Why did they do this? Why did these Portuguese explorers set off into the unknown? Was it something to do with dreaming of a better world and a belief that they could make this happen? Is this a belief or a dream that we, as teachers, share today. We have no real idea of the future we are preparing our children for. We, too, are sailing into the unknown.
At an international schools conference, it's clear that teachers have many questions about what it means to be international. In a previous post I reflected on the fact that an international teacher is not necessarily a global educator. That many teachers who have never left their home country are now reaching out with the help of the internet, smartphones, iPads and so on, to people in other countries with different ideas. These teachers are also global educators.
Hans Rosling, the keynote speaker on the first day of the conference, talked about how, with the rate of population growth accompanied by an increase in health and wealth, this is already an Asian world. The "Old West" will only make up 10% of the estimated world's population of 9 billion in 40 years time. Our world view, still dominated by the North/South divide from the 1970s and 80s, needs to change. Asia is the world - probably the most exciting changes are taking place there. Are we educating our students for this new reality?
There are schools that are redefining learning in the 21st century. There are teachers who are doing this one classroom at a time. I'm excited about what the future will bring with these courageous leaders.
Photo taken at Belem, Lisbon