I am in Singapore this week attending the Global Cities Education Network (GCEN) meeting. The GCEN is a network of urban school systems in North America and Asia, including Seattle, Denver, Houston, Lexington, Toronto, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Seoul, and Melbourne. System leaders from these ten jurisdictions attended two previous meetings in Hong Kong (May 2012) and in Seattle (January 2013). The cities are sharing ideas about how to address common challenges with the goal of bringing new strategies home to improve teaching and learning for all students.

This is the first GCEN meeting where practicing teachers attend and participate in the discussions. For the past few weeks a group of seven teachers from six cities have met synchronously across four time zones to prepare for the Singapore convening. We spent time comparing notes on teacher development systems (recruitment, preparation, induction, professional development, evaluation, career development, and retention). We also talked extensively about teaching and assessing 21st century skills.

On Tuesday we visited schools in Singapore – I will be writing more soon about my observations. Today is the first official day of meetings. Sessions include “Instructional Strategies to Promote 21st Century Skills” and “21st Century Skills and Workforce Readiness through Vocational Education and Training/Career and Technical Education.”

Stay tuned for lessons learned…

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