Sustainability is an increasingly popular watchword in today’s society. From the environment to the economy, lawmakers and laymen alike are searching for ways to create lasting goods, services, programs and provisions for the future. When it comes to sustainability in education, I believe that educators have an unparalleled opportunity to foster and support enduring change for the greater good. Schools and universities have the crucial opportunity to foster responsibility and stewardship in our students. On the occasion of our centennial at Francis Parker School, it seems fitting to remember that, by teaching young people to act as citizens of the world, great educators can achieve the ultimate in sustainability – and ensure a better future by instilling the fundamental building blocks for an engaged and compassionate population.
In a previous column, I highlighted the importance of global education in our evolving society. Central to the aim of developing global citizens is a commitment to providing students with a comprehensive course of study in foreign language. Youth foreign language programs provide an invaluable source of cultural awareness, and instill in students a lifelong appreciation for other cultures within the context of a broader contemporary curriculum.
Digital tablets — heralded as a revolutionary innovation only a few short years ago — are today an overwhelmingly popular and increasingly ubiquitous trend among tech-savvy companies and individuals alike. The intuitive power of such products has propelled them from boardrooms to local businesses – and inspired a growing interest in the benefits of digital media in education as well. According to a recent article in The Atlantic, entitled “The Case for Social Media in the Classroom,” digital media has become a critical tool for effective education in today’s society – one without which students will not be able to communicate on a global scale.
The New Year is upon us, and with it comes the final countdown for high school juniors before college admission season sets in. For some students in the fall and the rest soon thereafter, this year will see the mailing off of painstakingly prepared applications — and subsequently, many months of patient waiting before they finally learn their fate in the spring. But until then, these same students must first determine how to narrow down their options and find the right fit: and while popular checklists and guidebooks abound, it is impossible to underestimate the benefit of college admission counseling – and an approach that prioritizes individuality to help students embrace their differences and make college decisions that suit them academically, socially and financially.
Dan Pink, best-selling author of A Whole New Mind, contends that if schools are to successfully prepare students for the future — not the future we once planned on, but rather the future that our students will inevitably face — then we must take a whole new look at how we educate our students and, in doing so, reconsider the traditional role of arts in education.
From the collaboration between world leaders at the United Nations summit on climate change to Hillary Clinton’s historic visit to Myanmar, recent events on the international stage remind us on an almost daily basis of the interdependence of our world – it is truly a small world after all.