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Education leaders convene to promote and improve global learning

Opportunities for teaching international understanding and engaged citizenship have made a leap forward with the Global Scholars digital exchange program

Global and digital leaders are convening in New York City to promote and improve opportunities for teaching international understanding and engaged citizenship.  In recent years these efforts have made a major leap forward with the Global Scholars digital exchange program operated by Global Cities, Inc. a Program of Bloomberg Philanthropies. This year the six-year-old program is connecting over 15,000 students in nearly 700 classrooms through its e-classroom discussion boards. The program’s students, ages 10 to 13, live in 50 cities across 25 countries. Digital technology is integral to the program, allowing students to collaborate with their peers across the world on a shared curriculum and—of equal importance— create and present their original work.

The Global Scholars program has succeeded because of excellent teachers and creative curricula, two essential drivers of student learning. The symposium convened today at Bloomberg Philanthropies with 76 representatives from Global Cities’ worldwide educator network. It highlighted student learning outcomes for global digital education and presented pathways toward formal evaluation. Symposium panels focused on recognizing and assessing student global learning in both physical and digital classrooms.

“There is no magic bullet for the divisions and misunderstandings that drive conflict around the world, but overcoming them starts with dialogue and communication,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies. “By giving students the ability to interact with and understand different cultures, Global Cities’ Global Scholars curriculum is laying the groundwork for a more inclusive, tolerant, and prosperous future. Its new report demonstrates why it’s important that we continue to invest in these efforts and learn how to expand the promise of a global civics education for all.”

Global Cities has created a civics education program that ensures students are actually developing the skills and attitudes they need to be successful citizens in a globalized world.  This is the focus of Global Cities’ recently released paper, “Evaluating Global Digital Education: Student Outcomes Framework,” which identifies specific global learning outcomes and establishes how they can be recognized in classroom practice. Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) co-published the paper (Global Cities, Inc.

Global Cities also created an easily accessible grid to summarize student learning outcomes for global digital exchange and for global education more broadly (Global Competency Begins Here,

In global digital exchanges, students share their insights with international peers as they learn how to solve global problems. In doing so, students learn to understand other cultures and appreciate diverse points of view. John B. King, Jr., U.S. Secretary of Education in the Obama administration and president and CEO of The Education Trust, stated, “Every student deserves the opportunity to access an excellent education that enables him or her to succeed in today’s interconnected world. Global Scholars is a promising program that is providing international learning opportunities to significant numbers of students in urban public schools. I am honored to have joined the board at Global Cities, Inc., and I’m looking forward to seeing continued positive outcomes for the students served by this initiative.”

“I appreciate Global Cities’ approach to develop global competencies and collect evidence to measure progress in this field. Your white paper on evaluating global education based on student learning outcomes is such a pioneering study and makes a real contribution in advancing the education ecosystem on this topic,” said Wendy Kopp, CEO and Co-Founder, Teach For All.

The Education Endowment Foundation’s (London) Kevan Collins observed, “The student outcome framework is a terrific piece of work and covers a number of bases. The case for global education is compelling and as well set out as I’ve ever seen. The outcomes framework takes the work to another level and demonstrates how, by working on this agenda, new information about the growth and development of critical skill and knowledge becomes available.”

“Global Scholars equips students with clearly articulated skills and competencies which we know are essential for them to graduate ready to make good choices and to become global citizens,” said New York City Department of Education Deputy Chief Academic Officer for Teaching and Learning, Phil Weinberg.

The challenges and opportunities of educating informed citizens in the digital age was the subject of remarks at the symposium by Kevin M. Guthrie, president of ITHAKA, which works to advance and preserve knowledge and to improve teaching and learning using digital technologies.

Liz Dawes Duraisingh, principal investigator, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Project Zero, and co-director, Out of Eden Learn, presented an approach to analyzing observable behaviors in discussion boards and linking them to the empirical indictors of Global Cities’ student learning outcomes.

Professor Ester Fuchs, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, and Global Cities board member, served as rapporteur. Milbrey “Missie” Rennie Taylor, also a board member, served as the overall symposium moderator.

Marjorie B. Tiven, founder and president of Global Cities, Inc., assured symposium attendees, “The students in our network make me optimistic. The teachers are extraordinarily dedicated; they just need the tools to get the work done. I’m confident that global education will become a priority for school districts everywhere.”

About Global Cities, Inc.
Global Cities Inc., a Program of Bloomberg Philanthropies, promotes skills that today’s youth will require for citizenship in tomorrow’s world. Global Scholars, its signature digital exchange program for children ages 10-13, operates in public school classrooms around the globe, helping students deepen their understanding of their own cultural and historical contexts and giving them intellectual tools to appreciate the opportunities and challenges faced by those living in other places. For an overview of our work, see Global Cities, Inc.

Citation, “Tiven, M. B., Fuchs, E. R., Bazari, A., & MacQuarrie, A. (2018). Evaluating Global Digital Education: Student Outcomes Framework. New York, NY: Bloomberg Philanthropies, OECD ”

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies works in 480 cities in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2017, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $702 million. For more information, please visit or follow us on FacebookInstagramSnapchat, and Twitter.

Media Contacts
About Global Cities, Inc. and Global Scholars
Meg Louis, +1 212‐618‐6345, cell +1 347-574-0882

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Rebecca Carriero +1 212‐205‐0182,