Teach For All Participates in 2018 Global Education and Skills Forum

“Teaching helped me realize how much resource and will is already in the system—the communities have the resources they need. Entrepreneurship taught me how to leverage these resources to meet children's needs” - Teach For India alumnus Tarun Cherukuri

From March 17-18 Teach For All participated as a Content Partner at the 2018 Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) in Dubai, an annual event that convenes leaders from the public, private, and social sectors to address the challenges of global education, equity, and employment for all. While Teach For All has participated in GESF in the past, our partnership in 2018 signified a deeper collaboration with the event, where representatives of several network partners and Teach For All’s global organization contributed to discussions around some of the most pressing challenges and opportunities in education around the world. Throughout the two-day event, more than a dozen members of the global network—including CEOs, partner and global organization staff, and network alumni—took part in sessions as speakers or panelists, while others participated in meetings and related activities.

On Saturday, Teach For All hosted “Teacherpreneurs: From Classroom Teachers to Innovators at Scale,” a panel in which network alumni from around the world who began their careers as classroom teachers discussed how the insights they gained from teaching in under-resourced communities and recognizing the immense potential of their students—despite the obstacles they faced—led them to develop and launch innovative social enterprises designed to tackle the challenges they saw firsthand in their classrooms. Teach For All’s CEO Wendy Kopp moderated the panel of network “teacherpreneurs" (pictured above), which included Teach For Malaysia alumna Alina Amir, Co-founder of STEM initiative Arus; Teach For India alumnus Tarun Cherukuri, Founder of Indus Action; Enseña Chile alumnus Tomás Despouy, Founder of the student leadership network Panal; Teach For America alumna Maimuna Ahmad, CEO of Teach For Bangladesh; and Teach First (UK) alumnus Matt Hood, Founder of the teacher development program, Institute for Teaching.

“You can’t make decisions for the community. You have to make the decisions with the community” - Kaya Henderson, Head of Community Impact for Teach For All’s Global Learning Lab and former Chancellor of DC Public Schools

On Sunday, Wendy Kopp led the session “Collective Leadership: The Path to Transformational Change in Communities.” The recent World Development Report on education highlighted that making meaningful and sustainable progress in ensuring quality education for all of the world’s children will require a system of actors working together from within and beyond the sector. In her remarks, Wendy Kopp reflected on what it will take to develop a collective approach in order to tackle the multiple challenges facing children in marginalized communities—in schools and education systems, as well as in areas including healthcare, nutrition, employment, and housing—based on lessons learned in this pursuit from across our global network. “Collective leadership is about making space to build the relationships necessary to reflect together, learn together, grow the collective wisdom and develop shared vision,” she explained. Wendy was joined by Kaya Henderson, Head of Community Impact for Teach For All’s Global Learning Lab and former Chancellor of DC Public Schools, and Indus Action founder Tarun Cherukuri, who shared insights from their work within systems and in deep collaboration with communities in the United States and India.

“The issues that we face as humanity do not have borders, and education is at the center. We need to reimagine systems.” - Steven Farr, Senior Director, Classroom Leadership

Teach For All’s Global Learning Lab (represented by Steven Farr, Senior Director of Classroom Leadership; Archana Iyer, Global Director of Student Outcomes; and Sarah King, Global Director of Learning Ecosystems) hosted multiple sessions about how our network is learning from and with educators and students around the world, and the insights and innovations that are emerging from this process. Attendees had the opportunity to virtually visit strong classrooms in under-resourced communities, where students are succeeding and thriving in some of the world’s most challenging contexts. Rich discussions followed about which student outcomes are most critical to pursue in countries around the world to make progress toward the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and what teachers must believe and do to get there. Attendees participated in a “classroom learning loop,” a learning process to study classrooms in different cultures and contexts and draw lessons that can be applied locally. After the session, dozens of attendees enrolled in upcoming online learning loop courses, to join this global effort. 

In a private convening held at the event, Teach For All co-hosted a discussion with the Center for Global Education (CGE) at Asia Society, Results for Development, The Boston Consulting Group, and World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), on the topic “Strengthening the Global Education Ecosystem through Fostering a Global Learning & Sharing Infrastructure to Achieve Sustainable Development Goal #4.”This collective advocacy effort has held a series of meetings since April 2017 to accelerate progress towards UN Sustainable Development Goal #4 and the Education Commission’s Learning Generation Report recommendation to strengthen a global ecosystem for education. To date the group has engaged with more than 150 education actors and stakeholders to advance its thinking and vision for what a vibrant ecosystem looks like and the type of learning and sharing infrastructures necessary to sustain it.

In addition to these sessions, representatives of Teach For All’s global community participated in discussions and organized debates throughout the Forum. In all, the 2018 GESF offered a valuable opportunity for the entire global education sector to come together to learn from and with each other about the most critical challenges and opportunities in ensuring all children have the education, support, and opportunity they need to thrive.