Learning with the World

Students in a classroom. (China Photos/Getty Images)

What education practices can high-performing nations learn from one another?

Asia Society focuses on common educational concerns worldwide, as well as international best-practice solutions. We work with education leaders from nations with the best and quickly improving education systems to discuss the key drivers of educational improvement and the lessons learned. 

The United States and many other countries around the world are focusing on increasing graduation rates, raising student achievement, making educational systems more equitable, and rethinking the skills needed for the 21st century. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has data to prove that education is the key to economic growth in a global knowledge and innovation-based economy. Conversely, low educational performance exacts measurable economic costs. Reforming schools is not simply for the benefit of individual students; it is good for the long-term health of a nation.

See what each high-performing education system is doing: 

About the Initiative

In collaboration with key education and international organizations, Learning with the World convenes the world's thought leaders in education to foster focused, generative communication among them, and to catalyze improvement of education systems through the sharing and adaptation of best practices. Specifically, the initiative

  1. Creates a focused dialogue about needed reform in education among education practitioners, policymakers, and innovators around the world
  2. Frames ideas, strategies, and options to address critical issues in education worldwide
  3. Identifies obstacles and opportunities, and implements proven solutions from one nation to others
  4. Disseminates findings broadly through publications, websites, and the media

Asia Society is building upon its fifty years of experience in convening high-level networks from different sectors across Asia and the United States as part of its mission to create a positive shared future between the two world regions.

Asia Society has led delegations of U.S. education leaders to China and India and in 2006, organized the Asia Pacific Forum on Education in Beijing, bringing together leaders from across the region to discuss the challenges of globalization to education. Following on this, in 2008, Asia Society convened New Skills for a Global Innovation Society: Asia Pacific Forum on Secondary Education in New Delhi, to draw on best practices and frame educational options for leaders in India as they embark on a massive expansion of secondary education.  Asia Society is also the convener of Asia 21, an active network of emerging leaders in Asia and the United States created to build relationships and engage in interdisciplinary dialogue and cultural exchange and to develop cooperative responses for shared challenges. 

In April 2010, Asia Society, with partner organizations, convened the symposium International Perspectives on U.S. Education Policy and Practice: What Can We Learn from High-Performing Nations? Experts from Australia, Canada, China, Finland, Singapore, and the United Kingdom, shared the experience of their countries in upgrading their education systems and their future plans for providing students with a world-class education. On the first day, each country gave an overview of the key drivers of their education systems. On the second day, panel discussions focused in on three key areas of the upcoming reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act: student assessment, teacher and leader effectiveness, and innovations to impact school improvement and equity.

The next event in the Learning With the World series was International Perspectives on Building and Sustaining Teacher Quality, a focused exploration of teacher effectiveness which occurred at the annual Partnership for Global Learning conference in July 2010, showcasing the range of practices around recruitment, preparation, induction, compensation, and performance using the experience of selected countries such as Australia, Canada, Finland, Japan, and Singapore.

On December 7, 2010, Asia Society joined with partner organizations to examine the newly released 2009 international school ranking results.

Learning With the World is a natural extension of these efforts and the Asia Society's Partnership for Global Learning's US-based education initiative. The Partnership for Global Learning is a network of educators committed to sharing K-12 best practices and promoting policy innovations to help our schools prepare students to be globally competent and ready for college.

Support for this initiative is generously provided by MetLife Foundation.

Explore School Systems Around the World

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