What does it really mean to be a Global Scholar?
Minnetonka Public Schools (MN) is in the process of trying to define this term and show colleges and employers that our graduates are truly ready “to feel at home in the world.” Of all the work that is currently happening in this space, North Carolina is a clear leader. Helga Fasciano has built a model for other states, school districts, and schools to consider as they embark on this 21st century journey. The following history, vision, and action plan are all lovingly borrowed from the website www.dpi.state.nc.us/globaled/overview/:
In September 2011, the North Carolina State Board of Education (SBE) formed a Task Force on Global Education to assess the state's effort to produce "globally competitive" graduates ready to live, work, and contribute in an interconnected world. Based on feedback it received, the Task Force noted six major findings and made five commitments to take supporting action to ensure every public school student graduates fully prepared for the world. This effort focuses on assuring that students understand and appreciate other countries, languages and cultures.
WORK & WORLD READY (The Six Major Findings)
Entering the heart of the 21st century, North Carolina's workforce must be nimble, savvy and worldly if the state is going to continue to prosper and be a national and global economic powerhouse. North Carolina has developed into an internationally diverse economy and society.
· 207,000 North Carolina workers are employed by foreign-owned firms.
· 309 languages are spoken in North Carolina homes of K-12 public school students.
· North Carolina is home to manufacturing facilities from 39 nations.
· $27 billion in North Carolina produced goods are exported by 9,000 companies annually.
· One in six North Carolina manufacturing jobs depends on exports.
· North Carolina ranks 3rd in the number of jobs created through international direct investment.
It is the North Carolina Board of Education's vision to assure that: "Every public school student will graduate ready for post-secondary education and work, prepared to be a globally engaged and productive citizen."
In January 2013 the State Board of Education accepted the report from its Task Force on Global Education. To produce “globally competitive” graduates, the Task Force recommended:
· Developing criteria for teachers and administrators to earn specific recognition as "Global Educators."
· Implementing a plan for statewide expanded access to dual language/immersion programs;
· Developing new school models focused on international education;
· Establishing Global-Ready designations;
· Working with the NC Department of Commerce, the State Chamber of Commerce, the NC Business Committee for Education and other business and non-profit partners to strengthen existing and develop new international relationships.
FROM PLANNING TO DOING (Data Points of NC Action)
The State Board of Education has agreements with public education systems in Spain, China, and France that support student and teacher exchanges, joint conferences and collaboration in classroom projects and professional development. Students, parents and educators across the state have embraced the initiatives.
· There are over 90 schools with dual language/immersion programs today – up from seven in the fall 2005.
· North Carolina ranks 6th nationally in sending students abroad and 19th in hosting international students.
· There are15 languages taught in NC public schools and seven represented by dual language/immersion schools.
· In the 2013-2014 school year there were 250 international teachers in North Carolina on exchange programs while 300 North Carolina teachers and administrators were abroad on exchange programs.
· Two dual language elementary schools are recognized by the Spanish Ministry of Education as International Spanish Studies Academies.
· The first statewide network of Confucius Classrooms was developed to assist districts implementing Chinese language and culture programs in partnership with the Chinese Ministry of Education.
· The Department of Public Instruction has established ongoing collaboration with the Center for International Understanding, World View, and VIF International Education to respond to the State Board's strategic plan, including expansion of professional development opportunities for educators across the state.
EMPOWER STUDENTS FOR THE GLOBAL STAGE (The Five Commitments)
Preparing students for jobs in North Carolina means empowering them to compete on the global stage. Workers entering the labor market with communication, analytical and technical skills that span international borders will make North Carolina and its workforce more attractive, place it in greater demand and enable the entire state to be more prosperous. North Carolina will be unique. Recognizing this, North Carolina's Board of Education and Department of Public Instruction are committed to:
· Producing high school graduates who are prepared and ready to embrace the challenges of a global economy.
· Providing teachers and administrators the instructional support necessary to meet the global educational objectives.
· Taking a comprehensive approach to an international education that encompasses language, economy, history and culture.
· Building partnerships between educators at all levels, business and industry, cultural and civic organizations, to take education beyond the classroom.
· Providing there sources so global education is a seamlessly integrated component of daily classroom instruction.
N.C. State Board of Education Global Education Commitments
How the N.C. Dept. of Public Instruction Will Meet These Commitments
Making global education a priority means making teacher preparation and development a priority. To be effective in the global marketplace, teachers need to embody the global awareness, competence and engagement we seek to develop in our graduates.
Robust and Cutting-edge Teacher Support and Tools:
· Develop content so global themes and problem-based learning flow throughout the curriculum.
· Implement a State Board of Education-recognized certification process in global professional development for teachers and administrators
· Require teacher preparation institutions to train future teacher to use global content
Compared to the rest of the world where multi-lingualism is the norm for all students, North Carolina students are not as globally ready.
Literacy, in any language, is best-learned young. Elementary World Language enrollment needs expansion, including dual language/ immersion programs. Students in dual language/immersion programs, when all else is equal, perform better in all subjects, and gain enhanced and critical skills such as creativity, perseverance and thinking “out of the box.”
Leading-edge Language Instruction
· Develop statewide access to dual language/immersion opportunities beginning in elementary school and continuing through high school.
· Partner with institutions of higher education to increase the number of skilled K-12 World Language teachers.
· Broaden high school World Language courses to include the study of international affairs and the economies, societies and cultures of other nations along with practical survival language skills.
We must fully tap the potential of digital learning and public-private partnerships to help bring global initiatives to scale. Moving forward requires a comprehensive approach that embraces on-line learning and deploys multiple strategies, including themed schools, dual language/ immersion programs and experiential learning while using policies and structures that promote and support statewide progress.
New School Models
· Develop new school models focused on international education that include: an internationally-themed residential high school; preferences for international themes in the charter school approval; transformation models for low-performing schools; virtual schools-within-a-school and, regional dual language/immersion schools.
· Partner with businesses, non-profits and other non-governmental entities to aid school districts with implementation
Make global perspectives a part of the daily fabric of educators and students experience in school. Building networks of schools, districts, higher education institutions, third-party providers, and the business and governmental communities is critical to ensuring strong practice and innovative ideas go beyond the schools and communities in which they originate and make an impact on students across North Carolina.
District Networking and Recognition
· Expand the NC Global Schools Network to support district implementation of global content, teacher development, cutting-edge language instruction, and new school models.
· Establish a Global-Ready designation for schools and districts that provide a process and incentives for K-12 second language opportunities for all students, pathways for teachers to achieve SBE-recognized certification, career-ready employer requirements and more.
· Collect and share lessons learned on international education.
North Carolina's economy is globally connected, from economic investment and employment to trade. A key drawing card for business operating in North Carolina is the availability of globally competent workers. Maintaining and increasing our economic prosperity requires our state to be more skillful, globally engaged and ready to take on the rapidly evolving global economy. Orienting our K-12 education policy towards the global economic challenge is a necessity, not an option, to secure our future.
Strategic International Relationships
· Work with the NC Department of Commerce, businesses and other partners to: renew existing and develop new agreements with international partners and; identify other priority nations for international relationships
· Name partner countries to be priority sources of information about skill requirements, K-12 curriculum and teacher professional development, as well as focus for educator exchanges and visits