An ongoing communication with an enthusiastic social studies teacher in a large Midwestern school district ended abruptly when she emailed me: “due to NCLB [No Child Left Behind] corrective action our district will need to channel our professional development time and funds toward this goal. I’m so sorry that we won’t be able to pursue our global education projects . . .” Another educator and friend wrote to me “our school will be focusing on diversity, inclusion, and anti-bullying efforts; at this time it’s just too much for us to consider global education.”
In both these cases, administrators made decisions based on imperatives they considered to be mutually exclusive. But developing staff capabilities in “global education” can actually help to realize and reinforce the academic as well as social goals these administrators are concerned about, in part by creating more authentic and relevant student engagement. These help spur deeper and more inclusive learning.