This week is International Education Week, a time to recognize the importance of educating globally competent students from pre-K through university. Every year the U.S. Department of Education and the State Department feature statements and activities as well as a listing of special events-everything from the online Global Education Conference (now in its second year) to study aboard information sessions to an international dance performance at a school in North Carolina. The State Department database lists over 250 such events happening in the United States alone. Latin America and Canada list 69 events, with other regions of the world contributing as well.
While it is wonderful to see so many events happening around the world this week, the truth is that as is the case with most special weeks and months, we owe it to our students to make sure they have the knowledge and skills to succeed in an interconnected world. As Secretary Duncan says in his statement on International Education Week 2011, “We must work together to give all of our students an outstanding education, which includes learning about our global partners-their cultures, histories, languages, values, and viewpoints. We must focus on integrating international perspectives into our classrooms. It is through education and exchange that we become better collaborators, competitors and compassionate neighbors in this global society.”
Many schools, districts, and states are already making global competence a priority. From elementary immersion classes to projects with sister cities to teaching the skills needed to succeed in a global workforce, these teachers, administrators, and policymakers have a calendar full of international education events every year. This blog will be celebrating international education every week and sharing these examples to keep you inspired year round.
The opinions expressed in Global Learning are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.