Global Schools Network Leadership Conference accelerates international education in N.C. and beyond
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Top education leaders from throughout the United States gathered this week to discuss opportunities, ideas, and best practices on global education and 21st century learning during the Global Schools Network (GSN) Leadership Conference in Chapel Hill.
“The next generation of American workers faces global challenges almost completely unknown to those who preceded it, and these schools have the plans, practices and partnerships to give today’s students the knowledge and skills to thrive as adults in this new century’s economy,” said Karl Rectanus, director of partnerships at VIF International Education, which coordinates the GSN with more than 500 teachers, including 200 international teachers and 100 principals now participating in the initiative.
The member-only event held on Tuesday and Wednesday featured more than a dozen leading school districts, national keynotes, and panel discussions from some of the country’s top educational minds.
“The Global Schools Network, and participating in best practices discussions across leading districts is not just about global curriculum, it’s about how everything goes hand in hand,” said Dr. David Clarke, Union County Deputy Superintendent of Human Resources in North Carolina. “This conference allows us to gather as a community of global educators and share knowledge to make our schools some of the best in the nation.”
EdLeader21 CEO and author Ken Kay has been a leading voice for 21st century education in the United States for the past decade and provided keynote remarks during the conference emphasizing his concept of the 4 C’s of learning needed today – critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.
“I was honored to be invited to this event as I am passionate about the need to create new models of 21st century education, particularly those that include global competence,” said Kay. “It was a pleasure to speak with school districts in North Carolina that have this as a major focus of their vision for 21st century education. More than 40 percent of the students in the state are included in this network, so the impact of these leaders is tremendous and I want to be involved as this program enters its second year.”
In addition to Kay and Rectanus, several others spoke during the event including VIF CEO David Young; Tricia Willoughby, executive director of N.C. Business Committee for Education and member of the North Carolina State Board of Education; André Peek, vice president of IBM Global Technology Services Communications sector; and Adam Hartzell, executive director at the N.C. Center for International Understanding.
The Global Schools Network advances best practices in global education to empower students to be successful in an interconnected world. During its first year of operation, it has grown with the help of several government, organization and business partners with more than a dozen district partners now participating across two states.
VIF International Education, a global education innovation organization based in Chapel Hill, coordinates the Global Schools Network on behalf of public, private, and district partners.