It's a compelling fact: our secondary school students will graduate into a world vastly different than the one we know today. Rapid economic, technological, and social changes are creating a world that is increasingly more connected. To succeed in the near future, our students will need a new skill set that goes beyond excellence in reading, math, and science, to include a new proficiency in international knowledge and skills.
One of the great strengths of the United States is its adaptability. Schools and communities want to think beyond our borders to develop students who can both compete and lead in this century. Businesses and government increasingly understand the need for an internationally competent workforce. Teachers, principals, and parents are recognizing that knowledge of the world is no longer a luxury but a necessity. This growing momentum for change signifies that the question is no longer whether to teach about the world beyond our borders, but how to do it in the context of other demands on our schools.
By providing relevant and engaging global content and connections, schools can improve the bottom line: good scores on standardized assesments--and show other real evidence of students gaining deeper knowledge and broader skills that the world will demand of its next generation. In particular, Asia Society's International Studies Schools--a network of secondary schools in low-income and minority areas with the mission of developing globally competent, college-ready graduates--has shown that in comparison with schools with similar profiles, an international studies curriculum results in higher test scores and graduation rates.
This section of the website showcases middle and high schools models, and offers advice on the opportunities to make instruction more effective through relevant, international coursework and experiences.
Has your school gone global? What's your advice to those just starting the process? Sound off below on our comment board.