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Preparing the next generation of American decision-makers and opinion leaders to thrive in tomorrow's world requires that we close the gap in students' knowledge about global affairs and restore American excellence in science and math.
We Must Do More
Sign our petition and support the World Affairs Councils of America's commitment to leverage its resources to have an even greater impact on this challenge of pressing urgency - preparing our students to become the leaders and problem-solvers of tomorrow.
We the undersigned would like to endorse the Call to Action: Educating the Next Generation of Global Citizens, sponsored by the World Affairs Councils of America (www.worldaffairscouncils.org).
What We Do
The World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) represents and supports the largest national non-partisan network of local councils that are dedicated to educating, inspiring and engaging Americans in international affairs and the critical global issues of our times. At the heart of the WACA's work, carried out through nearly 100 local councils around the country, lies a commitment to educating American youth in the skills and knowledge needed to live, work and thrive in a complex and increasingly inter-connected global community.
Each year, the Council network reaches tens of thousands of students and teachers, employing a variety of educational tools and strategies to help students think critically and creatively about issues, conflicts, and opportunities facing the global community. Educational outreach includes teacher workshops, summer institutes for students, travel-study programs, international student summits, real world simulation exercises, as well as access to resource materials, curriculum and experts in the field. The National Network of councils offer hands on learning tools such as the national flagship Academic WorldQuest competition, which is a unique international affairs knowledge game that over 4000 students compete in yearly across the country.
Why It Is Important
Preparing the next generation of American decision-makers and opinion leaders to thrive in tomorrow's world, where our national interests and policies are deeply intertwined with those of the greater global community, requires that we close the gap in students' knowledge about global affairs and restore American excellence in science and math. Research is showing troubling signs. American students are performing well below students in other developed nations in science and math and American students are also lacking in basic knowledge of world history, international geography and global issues.
While it is essential for students to possess a greater knowledge of world history, geography, science, math, cultures and political systems, this alone is not enough. They must also be able to make the connections between national issues and broader global themes. Our education programs must help students build essential skills such as critical thinking, leadership, the ability to understand and recognize other perspectives and an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving. Finally, they must also develop the motivation for life-long learning about our globalizing world. Failure to address these needs will result in negative consequences for America's national security and economic well-being and will lead to a citizenry ill equipped to take their place as leaders in the international workplace and as problem-solvers on the international stage. Our nation's future depends on a more globally minded and prepared youth.
We Must Do More
The World Affairs Councils of America is dedicated to preparing our students to become the leaders and problem-solvers of tomorrow by:
- working with other national organizations and partnerships with school districts across the nation as well as with policy makers at the federal, state and local levels to train globally engaged and aware students;
- redoubling its local and regional efforts to promote core competencies in global education that will enable students to identify, understand and articulate issues of local, regional and global importance, and to develop the skills needed to live and work effectively in culturally and politically diverse societies; and
- undertaking a comprehensive review of its programming to identify how to further leverage the national network to have an even greater impact on this challenge of pressing urgency.