The Center for Educational Improvement (CEI) is collaborating with educational leaders in Scandinavia to plan and conduct mutually supportive, cross-cultural efforts that further instructional leadership and prepare students to engage with the world. Promoting global competence makes students more open-minded, accepting, and able to adapt to changing circumstances regardless of socio-cultural, geographic, and other demographic differences. Moreover, it shows students that everything we do, whether big or small, has an impact beyond our borders and that together we have the potential to combine resources, ideas, and talents to achieve significant changes.
At the June 2013 International Symposium on Educational Reform (ISER) in Finland, Dr. Christine Mason, CEI director, met with Dr. Lea Kuusilehto-Awale and Dr. Seppo Pulkkinen of the University of JyvÃ¤skylÃ¤ in Finland, and Dr. Kamran Namdar of MÃ¤lardalen University in Sweden and outlined first steps.
Dr. Mason and Dr. Namdar were both ISER keynote speakers. ISER’s purpose is to examine educational reform from a global perspective, discuss common issues facing educational leaders, and promote international understanding. Dr. Mason presented a keynote on ‘Heart Centered Education and Leadership.” Dr. Namdar presented a keynote about how many schools’ short-sighted focus on academic achievement fails these schools’ potential to build a better world.
The next steps Dr. Mason, Dr. Kuusilehto-Awale, Dr. Pulkkinen, and Dr. Namdar set were:
- Define the need and vision without constraints: the need comes from dreams
- Share ideas and possible routes with like-minded people
- Keep it in our consciousness and keep communicating
- Understand the need to build credibility (research) and supports
- Explore options for collaboration
CEI is contributing to and guiding the vision. Our unique contribution involves assuring that building-level leadership is engaged in all steps of the process.