Nathan Justis Receives Fulbright Award to Work with Educators in Singapore

September 19, 2022
Nate Justis takes a selfie with a student in Singapore
Fulbright awardee Nathan Justis takes a photo with a student in Singapore.

Nathan Justis, principal at Edith Bowen Laboratory School and PhD candidate in Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences, is the recipient of a Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools Program Award. The award was announced in 2020 by the US Department of State and the Fulbright Scholarship Board.

Justis traveled to Singapore over the summer to learn about the history, methods, and culture behind the nation’s K-12 education system. He was joined by seven other state, district, and school leaders from across the United States. During their nearly two-week stay, they met with the Ministry of Education to discuss Singapore’s approach to education and visited multiple primary and secondary schools to interact with teachers and students. The Fulbright educators also toured a science education center, the National Institute of Education in Singapore, and the Academy of Singapore Teachers, which supports professional learning for teachers throughout the country.

In addition to the Fulbright group’s educational and cultural experiences, Justis reconnected with two former classmates from his graduate program at Harvard, both of whom are Singaporean and are now teachers in their home country. Justis said that these colleagues shared valuable insights about the societal value of education in Singapore—a country that is only 57 years old.

“I was highly inspired by what I saw and felt in Singapore,” said Justis. “They take their national independence very seriously and firmly believe that education is the path to preserving their great country.”

Justis was particularly impressed by the country’s intentionality in its public education system, as well as their strong conviction that the country’s vision for its future is integrally supported by its public education. He hopes to replicate some of the country’s learning networks in Utah, a pursuit that has become part of the basis for his dissertation work.

“It was the experience of a lifetime,” said Justis. “It has reshaped how I think about my professional practice of preparing our future global citizens.”

The Fulbright Program is the US Government’s flagship international education exchange program. Congressionally funded through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the program gives educators with significant academic merit and leadership potential opportunities to share knowledge and foster meaningful connections with scholars abroad.

As a Fulbright alumnus, Justis joins a venerable network of scholars; he will have continuing opportunities to foster international collaboration, as well as scholarly and cultural exchange.