The US Dept. of Education’s International Strategy. Wait! What?!

That’s right, the 2012-2016 policy document from the Federal DOE was updated under secretary DeVos in this November 2018 update .  It is a compelling piece outlining policies not frequently discussed or referenced.  In her own words DeVos states:

There’s a lot we as Americans can learn from other countries and how they set their students up for successful lives and careers. Simply copying other approaches will not be sufficient. But forward- thinking states and school districts should take note of effective, innovative practices found all over the world and consider how they can be applied at home.”  —Secretary DeVos

Well said indeed – “forward thinking” is indeed something students will benefit from as educators prepare them for tomorrow.  And there is more celebrate!  Checkout this video from International Education Week 2018

Did she just say “Cultural Intelligence”?    Yes indeed.  In fact the DOE has outlined the value and urgency for cultural competency  here where it states:

“Today, more than ever, our students need to be equipped with the critical thinking, communications, socio-emotional and language skills to work collaboratively with their counterparts in the United States and all over the world. Understanding and appreciating other parts of the world, different religions, cultures, and points of view are essential elements of global and cultural competence.”

The framework developed by the DOE is pasted below and can be accessed on their website here.

Back to the Nov. 2o18 Update

This is really a compelling piece that should be leveraged by schools across the nation.  At one level it is inspiring to know that this strategy has existed in both Republican and Democratic administrations.  Is education poised to be a unifying element for the United States?  Maybe, but the strategy will have to be shared frequently and with gusto. To

To assist in that endeavor, the document opens articulating the “Why” of the strategy”

Today more than ever, an effective domestic education agenda must aim to develop a globally and
culturally competent citizenry. It is not enough to focus solely on reading, writing, mathematics and
science skills. Today’s world also requires critical thinking and creativity to solve complex problems, well honed communication skills, the ability to speak world languages, and advanced mathematics, science and
technical skills. Equipping American students with these skills is critical to the following:

  • • Help individuals find meaningful employment.
    • Foster an informed, engaged and active citizenry.
    • Enhance the country’s economic competitiveness.
    • Strengthen our national security and diplomacy.
    • Support relationships with peers around the world.

The U.S. Department of Education’s updated international strategy reaffirms the Department’s
commitment to preparing today’s students, and our country more broadly, for a hyper-connected world.
It reflects ongoing work in implementing international education programs, participating in international
bench-marking activities, and engaging allies and multilateral organizations in strategic dialogue.

Where To Go From Here? 

This post is meant to highlight aspects of the DOE’s strategy enough so that it motivates you to digest and share the message and document with your network and colleagues.  For , many readers this will be enough. But others will want or need more.  To fulfill that need I offer these two options: one looking back and another gazing to the near future. And of course there is always the weekly #globaledchat on Thursday’s from 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm EST.


  • Looking Back – The Internationalization of U.S. Education in the 21st Century Conference (2014)

Held in Williamsburg, VA at the College of William and Mary, the event  brought together a variety of stakeholders to address, in a prescient declaration to the 2018 strategy,  the following:

The United States faces an urgent education issue that will directly affect our nation’s well being for generations to come: the global competence of Americans. Global competence includes deep expertise in the languages and cultures of other nations and regions, to basic understanding of the rest of the world and the United States’ role today…Join leaders in academia, K-12 education, business, government, and the NGO sectors for timely research and discussion of national human resource needs and strategies for enabling U.S. educational institutions to Related imageaddress the broad national policy goals to:

  • Ensure a globally competent citizenry and workforce
  • Strengthen the U.S. ability to solve global problems
  • Produce international experts and knowledge for national needs

I curated these keynote addresses for your review based on their relevant connection to the DOE strategy.

National Security in the Global Era (pdf)

Thomas Fingar, Oksenberg-Rohlen Distinguished Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University

Globalization and Interpretation:  Learning to Question and to Think (pdf)

Robert Keohane, Professor of International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University

Globalization and Implications for K-12 World Languages and Global Education (pdf)

Anthony Jackson, Vice President for Education, Asia Society
  • Looking Forward: The Global Ed Conference Network (2019 – 2020)

Lucy Gray and Steve Hargadon began the Global Ed Conference 10 yeas ago.  On June 23, 2019 at the annual ISTE conference in Philadelphia you can join Global Education Day  This participatory event will feature:

  • Inspirational ignite talks by noted educators and organizations working to connect classrooms
  • Design sprints around the formation of global project-based learning opportunities
  • A global resource cool tools smackdown in which attendees will share the best resources and tools for creating global experiences for students

Future event sponsored by Lucy and Steve are listed below.

  • Global Project-Based Learning  Online Mini-Conference – August 1, 2019
  • Global Collaboration Week – Online – Week of September 23, 2019
  • GlobalEdCon Around the Clock Online Mini-Conference – November 19, 2019
  • Student Empowerment Online Mini-Conference –  February 13, 2020


Image result for looking ahead globe





2 thoughts on “The US Dept. of Education’s International Strategy. Wait! What?!

  1. Craig,
    I love this article!

    Thanks for gathering all this good information and for not only informing us about what is going on related to International Ed but for selecting great sources for our professional development!

    I admire you more every time!

  2. Thanks not only for the clear perspective, but the great resources as well. Preparing students for the current world is not enough. We can see the trajectory well enough to know we need to educate our students for a hyper-connected world. They need to be designers as well as thinkers.

    Thanks Craig!

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