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Think Tank on Global Education: Empowering Global Citizens

5/18/17 to 5/19/17


Tuition: $995 per person

Priority Application Deadline: April 6, 2017

We are currently accepting and reviewing applications as space is available. For consideration, please submit an application at your earliest convenience, no later than May 12, 2017.

What You Will Learn

“We must prepare the next generation of leaders to find solutions to the problems of the future, to invent the future so to speak, and in order to do this they must be globally competent because their future will be completely intertwined with the future of their fellow human beings in this small earth.”  Fernando Reimers, Faculty Co-Chair

While global education itself is not a new concept, recent world events highlight the necessity of intentional practice and curriculum that teach students what it means to be and thrive as global citizens. Increasing numbers of teachers, schools, and educational systems understand the importance of this type of education, but nearly all report insufficient curricular materials as a significant barrier to implementation. This year’s Think Tank on Global Education invites teachers and school leaders to experiment with and adapt a newly published primary and secondary curriculum as you seek to build global competence in your schools.

Program Overview

Since 2011, Think Tank on Global Education has played a distinctive role in advancing the conversation about global education nationally, addressing the critical need for rich and rigorous curriculum and instruction aimed at creating citizens of the world. To address this need head on, Fernando Reimers, HGSE faculty member and Think Tank on Global Education founder, published Empowering Global Citizens: A World Course with colleagues. A World Course builds on the UN Declaration on Human Rights as well as the UN’s 2015 Sustainable Development Goals and includes connections between local and global elements in every unit. This year’s Think Tank on Global Education will convene to review, react to, and extend this comprehensive K-12 curriculum.

With a shared curriculum as the starting point, you will engage in dialogue, led by HGSE faculty, considering the significance of global competency and the role it plays in advancing human rights. Given the nature of this year’s offering, you will benefit from the dynamic of large scale collaboration among practitioners committed to creating global citizens. You will hear examples from those who have already achieved success in institutionalizing learning goals for global competency and work with other participants to reinvent A World Course for use in your own educational environments. You will leave this innovative program with pedagogy and leadership strategies for creating global education experiences for your students that are both concrete and transformative.

Note: Participants in Think Tank for Global Education are required to read Empowering Global Citizens: A The World Course (Reimers et al. 2016) prior to attending the program. This textbook is not included in the program tuition. Considering the possible adaptation of the curriculum to your own setting will prepare you to share valuable observations and insights during program conversations.

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Program Objectives
  • Learn from system level leaders who have implemented global competencies
  • Collaborate with colleagues to apply A World Course to various institutional, geographic, and developmental contexts
  • Discuss barriers to teaching and leading for global competence and begin to generate possible solutions
  • Develop strategies for helping students take action steps directly related to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
Who Should Attend
  • All K-12 educators invested in global education, both those currently working to increase students’ global competencies as well as those hoping to embark on this effort
  • School-level teams including teachers, curriculum directors, instructional coaches and principals
  • Teams composed of school- and district-level leaders
  • Teacher educators
  • Leaders from the non-profit sector who collaborate with districts and schools

Faculty Co-Chairs

Fernando Reimers is the Ford Foundation Professor of the Practice of International Education and Director of the Global Education Innovation Initiative and of the International Education Policy Masters Program at Harvard University.

Professor Reimers is an expert in the field of Global Education. His research and teaching focus on understanding how to educate children and youth so they can thrive in the 21st century. He studies how education policy and leadership foster educational innovation and quality improvement. As part of the work of the Global Education Innovation Initiative he leads, he and his colleagues have just finished a comparative study of the goals of education as reflected in the curriculum in Chile, China, India, Mexico, Singapore and the United States, published as Teaching and Learning for the 21st Century by Harvard Education Press, a book which has also been published in Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish. Another recent book, titled Fifteen Letters on Education in Singapore, examines the lessons that can be learned from Singapore’s efforts building a robust teaching profession. Another recent book Empowering Global Citizens discusses why global citizenship education, aligned with helping students advance human rights and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals is an imperative of our times.

In 2017 he received the Global Citizen Award from the Committee on Teaching about the United Nations for his work advancing global citizenship education. In 2015 he was appointed the C.J. Koh Visiting Professor of Education at the National Institute of Education in Singapore in recognition of his work in global education. Learn more about Professor Reimers' work here.

Mitalene Fletcher is director of preK-12 and international programs at Professional Education at HGSE. Her work involves developing institutes for education leaders. Fletcher began her career teaching secondary school history and dramatic arts in Toronto, Canada, and in France and England through a global education summer program for the Peel District School Board in Ontario. She is interested in developing educators’ capacity to critique global education initiatives and curricula from an equity perspective, building global competence through the arts, and the internationalization of higher education. She received a Ph.D. in international development and education from NYU, where her research focused on the reorganization of teacher education in democratic South Africa.


Veronica Boix Mansilla is principal investigator for Project Zero at HGSE.

Darla Deardorff is executive director of the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) and research scholar at Duke University.

Additional faculty to be announced




Step One

Provide your personal and organizational information.

Step Two

  1. Explain how participation in the program will benefit your work and describe one or more significant challenges you would like to explore during the program. (250 word limit)

  2. In what ways do you expect your particular skills, experience and perspective to contribute to group discussions? (250 word limit)


Identify Your Team Coordinator

  • Before beginning the application process, you will need to identify a team coordinator.

  • The coordinator will be the primary point of contact during the application process and preparation for the program.

  • The coordinator does not need to attend the program and will have the opportunity to indicate if they will be attending during the application process.

Application Process

  1. A team application to be completed once by the coordinator.
    Please note that the team coordinator should only complete one application in total.

  2. A team member application to be completed by each member of your team.

  • In order for your team to be considered for review by the admissions committee, each team member will need to complete the team member application. The coordinator will receive a link to the team member application once the team application is complete.

  • Once started, the team application must be completed in a single session. It should take 15–20 minutes to complete.

  • A list of required questions will be provided at the beginning of the team application.

Textbook, Fees, and Policies

Program Textbook

The following textbook is required for participants in this program, and is not included in the program tuition. The textbook is available for purchase on Amazon.

  • Empowering Global Citizens: A World Course by Fernando M. Reimers, Vidur Chopra, Connie K. Chung, Julia Higdon, E. B. O'Donnell 

Fees and Policies

Participants receive a certificate of participation and a letter confirming clock hours of instruction.

Payment or a purchase order must be received within thirty days of program acceptance and prior to the program start. Participants are responsible for their own travel expenses. While a purchase order confirms a reservation, an outstanding balance is maintained until payment is rendered. 

Please click here for more information on hotel accommodations for on-campus programs.

Please click here for more information on our on-campus and online refund and withdrawal policies. If you have any additional questions or concerns about your ability to participate, please contact our admissions team at or 1-800-545-1849.

The Harvard Graduate School of Education reserves the right to change faculty or cancel programs at its discretion. In the unlikely event of program changes, the school is not responsible for non-refundable travel arrangements or other planning expenses incurred.

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