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The Globalization of American Education Part II: Its Implications on Lower to Secondary Education

by Benjamin Skye | April 28, 2010 | Newsletters 0 Comments

"International education cannot be seen as an add-on," Martha J. Kanter, U.S. under secretary of education, told college international-education officials.

"International education cannot be seen as an add-on," Martha J. Kanter, U.S. under secretary of education, told college international-education officials.

Over the past few decades, the movement towards “globalization” has been spearheaded by the corporate world of business through the increase of international trade. However, our world is beginning to see how this movement is impacting the international community at all levels. After all, the influence of commerce on society is often far-reaching. Along with the rise of the international business market comes the need for individuals who are well-versed in the international culture. This in turn leads to the emergence of a globalized version of higher education – a trend that has been observed especially in the status of American higher education today.

In the world of politics and policy making, the Obama administration has caught on that the internationalization of American higher education is indeed inevitable. In fact, the internationalization of education has become so crucial that it has begun to trickle down into the secondary and lower education in the United States. Martha J. Kanter, U.S. under secretary of education assured the attendees at this year’s annual meeting of the Association of International Education Administrators that internationalization of education at all levels of education is a key priority of the Obama administration. She told the college international education officials present that “international education cannot be seen as an add-on. It’s not an extra in higher education or K-12.”

An elementary education major student teaching at Union University.
An elementary education major student teaching at Union University. Even elementary classrooms today are becoming more and more diverse.

The Obama administration is highly aware of the importance of internationalizing education for the American society as they understand that the skills and knowledge acquired in international education are the same skills that graduates need to succeed in a global economy. Ms. Kanter also took the opportunity to remind that attendees that the U.S. Education Department’s proposed overall budget increase was 7 percent, even as other federal departments were likely to see their budgets cut. This is a huge indicator of the priorities of the Obama administration, and should be taken by education administrators as a serious encouragement that they indeed play a crucial role in the continual development of the nation.

Shalan Arbuckle, left, a Spring Arbor University student, helps her pen pal, Cheyenne Friend, 10, a Parma Elementary School third grader, work on her math work.
Shalan Arbuckle, left, a Spring Arbor University student, helps her pen pal, Cheyenne Friend, 10, a Parma Elementary School third grader, work on her math work.

Unbeknown to many, ELI 360 has been working to increase awareness globally towards the importance of internationalization of education at all levels. Our efforts extend beyond bringing college students from foreign countries to our partner universities here in the US in that we are also actively recruiting high school students to consider completing part of their secondary education studying abroad. In addition, ELI 360 is also consistently networking with high schools in the countries we are currently involved in to help them develop a model of globalized education. While this project is still in its developmental stages, ELI 360 is also working towards developing a mentoring program for students in Malaysia starting at age twelve and up to help them discover early on the many opportunities available to them in today’s global economy. These efforts should reiterate to our members our desire to make the globalization of all levels of education a reality in the near future.

* This news release is based on the article “Campus Officials: Globalization is Inevitable, Whatever the Path” by Beth McMurtrie and Karin Fischer published in the February 26 2010 edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education, page A32.

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