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Global Educators at TC to Share World's Best Practices

The Global Learning Alliance conference will explore best approaches to 21st century teaching and learning.
What are the highest-ranked schools in the world doing to prepare students to live and work in the 21st century, and why does it matter? How must today’s learners approach problems differently than their parents have?
Experts from the most successful school systems – and those that aspire to be – will gather on April 9 and 10 to explore and share answers to those questions at the Global Learning Alliance Conference at the Joyce B. Cowin Center at Teachers College.

Sponsored by Studies in Educational Innovation (SEI), an initiative of the Center for the Professional Educational of Teachers (CPET) at Teachers College, the GLA conference will assemble practitioners, scholars, policy makers, and innovative leaders from the top performing and most innovative countries in the world. They will hold full days of lectures, panels, workshops and Q and A’s by teams of educators, scholars and innovators from around the world, including Singapore, Shanghai, Finland, Australia, Canada and the United States.
Breakout sessions and keynote talks will focus on seven strands, or capacities, which SEI has identified as necessary to prepare the world’s children to think and work in the 21st century.
The 21st Century Capacities are:
  • Critical capacities
  • Creative capacities
  • Global and ethical capacities
  • Game-based learning and design thinking
  • Digital, multimodal and new literacies
  • 21st century innovations in assessments
  • Authentic problem-solving and real world learning
“These strands have been identified as key aspects and dimensions that schools will need to address in a transnational, interconnected and multimodal 21st century,” write the conference designers. “The urgent question facing schools all over the world today is how to effectively empower students with the knowledge, skills, and capacities to engage actively and responsibly in the 21st century globalized world.”

The GLA conference at TC is a forum for explaining the Global Capacities Framework and making it available to school systems around the world.

TC President Susan H. Fuhrman will open the summit, followed by scheduled speakers:
  • Jaime Casap, Google for Education, USA
  • Dr. Wen Chee Chung, Hwa Chong Institution, Singapore
  • Dr. Suzanne Choo, Assistant Professor, National Institute of Education, Singapore
  • Dr. Jari Lavonen, Professor, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Dr. Cameron McCarthy, Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, USA
  • Dr. Julia O’Sullivan, Professor and Dean of Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada
  • Dr. Dennis Shirley, Professor of Education, Boston College, USA
  • Alexandra Fallon, Chief of Operation,
  • Joel Rose, Founder,
  • Marcie Post, International Reading Association
  • More than 40 concurrent sessions will include presenters from across the globe (Canada, US, Finland, Australia, Shanghai, UK, Japan, South Africa, Thailand, etc.)
Studies in Educational Innovation (SEI) was co-founded by Deb Sawch (EdD ’13), Alison Villanueva (PhD ’13) and Suzanne Choo (PhD ’12), when they were doctoral students at Teachers College. SEI joined with Scarsdale Public Schools and Hwa Chong Institution in Singapore to launch the Global Learning Alliance (GLA), a consortium of school leaders from Shanghai, China; Helsinki, Finland; Toronto, Canada; Scarsdale, New York; Weston and Westport, Connecticut; Australia, and Singapore, with representatives from Teach for America.

Based within TC’s Center for the Professional Education of Teachers under the direction of TC faculty member Ruth Vinz, the Enid & Lester Morse Professor in Teacher Education and chair of the Department of Arts and Humanities at Teachers College, the GLA developed strategic approaches to improve teaching and learning in the schools of member districts using the SEI Global Capacities Framework that resulted from the research that Sawch, Villaneuva and Choo conducted in the six member countries of GLA.

“It is so urgent to look at schools around the world and use our observations to inform our own work—not by replicating what other nations do, but by adapting their ideas and practices to fit our own cultures and contexts as we look to cultivate a truly global student,” Sawch said. “SEI is bringing together the world’s most innovative school districts, scholars and innovators to uncover and redefine what it means to teach and learn in the 21st century. Our research and global partnerships have informed this work.”

For a complete agenda and list of speakers, go here.

Published Monday, Apr. 7, 2014