ASH Joins Harvard Think Tank Conversation on Global Education

Now more than ever, the skills, attitudes and dispositions - resilience, empathy, collaboration and critical thinking - we teach our students have never been more relevant as we experience the need for educational programming that develops the ability and willingness to take action on issues of global importance. 2020 will likely mark the most trying moment in a generation not only for our global society but also for the reboot of international education for millions of students worldwide in the face of the present crisis. 

Last Saturday, ASH staff participated in the conversation at Harvard’s Think Tank on Global Education and worked with more than 120 global education experts from around the world on reimagining the future of global education. Tasked with ideating prototypes for global education programs that are responsive to our new reality, 10 design teams considered five domains of content through five lenses of global education. By merging scholarship and practice, and influencing shared knowledge and perspectives they created program iterations that support learner agency, facilitate learning across differences, and demonstrate results to various stakeholders. 

The five content domains included climate science, public health and pandemic awareness, foreign relations, finance and military services. These served as an angle of perspective for content development keeping in mind the broad and specific Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes (KSAs) necessary to interact, be active, and have ample understanding about the domain of expertise. 

The five lenses of education - cultural, psychological, professional, institutional and political - are complementary and offer a comprehensive approach to integrating how students learn and how schools change. The cultural perspective, for example, is about the big picture of how schools relate to the larger society and the value society places on education and educators.

The design teams carefully considered all participants’ experiences, skills, ideas and perspectives as potential seeds for the groups’ respective prototypes for the future of global education. The creation of this next normal is to help students develop a sense of relevance and purpose in our rapidly changing world and design a better future through understanding and collaboration.

"The opportunity to network with colleagues from around the world on reimagining how we can support learners in developing the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for addressing issues related to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals in a local context was absolutely inspirational," said ASH CAS and Service Learning Coordinator Bart Dankaerts. “My break-out group (consisting of colleagues from Brazil, Colombia, California, Canada, and New York) came up with an exciting, 'glocal' collaborative 'Acts of Kindness' project for the learners in our schools that we hope to implement together during the new school year," he continued.

The current crisis presents a unique opportunity to reimagine education and move from a traditional content-driven model towards a more progressive learner-centered one that also values children’s wellbeing and mental health. “Designing a whole-school comprehensive program of global education provides an excellent framework for this shift, integrating academic expertise, with social & emotional learning, and 21st century skills," offered Dr. Fernando Reimers, Director of the Global Education Innovation Initiative and of The International Education Policy Program at Harvard University.

As a community of lifelong learners, ASH supports the ongoing learning of our staff through professional development opportunities to help us be future-ready. Always. Participation in think thank conversations is one way we engage in defining challenges in education and reimagining the future of learning.

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