We live at a time of increased awareness of global connectedness. Wisconsin's citizens need to be globally literate, to understand the linkage of economies, peoples, and cultures around the world, and to function comfortably and effectively in languages and cultures other than their own. This is not a luxury, but a critical component of a 21st century education. Therefore, the Governor of Wisconsin and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction convene this Statewide International Education Council.
- To bring together education, business, and community leaders to create alliances to develop global literacies in a new generation of students, teachers, and citizens.
- To ensure that international education is included as an integral part of state initiatives, conferences, business practices and processes, and, most importantly, in all levels of education for Wisconsin citizens.
- advance international education curriculum
- expand public awareness
- promote teacher and student exchanges
- identify needed projects and resources.
The Council will appoint Working Groups composed of representatives from educational institutions, culturally-related organizations, business and industry, appropriate governmental agencies and other interested persons to gather local information on international education activities and initiatives, provide recommendations to the Council and assist in the implementation of state-wide initiatives.
The International Education Council will meet two times a year to hear progress reports from and address needs identified by the Working Groups.
A varying number of working groups are established for the purpose of coordinating and implementing international education efforts. The topics of these working groups are determined based on needs identified by the Council. The groups are chaired by members of the Council and work closely with staff at the Department of Public Instruction.
The priority of the Working Groups will be to develop policy suggestions, identify excellent models of international education in the state of Wisconsin, and frameworks for teaching and learning in international education in accordance with the mission of the Council.
The Council identifies opportunities of partnerships between schools and school districts with businesses, local and state legislators, and other constituencies to promote and implement K-16 international education strategies. Representatives of partnering groups may be invited to serve a term on the Council or join one of the working groups.
Such individuals will already be actively engaged in or passionate about international education, including world languages, ethnic festivals, programs for recent immigrants, student exchanges, and university and PK-12 curriculum.
The ongoing efforts of the Council Working Groups will result in a diversity of initiatives. New audiences may include students enrolled in technical education classes; African-American students; American Indian youth; new immigrant families, such as Hmong- or Asian-American neighborhoods; school counselors; and leaders in the business of agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and natural resources. Initiatives may range from advocating for world language programs in elementary grades, introducing new policies or legislation at the local school board or state government level, or working with teachers to strengthen a global studies curriculum at the high school level. Collaborations may include pairing an area import/export business with every school in a district, creating an international resource directory, or soliciting funding for international exchange scholarships or internships abroad. Media will be broadly defined to include newspapers, television, print, electronic Web pages, listservs, distance education projects, and video connects.
Contact: Gerhard Fischer, International Education Consultant, Telephone: 608/267-9265; FAX 608/266-1965