Our Children ... Our Planet ...

UN: Global Citizenship Education

I was honoured to speak at the UN and WFUNA seminar on Global Citizenship Education, a great opportunity to point out that many teachers all around the globe provide excellent education for their students that helps them to think, feel and act on behalf of humankind and our planet. I stressed that we need support for Global Citizenship Education so that it can inspire many more teachers soon. The work of those who dedicate their lives to Global Education needs to be funded and supported so that the movement can grow and be sustainable.

You can watch the video from the UN / WFUNA conference on the Role of Global Citizenship Education for the Agenda 2030, if you click on the picture above.

"We can achieve the Global Goals, if we teach our kids how to be active global citizens who think, care and act on behalf of all humankind and our planet."

7 steps: bring the SDGs to school

1. PUT UP A POSTER of the Global Goals in your classrooms and school corridors. Inform your students and fellow teachers and discuss the goals.

2. FOCUS ON SDG-RELATED TOPICS in your classes. Research poverty, climate change and peace. Work on suitable material and get inspiration from The World’s Largest Lesson. Let school book publishing houses know there is a need for more SDG-related material. 

3. ENCOURAGE PROBLEM-SOLVING AND MEANINGFUL ACTION! Add a new focus to your teaching units: ACTION! What can be done? And how can we do it? Your students will experience self-efficacy!

4. DEDICATE A DAY OR WEEK to the Global Goals: Are you looking for a theme for the school fair? Or planning a Week of Project-Based Learning? The Global Goals are an inspiring theme and you can get your whole school on board. 

5. MAKE LOCAL AND GLOBAL CONNECTIONS! Connect subjects! Research the chemistry and construction of water filters, develop an action plan, write a proposal for funding, create a convincing video: all subjects contribute. Also, connect with experts for advice! And reach out to students in other countries via videoconferencing. Your students will love to be connected and will understand how collaboration works.

6. ENCOURAGE STUDENT LEADERSHIP! Let your students be in charge. Help them find the support they need. Be brave! Your students will be the experts, you will be their assistant.

7. CREATE A CULTURE OF APPRECIATION AND GROWTH! Everything your students do towards achieving the Global Goals is going to be worth encouraging feedback! We need a culture of appreciation in our schools and in society. Why not create an additional certificate too? ” 


An award for Financial Education

The Award for Financial Education is given to outstanding projects of young people that combine social work and financial education. At this year's ceremony I gave a keynote in Nürnberg, Germany. The award winners were a group of outstanding students who design and create oversized board games for anyone who finds usual board games difficult to handle, like toddlers, elderly, or other people who might have challenges with regards to vision or motorics.

Why we #teachSDGs: 10 Reasons

Our Future school

At Zukunftswerkstatt Oberstufe in Hamburg, I presented a keynote, a morning and an afternoon workshop. The schools concept for the day was exactly what professional development should be like: All teachers involved to initiate change together! And: All student representatives from each class and course. About the same amount of students and teachers listening to my keynote about teacher-student-relationship, the perceived crisis in the classroom, when teachers and students sometimes lose purpose and silently suffer from the state of the world, then glimpses into the inspiring work of fellow teachers who change the world with their (older) students, ages 15-20 from all around the world and – finally – the Global Goals and Global Citizenships as concepts that can help us out of the education and world crisis. 

In our workshops, we discussed how to introduce the Global Goals to individual and combined subjects, the school community and how to achieve inner-school peace. I was amazed with the answers: One student said: „You talked about raising the status of the teaching profession. Now, I want to do the same with the status of student representatives. We’d do a much better job, if we knew about our impact!“ Another one was totally puzzled: „We worked WITH our teachers today! And we found out: They actually want the same things that we want!“ Teachers and students came up with ideas for a more sustainable fairtrade cafeteria, a school yard with gardening, a culture of respect, local and global cooperation opportunities, a Global Goal theme for a school year, and they express their need for more common activities like going on field trips and travelling together. Teachers were keen to learn more about the work other teachers do and want to reach out! I’m incredibly thankful that I was a part of this and learned: Professional development in schools should include students as often as possible. Working on concepts TOGETHER creates mutual understanding and helps everyone involved understand WHY we do WHAT we do! My favorite quote today: „We would we teach ANYTHING that doesn’t contribute to making the world a better place?“

Global Citizens & SDGs


During Global Action Week on Education I shared my week with Global Citizenship Education through the World's Largest Lessson's Instagram account and blog. I focused on subjects such as


DAY 1 OF GAWE: An Introduction 

DAY 2 OF GAWE: Am I Providing Quality Education?

