for larger projects.

Fellowship Program Goals

The goals of the Rural Trust Global Teacher Fellowship program are to
  1. Enhance teaching practice.
  2. Expand student learning.
  3. Improve rural communities through student work.
  4. Establish a network of rural teachers committed to place-based learning and the globalization of the rural K–12 learning environment.
  5. Highlight best practices in rural teaching and learning based on the work of Global Teacher Fellows.
Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for consideration for the Rural Trust Global Teacher Fellowship, applicants must

  • Be employed full-time and teaching at least 60% at a K–12 school in a public rural community classroom (Teachers in RSIN and REAP-eligible schools will be given special consideration). Counselors, media specialists, and other school personnel working or teaching in a public rural school setting at least 60% of their paid work time may also apply. Each applicant much have 4 years teaching experience by the fellowship start date
  • Teach in a school listed under one of the following National Center for Education Statistics locale codes: 32 (Town, Distant); 33 (Town, Remote); 41 (Rural, Fringe); 42 (Rural, Distant); or 43 (Rural, Remote). For more details on eligibility, see the FAQs page.
  • Spend at least 60% of their work day in direct instructional contact with students.
  • Have completed a minimum of four years of teaching experience by the time the fellowship begins.
  • Plan to return to teaching in their school or district the year following the fellowship.
  • Agree to incorporate the Rural Trust place-based learning principles into their proposals, connecting their international experience to community needs and interests and to identified local or state curricular standards.
  • Prior fellows may reapply after a 5 year timeframe.

The online application for the Rural Trust Global Teacher Fellowship program is intended to capture relevant personal and professional applicant information, a description of the self-designed travel/study experience, and the relevance of that experience to the applicant’s professional and personal growth and development. The multi-part, short, essay-based application includes the project description and relevance, timeline, and detailed budget.

Visit the How to Apply page for application instructions and forms.


February 12, 2016: Application Deadline

February 2016: Application Review Process

April 2016: Notification of Awards


Awarded teachers will participate in Rural Trust Global Teacher Fellowship events and activities including the following:

  • Fellowship related documentation
  • Post-Fellowship Place-based Learning Institute
  • Program marketing sessions in their school or district (Post Fellowship)
  • Conferences and webinars to share information with RSCT/RSIN network
  • Curriculum development and updates
  • Potential public relations opportunities (newspaper, radio, TV)
  • Alumni Network blogs or other postings

Place-based learning is rooted in what is local — the unique history, environment, culture, and economy of a particular place. The community provides the context for learning, student work addresses important community needs and interests, and community members serve as resources and partners in every aspect of teaching and learning. The Rural School and Community Trust has discovered that this local focus has the power to engage students academically, pairing real-world relevance with intellectual rigor while promoting genuine citizenship and preparing people to respect and live well wherever they choose. This kind of teaching and learning can be particularly beneficial in communities where student work has the potential to improve the social, cultural, and economic landscape in ways that local resources could not otherwise afford. Rural teachers who are well-trained to facilitate place-based learning within the broader context of a globalized society can transform the teaching and learning landscape and enlarge the benefits and impacts of public education.


2016 The Rural School and Community Trust