We live in a volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous world, and for those of us passionate about the role of education, events this month were stern reminders of why our work is important. On June 12, the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history took place in a gay night club in Orlando, Florida when American-born Omar Mateen, claiming his allegiance to ISIS, murdered 50 young people in cold blood. On June 24 against the predictions of most polls, UK voters opted to exit the European Union -- a decision that rocked the world's stock markets and threatened to break apart a group of countries who have co-existed peacefully for decades. Many of the UK's academic institutions had been staunch advocates for the "remain" vote in the referendum campaign. "Leaving the EU will create significant challenges for universities," said Universities UK President Dame Julia Goodfellow, who added that during the transition period they would "continue to be global in their outlook, internationally networked and an attractive destination for talented people from across Europe."
In other news, Jerome Bruner, the famed psychologist, professor, education visionary and thought leader, died on June 5, 2016 at age 100. "The most important lesson we educators learned from "Jerry" or "JSB" is that if you take students of any age seriously, and engage their curiosity and their passions, you can communicate important ideas to them," said Howard Gardner. "And the idea of the spiral curriculum -- where you can over time revisit basic ideas/concepts in ever more complex ways -- is so different from today, where we try to simplify things to lists, or memorization of isolated names and numbers, or multiple choice options, thereby deadening rather than waking up the mind."
In my interview with Julie Posselt this month about her book, Inside Graduate Admissions Merit, Diversity, and Faculty Gatekeeping (Harvard University Press, January 2016) she discussed the ambiguities surrounding the admissions review process for students based on her firsthand observations and interviews with admissions faculty in ten top-ranked US institutions - what she learned and what she recommends is done to improve student review and assessment.
The story of the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI), founded by Max Kenner in 1999 and supported by his Alma Mater, Bard College, has become legendary. As the largest program of its kind in the United States today, BPI enrolls nearly 300 incarcerated men and women across a full spectrum of academic disciplines, and offers over 60 courses each semester. Max joined us in The Global Search for Education to talk about how and why BPI graduates are succeeding in the classroom and the real world, as well as his organization's vision for this groundbreaking program looking forward.
Isadora Baum is passionate about Holistic Health. As a coach, entrepreneur and the founder of Live For You, she's dedicated to helping people achieve their personal wellness goals and feel their absolute best selves. The story of how she came to understand the importance of living well during her high school and college years is one that many young millennials living in the all-or-nothing society of binges and fasts will relate to. It's also an honest, intelligent and welcome voice in health education. In The Global Search for Education, Isadora discussed holistic wellness and how it helps her tackle the challenges of being an up-and-coming health entrepreneur in today's world.
Our Global Teacher Bloggers are pioneers and innovators in fields such as technology integration, mathematics coaching, special needs education, science instruction, and gender equity. They have founded schools, written curricula, and led classrooms in 13 different countries that stretch across every populated continent on earth. This month we asked them to answer this question: How do we inspire the best and brightest to become educators? The short answer to our question for Miriam Mason-Sesay in Sierra Leone was to "engage young people in a new paradigm. "If success is defined in terms of being human; if success is defined in terms of how many people have I had a positive impact on through my ways of being and dealing with them; if success is defined in terms of have I made the world a better place by the ways I treat others and live my life, then there is an excitement about being part of the only profession where we can truly change the life chances of hundreds of young people."
Our thanks once again to all our amazing teachers, our contributors and our supporters around the world.
(Photos are courtesy of CMRubinWorld)
Join me and globally renowned thought leaders including Sir Michael Barber (UK), Dr. Michael Block (U.S.), Dr. Leon Botstein (U.S.), Professor Clay Christensen (U.S.), Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond (U.S.), Dr. MadhavChavan (India), Professor Michael Fullan (Canada), Professor Howard Gardner (U.S.), Professor Andy Hargreaves (U.S.), Professor Yvonne Hellman (The Netherlands), Professor Kristin Helstad (Norway), Jean Hendrickson (U.S.), Professor Rose Hipkins (New Zealand), Professor Cornelia Hoogland (Canada), Honourable Jeff Johnson (Canada), Mme. Chantal Kaufmann (Belgium), Dr. EijaKauppinen (Finland), State Secretary TapioKosunen (Finland), Professor Dominique Lafontaine (Belgium), Professor Hugh Lauder (UK), Lord Ken Macdonald (UK), Professor Geoff Masters (Australia), Professor Barry McGaw (Australia), Shiv Nadar (India), Professor R. Natarajan (India), Dr. Pak Tee Ng (Singapore), Dr. Denise Pope (US), Sridhar Rajagopalan (India), Dr. Diane Ravitch (U.S.), Richard Wilson Riley (U.S.), Sir Ken Robinson (UK), Professor Pasi Sahlberg (Finland), Professor Manabu Sato (Japan), Andreas Schleicher (PISA, OECD), Dr. Anthony Seldon (UK), Dr. David Shaffer (U.S.), Dr. Kirsten Sivesind (Norway), Chancellor Stephen Spahn (U.S.), Yves Theze (LyceeFrancais U.S.), Professor Charles Ungerleider (Canada), Professor Tony Wagner (U.S.), Sir David Watson (UK), Professor Dylan Wiliam (UK), Dr. Mark Wormald (UK), Professor Theo Wubbels (The Netherlands), Professor Michael Young (UK), and Professor Minxuan Zhang (China) as they explore the big picture education questions that all nations face today.
The Global Search for Education Community Page
C. M. Rubin is the author of two widely read online series for which she received a 2011 Upton Sinclair award, "The Global Search for Education" and "How Will We Read?" She is also the author of three bestselling books, including The Real Alice in Wonderland, is the publisher of CMRubinWorld, and is a Disruptor Foundation Fellow.