This week's second International Summit on the Teaching Profession, held in New York City, brought together representatives from 23 countries and regions around the world to share their expertise. The attendees, all from parts of the world with either high-performing or rapidly-improving school systems, sought to find a better approach to training teachers and identifying and supporting future leaders in the field of education.
"Last year's first-ever International Summit focused on how high-performing countries support and elevate the teaching profession, contributing greatly to the RESPECT Project," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "The 2012 Summit has continued the conversation started last year, adding thoughtful insight on effective ways to prepare and develop skilled teachers and school leaders, and reaffirming the critical role they play in successfully implementing systematic reform."
The U.S. Department of Education partnered with organizations like Education International, along with the American Federation of Teachers, the U.S.-based teachers union, National Education Association, and the Council of Chief State School Officers, to host the two-day Summit. Almost all regions of the world were represented. Attendees from Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland and Germany were some of the nations making up the European delegation. From Asia, The People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and Singapore sent ministers, teachers and union leaders. North America was represented by the U.S. hosts and a delegation from Canada.
Participants engaged in extensive discussion around policies and methods for successfully developing school leaders, preparing teachers to deliver 21st century learning skills, and matching supply with demand in placing principals and teachers in areas where they are needed the most.
The Summit attendees discussed a paper released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development just prior to the start of the conference, that discussed various issues facing education systems around the world and their proposed solutions for recruiting, training and supporting school leaders and teachers.
A third Summit will be convened by the Netherlands, and is scheduled to take place in Amsterdam in 2013.