As part of a month-long recognition of World Teachers’ Day by the Global Peace Foundation, educators from the Northern Ireland (UK), Republic of Ireland, and the USA discussed the influential role of teachers in moving toward a more globalized and inclusive learning environment at a webinar on November 3, 2021.
Moderated by Co-operation Ireland Program Coordinator Matt Gamble, the webinar examined values and best practices to promote an educational environment that fosters peace, empathy, kindness, and cultural awareness. Teachers act as a catalyst to bridge communities by bringing together students from different cultures, panelists said.
Emma Coulter, a teacher and coordinator at Bangor Academy and 6th Form College in Northern Ireland, said teachers have a significant impact on students’ life paths. Teachers help prepare youth to live and work in a globalized world and relate to people from diverse backgrounds. She shared an example of an initiative that brings schools together from different religious denominations to further heal the divisions from Northern Ireland’s 30-year-conflict that ended in1998.
GPF Vice President for Education Dr. Tony Devine emphasized that teachers and students are unique individuals with boundless potential, abilities, and perspectives. He said that both can act purposefully and constructively to direct their own growth and contribute to the development of others. Dr. Devine explained that GPF’s Character and Creativity Initiative sought to integrate character education, entrepreneurship, and leadership development into all aspects of school culture.
Teachers act as a catalyst to bridge communities by bringing together students from different cultures.
Educators are challenged to find ways to enhance engagement between teachers and students, said Seán Ó Cuill, an Assistant Principal and Teacher at St. Mary’s Secondary School in County Cork, Ireland. He noted that collaboration among different education institutions and organizations to share experiences and develop new approaches is important to adapt to fast-paced change.
Panelists agreed that to prepare students to contribute to a globalized society, students need educational environments that encourage them to lead projects and engage in creative and collaborative enterprises.
GPF organized webinars in Kenya, Uganda, Northern Ireland (UK), Republic of Ireland, Philippines, USA, Paraguay, India, and Iraqi Kurdistan in October and November in recognition of World Teachers’ Day, designated by UNESCO to be commemorated on November 5.
For more information on global efforts to build education networks and infrastructure to address twenty-first century needs, visit:
- Character & Creativity Initiative
- OECD Future of Education and Skills 2030
- World Teachers’ Day – (UNESCO)