I work with teachers from all over Europe in the Pestalozzi Programme, the Council of Europe programme for the professional development of teachers and education actors. And for the last months I have had the honor to exchange ideas with plenty of the top 50 finalists of the Global Teacher Prize at the Global Education and Skills Forum, in our Ambassador community and at the Teacher Ambassador Summit. Working with teachers from all over the world makes me realize that education has an enormous impact on local, regional and global processes.
In September 2015 UN published the Global Goals for Sustainable Development and supported The World's Largest Lesson to introduce the Goals to the young generation. Many testimonials supported the campaign. I created a lesson plan for The World's Largest Lesson and translated video content into German to help. Still, I have the impression that the Global Goals aren't as well-known as they should be. We need everyone on this planet to know about them and help contribute to achieving these goals. This should be the ultimate goal of all our education efforts.
Serena Williams introduces the World's Largest Lesson. I made German subtitles to help include teachers in Germany in the mission.
The Global Teacher Prize is an annual one million dollar award from the Varkey Foundation to be given to an inspiring teacher. One innovative and caring teacher who has made an impact on their students and their community will receive this award. Teachers currently teaching children in a compulsory setting or between the ages 5-18 are eligible. The award is there to shine a light on the teaching profession and also unleash thousands of stories about inspiring teaching. This aspect of the award is very important to me: There are tons of inspiring stories about teaching. And I believe they need to be told.
As finalists of the Global Teacher Prize we currently work on ways of supporting the global teaching and learning of literacy, maths, science, global citizenship, socio-emotional development, creativity, teacher reflection and school-community relationships. Our work is supported by Professor Fernando Reimers from Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Since 2016 I also work as a judge for the Global Teacher Prize. Through this work I get to learn about some of the most fantastic work teachers do in this world.
The Pestalozzi Programme seeks to promote Human Rights, Democracy, Sustainability and Diversity in European education. It offers a summer school, European workshops, trainer training courses and conferences and has just published one of the most important documents for European teachers of our time, the manifesto "Education for Change - Change for Education" which has been prepared by representatives of the Community of Practice of the Pestalozzi Programme and the working group “Teachers’ profession in the 21st century” of the Education and Culture Committee of the Conference of International Non-governmental Organisations of the Council of Europe for the jointly organised conference “The professional image and ethos of teachers” in April 2014 at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. I have been very honored to be a part of this process and meet inspiring educators from all over Europe as well as the organisers of the conference Josef Huber, Head of the Pestalozzi Programme, Sabine Rohmann, Chair of the Education and Culture Committee and Pascale Mompoint-Gaillard, pedagogical consultant for the programme, who is also very involved in the process and is a great role model.
The manifesto asks the question of whether we are doing the right things in
and with education. It states that we need to rethink education in our global and increasingly complex society. It says we need our education to focus on sustainability, democratic structures and
values. Therefore, teachers need transversal competences in addition to academic subject-related competences and have access to quality life-long learning. What's the world going to be like in
2030? 2050? (I'll still be working then...) Which qualities will teachers need by then? We need schools to be places of participation. So that students can be active citizens. And how can we
approach the negative image and lack of social prestige the teaching profession suffers from in most places?
The manifesto is meant as a message from practitioners to other practitioners and to policy makers. Despite all differences of context across European classrooms and learning spaces, the principles and the orientations contained in this manifesto can offer a shared vision of what education for democracy can and ought to mean in the 21st century. Joining the conference and the discussion about the manifesto I have strongly realized that teaching is not going to be the same and that teachers need to be involved in the change, because there will be change and if we don't participate our voices won't be heard.
I hope that the manifesto will spark and fuel debates on the purpose and practice of education, to see how it can help to move us further towards the desired change of practices in our classrooms across Europe and elsewhere.
The Pestalozzi Programme of the Council of Europe has opened changeforeducation.info to allow all concerned to continue to follow these crucial debates and developments and to share their experiences. The manifesto can be read at www.coe.int/pestalozzi
The Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes in Kansas, USA, has chosen me for a stipend to be a Lowell Milken Fellow in 2015. I was invited to go to Kansas and work with some of the best American educators. The center discovers, develops and communicates the stories of Unsung Heroes of history: People who are unknown, but are role models who demonstrate courage, compassion and respect and made a difference in the lives of others and in history. The Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes works with students and educators across diverse academic disciplines to develop history projects that highlight these stories.
I have written several articles about my experience.
Mareike Hachemer. What I have learned.
Mareike Hachemer. Mareike Hachemer travels the world.
I have visited and contributed to plenty of international conferences which included keynotes, workshops and discussions. What I found to be very inspiring is when actual teaching is also a part of a meeting or a training course, because education is a subject which can often lead to people thinking that they are talking about the same issue, while they are not. We're all from completely different backgrounds. I dare to say that no two teachers in the world have the same job. We're in different schools, teach different subjects, follow different curricula in different school systems. How do we even think that the word education means the same to our conversational partners?
Teaching each other shows the differences. In a situation in which we pretend that we are each others' students we get to learn most from each other and create a great opportunity for inspiration. Also, we get to go back into a students perspective which is always a good viewpoint to have. (That's why drama teachers should also be actors every now and then and language teachers should learn new languages.)
At the Intensive Course for Trainers in Strasbourg I got to introduce one of my favorite teaching methods to other teachers and trainers as well as to Josef Huber, the head of the Pestalozzi
Programme and Pascale Momtpoint-Gaillard the Programmes paedagogical consultant. The way I do it, in a fishbowl discussion all participants are needed as either speakers, writers, thinkers or
hosts. Ideally, this method provokes positive interdependence, individual assessment, equal (but different) participation, and simultaneous activity.
The main reason why I had the chance to become a globally active teacher is that a lot of organizations have supported my professional development and my projects through scholarships, awards,
free education, funds and fellowships. I want to say thank you for all these opportunities. I am aware that this is a privilege.