Educating students for a global society

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JEFFERSON CITY, Michele Clark, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education - Preparing students to live and work in an increasingly global society is the focus of an International Education Summit Monday, Jan. 9 in Jefferson City.

Sponsored by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the summit will feature presentations about international education opportunities, foreign language programs, and exchange programs for students, teachers and administrators.

"The summit is a step toward better understanding the vital role we have as educators to bring a more global view into our classrooms," said Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro.

The summit program includes a panel discussion, "How Missouri Engages with The World," moderated by former Missouri Gov. Bob Holden.  Panelists include officials from elementary and secondary education, higher education and state government. Other sessions will include presentations by foreign language instructors who teach Spanish, French and Chinese in Missouri classrooms.

Students from the Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Jefferson City will conduct an international classroom skyping demonstration and communicate via the Internet with students in Lyon, France.  A taped presentation will feature students from Lee's Summit conversing with a resident of China.

"Our world is a rapidly changing place and interaction with other countries is becoming more common every day," Nicastro said.  "It is our responsibility as educators to begin preparing students from an early age to successfully navigate the changing world and succeed in a globally competitive workplace."

The summit will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City. The event is being funded through a grant to the state Education Department from the Longview Foundation for Education in World Affairs and International Understanding, Inc.