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Global Learning Alliance Conference
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Global Learning Alliance: 2014 Conference

Theme: What in the world are schools doing to cultivate 21st century capacities, and why does this matter?

Hosted by Studies in Educational Innovation

April 9-10, 2014 open to all registrants


Featured Speakers:
jaime casap
Jaime Casap
Global Education Evangelist
Iterating Education

As the world gets more connected, it also gets more complex.  We now operate on a global scale and our job in education is to help learners develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities they will need to thrive in this new environment.  We are preparing them to solve global problems we haven’t defined yet, using technology that hasn’t been invented, in roles that do not exist.  To thrive in this new era, learners need to know how to learn, engage, create, collaborate, communicate, and to think critically.  We need to continually iterate education in pursuit of making it a powerful, effective, and engaging learning experience.


Jaime Casap is the Global Education Evangelist at Google, Inc. Jaime evangelizes the power and potential of the web, technology, and Google tools as enabling and supporting capabilities in pursuit of creating powerful learning models. Jaime works with educational organizations around the world, helping them find ways to continuously improve the quality of education by utilizing and enabling technology capabilities.

In addition to his role at Google, Jaime serves on the Arizona Science Foundation Board of Directors, on the Board of Directors for New Global Citizens, and serves in advisory roles to dozens of organizations focused on improving education.  Jaime is a Faculty Associate at Arizona State University, where he teaches classes and guest lectures.

You can reach and follow Jaime on Google+ at +Jaime Casap and Twitter @jcasap

dr. suzanne choo
Dr. Suzanne Choo

Dr Suzanne Choo is Assistant Professor in the English Language and Literature Academic Group at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She is also co-founder of Studies in Educational Innovation at Teachers College, Columbia University, USA. Her research has been published in various peer-reviewed journals such as Curriculum Inquiry, Journal of Aesthetic Education, Journal of Curriculum Studies, English Journal, the Journal of Teaching & Learning, the High School Journal, and the International Journal of the Humanities. In 2013, her book "Reading the world, the globe, and the cosmos: Approaches to teaching literature for the twenty-first century" was published by Peter Lang, New York. She is interested in issues related to education for global and cosmopolitan citizenship particularly in relation to English and Literature education.

alexandra fallon
Alexandra Fallon
Chief Operating Officer,

mSchool is a program that makes it simple to personalize learning. We began as a pilot bringing the best of online adaptive math programs to community centers.  Since then, we have expanded to serve students in after-school and in-school settings across Southern Louisiana. Through our partnerships with community centers and schools, we help accelerate student learning while also reducing the administrative burden of implementing blended learning programs.


Alexandra Fallon is currently mSchool’s Chief Operating Officer where she oversees the implementation of the mSchool program in community centers and classrooms. Throughout her career, Alex has provided strategic and executional leadership to entrepreneurial programs and ventures supporting academic achievement, workforce development, and environmental sustainability. Prior to mSchool, Alex contributed to New Orleans’ entrepreneurial ecosystem through strategy work at Idea Village and the New Orleans Startup Fund. As a Program Officer at the Academy for Educational Development, Alex started and managed technology-enabled educational programs for at-risk youth in Brazil and Mozambique. She began her career teaching English in a secondary school in Mozambique as a Peace Corps volunteer. Alex is an Education Pioneer Alumna, a StartingBloc Fellow, and she holds an MBA from MIT's Sloan School of Management.

dr. manu kapur
Dr. Manu Kapur

Dr. Manu Kapur is the Head of the Learning Sciences Lab (LSL) and a tenured Associate Professor of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at the National Institute of Education (NIE) of Singapore. An engineer by bachelors training, Manu was a pre-university mathematics teacher for five years before receiving his doctorate in instructional technology and media from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York, where he also completed a Master of Science in Applied Statistics. He also has a Master of Education from the NIE. Manu conceptualized the notion of productive failure and has used it to explore the hidden efficacies in the seemingly failed efforts of small groups solving complex problems collaboratively in an online environment. Over the past six years, Manu has done extensive work in real-field ecologies of mathematics classrooms to extend his work on productive failure across a range of schools in Singapore. Manu’s research has attracted high profile media interest (e.g., TIME, The Australian, The Straits Times, etc.) and funding both locally and internationally.  He has been invited to present major keynote addresses around the world, and his work has been published in the top journals in the field.

