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Education Leaders Unite for Global Summit

Angelo Gavrielatos, NEA Vice President Lily Eskelsen and Henry Hendricks (left to right) during the Global Education Summit.
Photo by Rick Runion for RA Today

Participants learn about classroom strategies, global collaboration.

July 1, 2010

by Tim Walker

The theme for the 2010 Global Education Summit, sponsored by NEA International Relations, was “diplomacy for a new generation.” Through workshops and panel discussions, the approximately 100 participants were treated to new techniques and strategies to not only help prepare their students for an increasingly complex, interdependent world, but also how to collaborate and unite in the face of daunting global challenges.

NEA president Dennis Van Roekel welcomed the group and Executive Director John Wilson facilitated the morning discussions, including one led by Dr. Anthony Jackson of the Asia Society Partnership for Global Learning. Participants then broke out into workshops facilitated by key NEA partners, including Peace Corps Coverdell World Wise Schools, the Global Campaign for Education, iEARN-USA and the Magna Carta project.

The afternoon session focused on how teacher unions can work together in tackling the issues educators around the world confront, including privatization and testing. NEA Vice-President Lily Eskelsen spoke about the importance of gender equality in education and the campaign to meet the Education for All goals. She also introduced a new video, “Acting Locally – Connecting Globally: On the Move for Gender Equality.”

For the twelve international guests in attendance, the summit was a valuable opportunity to begin discussions with their U.S. counterparts about the many issues that unite them.

“It’s amazing when you realize that we are all dealing with the same bad policies,” said Angelo Gavrielatos, president of Australia Education Union (AEU). “But we have to work together – there should be no borders when it comes to a child’s education.”

Gavrielatos closed out the summit with a brief presentation about AEU’s aid program to help education across the globe. Under the program, AEU contributes .7 percent of member dues to international projects. Some members, he noted, object.

“What I tell them is that no matter were that child lives – anywhere in the world – he is a teacher’s business.”

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