International Summit on Teaching Profession Takes Place in New York

The second International Summit on the Teaching Profession opened today in New York. The summit is a two-day conference with representatives from 23 countries and regions who have high performing education systems. The summit will address issues such as teaching training, professional development, and 21st century skills.

The summit is hosted by the OECD, the U.S. Department of Education, and Education International (EI). A number of delegations are confirmed to attend, including representatives from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the People’s Republic of China, Poland, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, opened the summit with a set of opening remarks.

“High performing countries have more collaboration, more high quality professional development for teachers, and do a better job of recruiting teachers and retaining them,” said Duncan. “Other nations not only out educate us, but also out prepare and out respect us.”

Duncan discussed the need for effective professional development programs for principals and teachers as well as described new grant program, RESPECT, by President Barack Obama’s administration.

“Today, the job of principal is to be an instructional leader, not just a supervisor,” commented Duncan. “Top flight leaders are like lead teachers and CEOs rather than building managers.”

Duncan concluded by encouraging teachers, national education ministers, and union representatives to look at the many ways of creating a strong education system.

“There are a number of roads, not just one path, to become a high performing system. The number of high performing systems is on a smaller scale than us, but it doesn’t mean successful practices are irrelevant–far from it. Practices must be adapted to fit U.S. governing structures and traditions,” remarked Duncan.

Fred Van Leeuwen, Secretary General of Education International, also took the floor at the opening session, speaking about optimism in education, the pathway to education reform, and making teaching an attractive profession that is self regulating and autonomous.

“We hope you can persuade your governments that it will be through the classroom door frame that we get out of the crisis. That doorway is our portal to the future, we need it open so no one will be left behind,” noted Van Leeuwen.

Besides various informative sessions, the summit will include webinars and publications for attendees. Find out more about the second International Summit on Teaching Profession by clicking here.