ISA Webinar – International Education: past, present and future
International Schools Association
ISA WEBINAR: International Education
PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE
International education as we know it, has resulted from the movement of people, minds, or ideas across political and cultural frontiers, often in times of conflict. It has been facilitated by the phenomenon of globalization, which increasingly erases the constraints of geography on economic, social and cultural aspects of our world.
The significant growth in international education and international schools, post-World War II had in part its origins in the forward planning which took place taking from 1941 , when the so-called London International Assembly provided a forum for displaced representatives of ‘like-minded’ nations to discuss common problems informally.
In 1945 , the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was established with its headquarters in Paris. Archibald MacLeish contributed the following to the introduction of its charter -“Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed”. UNESCO’s first education seminar, in 1947, was on the theme of: “Education for International Understanding”. In 1948, UNESCO published a radical pamphlet, written by Marie-Therese Maurette, the then Director of the International School of Geneva, promoting the need for “International- mindedness”. This publication posited the idea that this was a concept which needed to be ‘taught rather than caught’. Among her proposals, which were then being implemented in her own school, were more prominence in World Geography, a new ‘World History’ course, insistence on students learning a second language and participation in some form of community service.
In the following period of time and in a constructive atmosphere , four organizations were created and started working in International Education – the International Schools Association, Alliance of International Education, the International Baccalaureate and the United World Colleges.
The purpose of this webinar is to understand the journey and experience of these individual organizations, in which ways they work and collaborate together, and to anticipate the challenges in international education for the future.