By Becky Zoglman
Ten different countries. More than 60 educators from across the world.
The California Teachers Association (CTA) and the California Department of Education (CDE) this weekend are hosting the third Atlantic Rim Collaboratory (ARC) Summit. The brainchild of renown education expert and author, Research Professor Andy Hargreaves, ARC’s vision is to establish a global group of educational systems that advances equity, excellence, wellbeing, inclusion, democracy and human rights for all students.
“We wanted to bring together systems in education that believe passionately in equity, inclusion, human rights and democracy because we felt that that message was not strong enough around the world, and we needed to get together to share what was happening,” says ARC Facilitator Steve Munby of the Centre for British Teachers Education Trust.
“No system does everything right, but we can learn together to improve all of our systems to make them better for the children of the world.”
The summit includes teams of educators from each country. Each team must include the head of the country’s education system and the leader of the education union because the summit is grounded in the belief that sustained education change comes only when all stakeholders are involved. Attending this year’s summit are Iceland, Ireland, Nova Scotia, Scotland, Finland, Ottawa Canada and Mexico. California, Oregon and Washington are representing the United States, as California was a founding partner of the Summit.
“It’s important for California to be part of this larger, global group, not only because we’re a large system, but also because we have been going through a lot of changes as we are transitioning from a system of test and punish under NCLB to a system of continuous improvement and lifting equity up to the same level as performance,” says CTA President Eric Heins. “It’s important that we are part of a global partnership that together can push back and make a real difference for the students of California and across the world.”
Joining the gathering as thought leaders are international education experts Sir Ken Robinson of England, Pedro Noguero of UCLA, Pasi Sahlberg of Finland and Amanda Datnow of UC-San Diego. The group is spending two days sharing successes, discussing challenges and learning from each other. Regardless of the country, inclusion, teacher shortages and retention, collaboration and equity are common themes.
On Saturday, CTA and the CDE held a Pre-Summit Gathering focusing on education the California Way. California educators shared their experiences in collaboration through the Labor-Management Initiative, teacher-led professional development through the Instructional Leadership Corps and strength-based change through the CTA Institute for Teaching. CTA Vice President Theresa Montaño led a session on Global California 2030: A Call to Action.
GetLit Poetry students provided entertainment to the delegates and the Summit concludes with visits to local schools in Los Angeles, Lennox and La Mirada.
CTA thanks the S.D. Bechtel Jr Foundation, Stuart Foundation, Community Foundation, National Education Association and the NEA Member Benefits for their generous support in sponsoring the event.
Learn more about ARC in the video below featuring President Heins and ARC summit moderator Steve Munby.