Education International
Education International

EI and affiliates to make the case for teachers at global summit

published 16 December 2010 updated 16 December 2010

EI and its US affiliate members, the National Education Association (NEA), and American Federation of Teachers (AFT), will join world leaders from the OECD at a Summit on the Teaching Profession in New York, from 16-17 March, 2011.

The meeting of influential policy makers is being hosted by US Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, and will bring together education ministers from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) with leaders of national teachers’ organisations.

The summit will be used to identify best practices worldwide that effectively promote, elevate and enhance the teaching profession.

EI and its affiliates will use the opportunity to make the case for fully funded public education for all and ensure that teachers are recognised as integral to any development of education policies.

Commenting on the event, US Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, said: “When it comes to teaching, talent matters tremendously, but great teachers are not just born that way. It takes a high-quality system for recruiting, training, retaining and supporting teachers over the course of their careers to develop an effective teaching force. This summit is a tremendous opportunity to learn from one another the best methods worldwide to address our common challenges: supporting and strengthening teachers and boosting the student skills necessary for success in today's knowledge economy.”

OECD Secretary General, Angel Gurría, added: “The prosperity of our nations depends on whether we succeed to attract the brightest minds into the teaching profession and the most talented teachers into the most challenging classrooms. Working directly with leaders and teachers from across the globe is key to investing in our most precious asset – our youth.”

Participants will also engage in a discussion on the vital role that teachers play in advancing progressive, sustainable education reforms.

EI General Secretary, Fred van Leeuwen, welcomed the event as an opportunity to influence good practice: “The summit represents a unique opportunity for teachers and their unions to consider the future of their profession as equal partners with governments. Qualified teachers are vital to the health and success of all our societies. Their input and status are vital to advancing the fight to achieve high quality education for all.”

The March summit marks the beginning of an on-going international dialogue on the importance of teachers worldwide. The US Department for Education plans to work with participating leaders to compile and share effective practices publicly in the weeks following the summit.