August 30, 2010

International Work

Sharing Best Practices Globally

Teacher training in IndiaSome students overseas benefit from excellent research-based educational practices under all conditions. Others do not. As part of the Center for Educational Improvement (CEI) commitment to bringing cutting-edge innovations to school leaders, we collaborate and consult with educators internationally to identify, develop, and share best practices for:

  • Achieving excellence despite funding shortages and socio-cultural, geographic, and other demographic differences
  • Implementing evolving policies and reforms from educators and schools around the world
  • Advancing Heart Centered Education (our signature approach to social emotional learning focusing on compassion, courage, confidence, consciousness, and community), social justice, and global competence
  • Obtaining top Program for Student Assessment (PISA) scores
  • Equipping students with the intellectual, personal, emotional, and social skills needed for global leadership
  • Promoting international approaches to service learning

Our international work includes expanding international dialogue, offering CEI’s consulting services and opportunities to collaborate with educators overseas, and integrating global trends and best practices into our research.

International Dialogue

Dr. Christine Mason, Director of CEI, presents at numerous international conferences to expand international dialogue. In June 2013, for example, she presented a keynote on ‘Heart Centered Education and Leadership’ to the International Symposium on Educational Reform (ISER) at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland (a high achieving nation in education). ISER’s purpose is to examine educational reform from a global perspective, discuss common issues facing educational leaders, and promote international understanding. At the conference, Dr. Mason met with leaders from Europe, the United States, and South Africa, and they explored socially responsive education. In her presentation, Dr. Mason highlighted the need to develop education that prepares students for global leadership and showed clips of Peter Yarrow’s work in Israel. After the conference, one participant sent this email:

“I just collected my thoughts from ISER symposium. You moved me with your presentation on Wednesday’ ‘even on tears’… I’d try to build up a culture of caring in my own work and towards that direction I’ll aim in the future. But it’s not easy on a daily basis’… I’ve felt the need for a change for a long time but too often lost my strengths to carry on with all the theoretical and structural issues of inclusion. Now I think that I’m eager to work both with my school work and with my dissertation: I think I can describe some steps to other teachers in Finland to start with. Once again: Thank you for the empowerment you gave!”

CEI also collaborates with our peers internationally, such as the National Association of Elementary School Principals’ Ontario affiliate, the Ontario Principals’ Council (Canada’s education is ranked among the world’s best) to identify best practices that could be tailored to the needs of U.S. schools.

International Consulting

CEI offers consulting services internationally to assist educators overseas to overcome obstacles to learning and drive positive change. Like our professional development and monitoring and evaluation services in the United States, our consulting services abroad rely on rigorous research to inform practical decisions about school leadership, professional development, teacher effectiveness, data driven instruction, and student learning.

CEI’s international consulting assignments have taken our cadre of professionals to Dubai, India, Singapore, and 23 other countries.  In these countries, we have participated in improving schools through school inspections with teams of international advisors, conducted workshops, advised ministries of education, and facilitated inclusion and services for students with disabilities. We have also served as leaders in international schools, reviewed assessment results, guided development of strategic plans, and shared programs to further international peace.

Please contact Dr. Christine Mason at for more information on pricing and/or bringing CEI’s international consulting services to your country. To design a customized approach for you, we offer two hours of free consultation.

International Research

CEI’s international research identifies the leadership and educational frameworks educators use worldwide to usher in great academic gains. In such countries as Singapore and Finland, for example, educators have shifted from a ‘spiraling curriculum’ to staying with instruction and topics until mastery occurs. For students in earlier grades this appears to be a very important step in increasing the efficiency of instruction.

We use our research on successful education reforms worldwide to identify best practices that U.S. schools can tailor to their individual needs given socio-cultural differences. We firmly believe there is research available to address almost any educational problem that arises whether that problem is related to student learning or behavior. So the question becomes one of finding it and getting the knowledge into the hands and the repertoire of those who need it.

CEI’s research in 2014 focuses on rigor in the classroom; neuroscience; science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); and Heart Centered Education (our signature approach to social emotional learning focusing on compassion, courage, confidence, consciousness, and community). We are dialoguing with our international counterparts about globally competent educators and ways to advance a common research agenda. Our research emphasizes leadership practices and competencies, including: setting direction and priorities, building relationships and developing people, maintaining high expectations, creating inclusive communities, developing cultural competence, leading instructional program, sustaining innovations, and securing accountability.