Middle school students are at a turning point between childhood and high school.Research shows that these adolescent minds are incredibly curious about the world around them. Judith Conk, senior consultant to Asia Society International Studies Schools Network, explains why it's critically important to make global learning part of an innovative approach to student engagement.
By Judith Conk
A fresh emphasis on innovation and global competence sends a new imperative to middle level schools that is both exciting and challenging.
Schools must provide an education for each student to prepare them for success in this rapidly changing world rather than educating them for the world in which their parents and teachers grew up. Our middle-level students now will be buying, selling, and communicating, either face-to-face or through technology, with people whose backgrounds and cultures are different from their own. They will be working in collaborative teams that represent increased diversity and various points of view. They will be using technologies that have not yet been invented. Middle-level educators cannot continue to prepare students to live in the world of typewriters and landlines—of silos and isolation—when that world is quickly disappearing.