dr. jari lavonen
Dr. Jari Lavonen
Professor of Physics & Chemistry Education at the University of Helsinki

Dr. Jari Lavonen is Professor of Physics and Chemistry Education at the University of Helsinki.  He is also the head of the Department of Teacher Education and Director of the Finnish Graduate School for Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry Education.  His research interest is considering motivation and interest research and use of information and Communication Technology in science education.  He has published 226 scientific papers in journals, conferences, proceedings and books. Moreover, he has been the co-author of a total of 136 books for science and science teacher education.

dr. cameron mccarthy
Dr. Cameron McCarthy
Professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Scholars on Their Way to Entrepreneurs: Barbadian Elite School Youth as Postcolonial Argonauts to the North American Global Higher Education Market Place

My presentation will direct attention to a critical but neglected concern in the area of globalization studies: that is, the role of schooling—in this case elite secondary schools in the former British colony of Barbados—in transnational class formation and the preparation of highly-mobile school youth for globalizing futures.  Specifically, I will report on some of the early findings related to a multi-sited ethnographic study of two Barbadian elite secondary grammar schools (Old Cloisters and Ardent Arbors) and the way they are preparing young people for globalizing futures. Based on early findings derived from semi-structured interviews, document analysis, and policy evaluation, the central organizing claim of my research  (at this early stage) is that the reproduction of transnational elites in the Barbadian schools is a complex and deeply conflicted process. As the post-independence Barbadian educational system strikes out a path of indigenization and national ownership of education away from a British colonial inheritance, it must contend with the powerful crosscurrents of the policy imperatives and pressures of NAFTA-defined globalization and the real existing circumstance that Barbadian young people are culturally orienting to the United States and Canada, immigrating in large numbers to pursue their professional futures in North America. The schools, Old Cloisters and Ardent Arbors (the former, an historically all-boys school going back to the 18th century and the latter, an all-girls school going back to the early 19th century) register this enormous transformative tension in the curricular choices of the student body versus official efforts at these schools to uphold illustrious school pasts and the indigenizing present.  This institutional effort to uphold the past and the nationalist indigenizing present sharply conflicts with the revolution of rising expectations and ebullient global imaginations of school youth and their perception of the expanded professional options and opportunities that exceed the material capacity of Barbados’ society and economy stimulated as they are by recruiting institutions from the United States and Canada that annually visit these secondary schools in the island peddling exotic job futures to Barbadian high school students.

dr. julia o’sullivan
Dr. Julia O’Sullivan
Professor and Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto
Good intentions are not enough: Realizing quality early education for Aboriginal children

Dr. Julia O’Sullivan is a Professor and Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto.

A developmental psychologist and teacher, she has worked actively with schools, community groups and governments for more than 20 years contributing to improved educational outcomes for young children, especially those underserved in Canada’s schools.

She is recognized for her leadership role in Aboriginal Education.  As Dean of Education at Lakehead University, she established the first Department of Aboriginal Education in a Canadian Faculty of Education; as the Founding National Director, she established Canada’s Centre of Excellence for Children and Adolescents with Special Needs which focused on Aboriginal Children; and currently is the Chief Advisor to the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative, led by the Right Honourable Paul Martin, former Prime Minister of Canada.

Her research has attracted over $10M in funding, and has been translated into French and Aboriginal languages. Originally from Dublin, Julia received her B.Sc. from Trinity College, Dublin and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Western Ontario, Canada.

joel rose
Joel Rose
Chief Executive Officer
New Classrooms

Joel Rose is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of New Classrooms Innovation Partners. Previously, he was the Chief Executive Officer of School of One, an initiative within the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) that uses a mix of live, collaborative, and online instruction in order to provide students with instruction customized to their unique academic needs and learning styles. Prior to conceptualizing and leading School of One, Joel served as Chief Executive for Human Capital and as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Chancellor at NYCDOE. Joel has been involved in education for more than 15 years, first as a fifth grade teacher in Houston and later as a senior executive at Edison Schools where he served as the company'-'s Associate General Counsel, Chief of Staff, General Manager, and Vice President for School Operations.

He earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Tufts University, a law degree from the University of Miami School of Law, and is a graduate of the Broad Urban Superintendents Academy. Joel lives in Manhattan with his wife, Doris Cooper, and their two children, Alexandra and Zachary.

dr. dennis shirley
Dr. Dennis Shirley
Chief Executive Officer
New Classrooms
The Global Fourth Way: The Quest for Educational Excellence

Everyone wants to know how to improve their schools and school systems—but how is this best done?  In the rush to get results, too many leaders are transforming schools into little more than assembly line systems that deprive teachers of the chance to adapt instruction to their individual students’ needs and do not give students of opportunities to participate in shaping their own learning.  Such systems can demonstrate short-term improvement but fail to promote innovation, thereby depriving their communities of the knowledge workers of the future.  These are the key emerging leaders who will need to know how to think for themselves in order to make their own original contributions to the social, environmental, and economic challenges of the 21st century.

But there is good news! Promising new international evidence indicates that while excellence can take many forms, there still are some deep commonalities among high-performing systems if we inquire after the exact nature of the teaching profession and how it is enacted in different contexts.  When teachers have opportunities to collaborate with one another, have “white space” to come up with their own projects to explore with their students, and enjoy supportive assessment cultures that shun ranking and league tables in favor of collective responsibility for learning across the system, students can benefit from energized professionals and schools that are places of learning and joy.  New research findings reveal that even when larger policy contexts are unfavorable to educators in many regards it still is possible to develop hitherto untapped resources to improve the learning of all students.

This keynote address will enable audience members to:

  • Understand enduring riddles of educational change and why they persist over time;
  • Identify where their schools and systems stand in relationship to 4 distinct Ways of educational change;
  • Recognize points of leverage in which they can engage their colleagues to advance from one Way to another; and
  • Implement effective change strategies that lift up the profession, promote innovation, and are sustainable over time.

The keynote will be delivered with compelling evidence, fast-paced humor, and technological sparkle.  Audience members will learn about cutting-edge research and 15 Fourth Way “pointers for practice” educators can implement in their home schools and systems.


Professor Dennis Shirley works with educators around the world helping them to hone their leadership skills in their classrooms, schools, and school systems.  Professor Shirley is co-author of The Fourth Way:  The Inspiring Future for Educational Change (Corwin, 2009) and The Global Fourth Way: The Quest for Educational Excellence (Corwin, 2012), both of which are co-authored with Professor Andy Hargreaves. He enjoys working closely with classroom teachers to improve their instruction, and co-authored The Mindful Teacher (Teachers College Press, 2009) with Elizabeth MacDonald, an elementary school teacher in the Boston Public Schools.

Professor Shirley has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia in Political and Social Thought and a master’s degree from the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research in Sociology.  He holds a doctoral degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Teaching, Curriculum, and Learning Environments.  He has advised the Ministry of Education in Tokyo, Japan; the Bosch, Heidehof, and Freudenberg Foundations in Germany; and the Ministry of Education in Oslo, Norway, as part of a Steering Group of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. He has led three school improvement efforts with over $13 million in funding and has received further research funding from the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and the German Academic Exchange Service.

Professor Shirley was the C.J. Koh Visiting Professor at the National Institute of Education at Nanyang University in Singapore in March 2014 and Traveling Scholar for the Australian Council for Educational Leaders in August 2011. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Educational Change and Chair of the Special Interest Group on Educational Change of the American Educational Research Association. He has provided expert testimony on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and to the Education Committee of the California State Assembly. He recently was featured on TED Talks in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

For more information and to see a YouTube clip of his presentation in Brazil, visit his web site at

This year's GLA Conference will take place at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City. Hosted by Studies in Educational Innovation, an Initiative in The Center For The Professional Education of Teachers, we are looking forward to a gathering of practitioners, scholars, policy makers, and innovative leaders to investigate "What in the world are schools doing to cultivate 21st century capacities, and why does this matter?"


*See Side Bar 'CEU' for more information on CEU's