Educators and schools have long been demanding effective intercultural learning programs and tools that will support them in building global competence in their students. To address these growing demands, the Latin-American Alliance for Intercultural Education (ALEI), composed of AFS organizations in this region, organized online educational events, provided scholarships for teachers’ professional development and curated a resource library to reach close to 9,000 teachers and students throughout 2020.

Research studies like the latest PISA Global Competence Assessment results, a global benchmark in education of 15-year-olds, demonstrate that education systems are successful in preparing young people to thrive in interconnected circumstances if teachers are able to facilitate global competence and know how to reflect an appreciation for others in their day-to-day interactions with students.

With this in mind, AFS organizations across Latin America joined forces and organized:

  • 26 free online events for teachers and students, including the AFS Ibero-AmericanWeek of Global Education titled, “Globalize, Connect, Transform,” that gathered (virtually) 6,000 participants from Latin America and Europe. Keynote speaker, Fernando Reimers, Harvard Education Professor, emphasized, “It is our responsibility as educators to teach children that difference is an opportunity, not a threat.”
  • 11 weekly online events, “Global Wednesdays,” that explored topics like the UNESCO Manual for Developing Intercultural Competencies: Story Circles and new methodologies for intercultural learning; education for peace and human rights education; the role of teachers in preventing bullying and cyberbullying; and more. Watch the recordings of these sessions here.
  • A 5-week training program that provided scholarships for 40 teachers from 8 countries. Participants completed the AFS Global Competence Certificate, a unique program that develops essential & lifelong global skills like collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, cross-cultural communication, open-mindedness & flexibility. Participants also received a teachers’ manual with lesson plans and other training materials.
  • An online teacher community and resource library with free resources for ongoing teacher training, research, best practices and practical in-the-classroom activities on intercultural learning and global citizenship education. 

“This program was great since it expanded our comfort zone by placing us in different situations and generating resources to solve the different types of problems we might have. It’s an interesting way to keep learning while we teach,” said one of the teachers who participated in these programs.

To organize these activities, AFS partnered with UNESCO, The Tony Blair Institute, Varkey Foundation, Centro Ana Frank, Youth For Human Rights, Scouts, University for Peace, Interreligious Dialog Institute and numerous others.

Similar online activities will continue in 2021. For more information, please contact [email protected].