On October 3rd, 2013, OLC attended the event, Global Education Open House 2013; hosted by Teach UNICEF. The event was attended by the GEC-NYC organizations: Reach the World, AFS, Tanenbaum, iEarn-USA, and World Saavy.
The event was divided up into an informal networking and information session and a moderated panel with presentations by Dan Sadowsky, Assistant Director at Teach UNICEF, Dr. Tony Muro of AFS-USA, Honor Moorman and Aditi Naik of World Saavy, and Chloe Graef, educator at Herricks Union Free School District.
The event began with an informal networking and information session with several organizations hosting their own information booths:
Reach the World:
Reach the World is a non-profit organization that cultivates relationships between underprivileged young students and volunteer world travelers through a network of online journalism and real-time face to face interactions. Reach the World’s mission is to connect young students to the global community.
AFS-USA is an international non-profit organization dedicated to exposing students to the global community. This organization promotes student-exchange programs, integrated curricula that incorporate subjects regarding global issues, community mobilization towards educational reform and teacher training.
Tanenbaum is a secular, non-sectarian organization that fights religious prejudice whilst promoting tolerance and mutual respect. Tanenbaum utilizes practical programs such as professional development courses, academically integrated curricula, publishing, and educational partnerships; in order to fulfill its mission.
iEarn-USA is a non-profit organization dedicated to using the internet to connect youths around the world to engage in collaborative learning. iEarn-USA uses the internet to facilitate programs that allow students and teachers to participate in global projects as part of their regular classroom curricula and after-school programs.
World Saavy is an organization that prepares students ranging from grades K-12 with necessary 21st century skills to be members of the global community. World Saavy actively supports systemic change in K-12 education to provide every student in every classroom with the knowledge, values and attitudes to be active and influential members of the global community.
As the educational branch of the international organization, UNICEF, Teach UNICEF’s mission is to support and create educational environments for students to become informed global citizens. The organization provides support as well as engaging and academically rich materials to encourage the exploration of critical global issues while presenting opportunities to take action.
After the informative networking session, Dan Sadowsky, Assistant Director at Teach UNICEF and Dr. Tony Muro of AFS-USA, introduced the event with the question, “How can we, as educators, use 21st Century learning to foster global competency?”
The problem with current education methods, as Sadowsky and Muro’s presentation reveals, is that it is outdated. Modern education systems in America are still using 20th century methodologies that only cover two layers of a student’s educational development; content learning which include the core subjects of reading, math, science, and social studies; and assessment learning which deals with how the student analyzes and understands those subjects.
Muro and Sadowsky continued the presentation and exposed how 20th century education systems can’t prepare the student with the necessary skills for the 21st century since they were designed for 20th century industrial economies. Therefore such an education system is incapable of preparing students for the 21st century global economy and international community.
The presentation also stressed of the necessity for the 21st century education system to develop an educational framework that adapts to the themes of the 21st century. And such a system would, in conjunction to the core subjects, incorporate real life skills (Character skills) such as social skills, leadership skills, cultural/global nous, and etc. It would also incorporate learning and innovation skills which include creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration skills; as well as information technology and media skills. The framework of the 21st century education system must fit the theme of the 21st century.
The presentation then moved on to a video, presented by Honor Moorman and Aditi Naik of World Saavy and Chloe Graef, educator at Herricks Union Free School District, which demonstrates the successes of 21st Century learning in fostering global competency. The video can be seen on this link: https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/teaching-global-awareness