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A World Transformed: Preparing American Students for the Interconnected World of the 21 st Century International Education Summit Princeton University October 27, 2004 Vivien Stewart, Asia Society
A. American students lack rudimentary knowledge of world B. Why International Education is Critical C. State Initiatives/New Jersey
A. National Commission on Asia in the Schools “Vast numbers of U. S. citizens —particularly young Americans—remain dangerously uninformed about international matters. This knowledge deficit is particularly glaring in the case of Asia. ” July 2001
National Commission on Asia in the Schools: Report Findings • Levels of student knowledge are rudimentary – 25% of college-bound high school students did not know the name of the ocean that separate the US from Asia – 80% did not know that India is the world’s largest democracy
National Commission on Asia in the Schools: Report Findings • Most teachers are not prepared to teach about Asia – Of the top 50 colleges and universities that train teachers, only a small number require any coursework on Asian history for their students preparing to teach history.
National Commission on Asia in the Schools: Report Findings • Language instruction does not reflect today’s realities – While more than one million students in US schools study French, a language spoken by 80 million people worldwide, fewer than 25, 000 study Chinese, a language spoken by almost 1. 3 billion people.
National Geographic/Roper Survey (2002) Young Americans lack knowledge of: • Geography – 83% of young Americans surveyed could not find Afghanistan or Israel on a world map • Current world events – Young Americans next to last in nine country survey of knowledge of current events
Why is this important? Increased knowledge of Asia and other world regions, cultures and languages is vital to our economic prosperity and national security • Globalization is driving demand for an internationally competent workforce – One in six jobs is tied to international trade – Trade with Asia now equals over $800 billion per year – Future growth will be in overseas markets
Why is this important? • Access to good jobs will require these new skills – Future careers in business, government, health care, law enforcement, etc. will require greater international knowledge and skills – Note: minorities continue to be underrepresented in international careers and need to be exposed to international content before college
Why is this important? • New national and human security challenges – Terrorism, AIDS, environmental degradation underscore need for global knowledge – US State and Defense Departments have issued strong calls to develop higher levels of proficiency in world languages
Why is this important? • Increasing diversity in our schools and workplaces – Increased populations from different parts of the world require a citizenry with increased understanding of other cultures – Hispanic population has grown 34% since 1995; projected to grow 73% in the next 20 years – Asian and Pacific Islander population has grown 41%; projected to grow 86%
Why is this important? • International education needs to be a two-way street – To address tremendous misinformation about the US among young people in many parts of the world – To promote mutual understanding and problem solving
What is being done? National • National Coalition on Asia and International Studies in the Schools: Cochaired by former governors James B. Hunt, Jr. (NC) and John M. Engler (MI) • State and Defense Departments call for K-16 pipeline in world languages • States Institute on International Education in the Schools: Two dozen states work to improve international competence • The Goldman Sachs Foundation Prizes for Excellence in International Education: New awards to recognize pioneering schools • New College Board Advanced Placement course for high schools in Chinese; Japanese, Russian and Italian Language and Culture • Sesame Street: “Global Grover” • Committee for Economic Development Task Force on Business Needs for International Knowledge and Skills • Gates Foundation/Asia Society new network of International Studies High Schools
Current State Initiatives (18 states) • Governor or Legislative Commission/Task Forces: Assess state economic and cultural ties to world and recommend how to prepare internationally competent workforce. • Statewide “Summits”: Bring together interested education, business and community leaders to utilize existing resources and create action plan. • New Policies and Programs: e. g. strengthening student standards, new professional development programs, elementary school language programs, harnessing technology, creating partnerships with schools in China and Mexico, innovation funds to “internationalize” high schools
Recent State Reports/Publications • Delaware K-20 International Education Capacity Study • Kansas in the World • Kentucky International Education Summit Report • Massachusetts: Education and the Global Economy Conference Report • Report and Recommendations of the Michigan Commission on Asia in the Schools • Globalizing Oklahoma’s K-16 Curriculum • Preparing a Citizenry for the Global Age (West Virginia) • International Education Benefits Vermont’s Children
Need New Jersey Benchmark Assessment 1. New Jersey economic growth: Impact of international activities on New Jersey economy (top 10 import/export countries/commodities; foreign employers and investment; tourism) 2. What students learn: How international are New Jersey K-12 student standards? How adequate are state adopted textbooks re: Asia? What knowledge of Asia/the world is tested by New Jersey assessments? 3. World languages: What is New Jersey’s capacity in major world languages?
Need New Jersey Benchmark Assessment 4. Teachers and teaching: Are New Jersey teachers required to take any courses on Asia? What professional development opportunities are offered? 5. Technology: How harness New Jersey enormous technology expertise to increase students’ knowledge of Asia/the world? 6. Education as export: Value of international enrollments and international contracts to New Jersey higher education 7. State governance: Has Governor, State Board of Education or State Legislature ever launched task force or study of this?
“The compelling changes in our economy, the dawning of the information age, and the horrible events of September 11, 2001 and their aftermath, have created an unprecedented need to focus on international knowledge and skills. To solve most of the major problems facing our country in the 21 st Century will require every young person to learn more about other world regions, cultures, and languages. ” --U. S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, 2003