P21 Releases Framework for State Action on Global Education

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Framework provides states with actionable strategies to better prepare students for the global realities of work and life in the 21st century.

In today’s economy and world, global knowledge and international understanding needs to move from optional to foundational for our students.

Today the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21), a national coalition made up of 28 member organizations and 19 state partners released a Framework for State Action on Global Education. The Framework offers states a comprehensive and actionable strategy to ensure students have the global competencies and international understanding that will prepare them for work and life in the 21st century.

“Our members believe that education and economic development are inextricably linked,” said Stephan Turnipseed, chair of P21. “In today’s economy and world, global knowledge and international understanding needs to move from optional to foundational for our students.”

P21’s Global Education Framework provides state leaders with six essential elements with which to build a robust state strategy for global education. Each essential element includes specific and actionable steps for implementation. The six elements are:

1. Global Competency Standards for Students and Teachers
2. Effective and scalable teacher supports, resources, and tools for infusing classroom with global knowledge and skills
3. A New Approach to Language Instruction that includes statewide dual language/immersion plan beginning in elementary school and refocusing traditional high school world language courses
4. Whole-School Models that include internationally-themed schools, transformation models for low-performing schools, and regional dual language/immersion schools
5. Networking and Recognizing Districts, Schools and Educators to drive implementation and innovation
6. Global experiences for students and educators including teacher exchange, educational travel, virtual exchange, and global academic competitions

“Teachers, principals, and district and state leaders understand the importance of global skills and knowledge for their students and to their state’s economies,” said Helen Soulé, executive director of P21. “What has been lacking is an actionable framework for states to take immediate action that moves the global education agenda from boutique school models to a comprehensive state strategy. The Framework is meant to help states move from belief to action to support their students.”

In addition to a comprehensive blueprint for state action, the Global Education Framework includes two guides for use by states to implement the strategy: a Teacher Guide to K-12 Global Competence Grade Level Indicators and a Global-Ready Teacher Competency Framework: Standards and Indicators. These guides provide grade-by-grade indicators for global knowledge and skills for teachers and students.

“The Global Education Framework is a step towards action and accessibility” said David Young, chair of P21’s task force on global education and CEO of VIF International Education. “Our goal as a task force was to support the expansion of global education to one commonly available to all K-12 students nationwide.”

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) is a national organization that advocates for 21st century readiness for every student. As the United States continues to compete in a global economy that demands innovation, P21 and its members provide tools and resources to help the U.S. education system keep up by fusing the 3Rs (core academic subjects and 21st century themes) and 4Cs (critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity and innovation). P21 aims to serve as a catalyst to position 21st century readiness at the center of US K12 education by building collaborative partnerships among education, business, community, and government leaders.

The Global Education Framework and guides can be viewed at http://www.p21.org.
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THE FRAMEWORK’S SIX ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS AND ACTION STEPS

ESSENTIAL ELEMENT 1: Adopt Global Competency Standards for Students and Teachers
-Adopt definitions of student and teacher global competency to anchor state and district global education agendas

ESSENTIAL ELEMENT 2: Effective and Scalable Teacher Support, Resources, and Tools
-Provide content for teachers to embed global themes and problem-based learning that focuses on global issues, with a priority on the core subjects.
-Implement a recognition system—such as badging--for teachers, principals, and school district instructional support personnel to support and inspire professional development on global issues and competencies
-Require teacher preparation institutions to include preparation for infusing instruction with global content and competencies

ESSENTIAL ELEMENT 3: A New Approach to Language Instruction
-Institute a statewide dual language/immersion plan that begins in elementary school and continues through high school
-Refocus traditional high school credit world language courses to include a greater emphasis on the study of global and international affairs and the economies, societies and cultures of other nations and on survival language skills

ESSENTIAL ELEMENT 4: Whole-School Models
-Develop new school models focused on international education that would include, but not be limited to, internationally-themed schools, transformation models for low-performing schools, virtual schools-within-a-school and, regional dual language/immersion schools
-Recruit business, foundation, and nonprofit partners to support and assist school districts with the implementation of new school models

ESSENTIAL ELEMENT 5: Networking and Recognizing Districts, Schools and Educators
-Create a network of districts, schools and educators to drive implementation and innovation
-Institute a recognition (designation) program for students, teachers, principals, schools and districts that provide incentives for educators and educational leaders to adopt innovative global education practices
-Identify an existing or develop a new leading partner outside government to drive the global education agenda
-Partner the state departments of education and commerce (and other relevant agencies) to develop county- or community-level profiles of international assets

ESSENTIAL ELEMENT 6: Global experiences for Students and Educators
Provide global experiences by teachers, administrators, and students, including inbound teacher exchange, outbound educational travel and exchange for teachers and students, virtual classroom-to-classroom exchange, and global Academic competitions

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Lizzette Arias
@P21CentSkills
since: 10/2009
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