DAY 3 OF GAWE: A Lesson about Gender Equality

DAY 3 OF GAWE: International Matters: Working in a Ministry of Education

DAY 4 OF GAWE: Free, Public and Inclusive Education

DAY 4 OF GAWE: The Global Goals in Our Final Exams - Education for Peace

DAY 5 OF GAWE: Workshops on How to TeachSDGS.

DAY 6 OF GAWE: A 7 Step Plan to Introduce the Global Goals in the Classroom  

Chat with teachers

"Chat with Teachers" is a podcast that interviews teachers. Jennifer and I talk about the image of teachers, the role of communication in the classroom and German views on US education. A radically honest talk regarding personal journeys, intercultural learning and student-led learning that makes an impact.

“I think as humans we tend to think of success as being self-made … and feelings of failure to be caused by someone else, maybe a bad teacher, and that is often true. But, we don’t give good teachers enough credit, because we take them for granted, like we sometimes take other good people in our surroundings for granted,”

Connections for Global Education


A good way for me to talk with teachers in different countries about adding the Global Goals to their curriculum is to give seminars and webinars. I can't be out of the classroom for too long, so big international conferences like The Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai and the UNESCO Week for the Role of Education in Canada can't be monthly activities. Therefore, webinars are a great way to connect with several thousand educators. In March I spoke at DaFWebkon to teachers of German as a Foreign Languages who teach at schools and universities all over the world. Also, I gave a presentation for the Internet Marathon for Teachers in Ukraine for 3.500 teachers.

Speaking about Global Citizenship and the Global Goals in language learning. [talk is in German]

Speaking about the impact of teaching, when we connect learning to Sustainable Development. [English with Ukrainian translation]

Due to the dedication of Ukrainian educators and translators, I was able to publish my six-step concept to bring the Global Goals to schools in the biggest Ukrainian education magazine.

Global Education and Skills Forum

The Global Teacher Prize celebrates dedicated educators. The Global Education and Skills Forum offers plenty of opportunities for the education world to connect with and learn from each other.


This is the most crucial question. How can we get all 60 Million teachers to #TeachSDGs?

At the TAGe plenary at UNESCO Week for the Role of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development, 40 selected youth representatives came together with 15 high-profile policymakers and officials including Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education Ontario and Ambassador Dessima Williams, Special Adviser for Implementation of the SDGs among others, to discuss the role of teachers in education for peace and sustainable development. The dialogue was moderated by educator Paul Darvasi and Danika Littlechild, vice-president of the Canadian Commission to UNESCO and got off to an inspiring start with YESPeace champion Emmanuel Kelly telling his story of triumph in the face of challenges.

1.2 billion can change the world

Global Goal education


In 2015 the UN published the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.


They define aims like fighting poverty and hunger world-wide, providing good health-care and quality education for all, achieving gender equality, clean water and affordable, clean energy as well as decent work and economic growth, progressive innovation and infrastructure, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production. If we don't achieve these goals, people will die, animals will be extinct, living conditions will spiral downward, and conflicts will increase.


Taking into account what is at stake for humankind, I want to challenge all teachers to join the movement and connect as much learning as possible to the Global Goals and not only to learning about them, but also to taking action towards achieving them. We are 60 million teachers in the world, and 1.2 billion students - we can make a difference.


To find out what you - as a teacher or head of school - can do to bring the Global Goals to your schools, read the Six Step Plan.


To find out why Global Goal Education is the future, read the Background Information.

Global Goal Education - Six Steps
Global Goal Education_Educators Get on B
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Global Goal Education - Background
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Global Goal Education - Sieben-Schritte-Plan
Sieben Stufen, die Global Goals in der Schule einzusetzen.
Global Goal Education_Wie Ihr mitmachen
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A teacher cannot make a difference? Watch my TED talk to realize, they/you have "The Most Important Profession in the World". It's important to overcome boundaries in and through education.

Global Goal Education works towards a worldwide education that connects learning to the UN Global Goals, plus Culture and Arts. Connecting learning to actions that help make the world a better place will

  1. motivate students to be better learners since they experience that their actions matter and therefore it is crucial that they are driven to be well-educated,

  2. make the world a better place, since 1.2 billion students (currently in school) and 60 million teachers will work together for the Goals,

  3. improve and revolutionize teacher-student-relationships because they are on a mission together, with teachers empowering students,

  4. make learning more creative and authentic, since the goals encourage problem-solving, critical-thinking, innovative strategies and helpful use of media and technology,

  5. help increase the image of the teaching profession and therefore help recruit 68.8 million teachers before 2030 so that all children worldwide can have access to quality education.

 We work towards these goals, by

  1. convincing teachers, educators and heads of schools to join the mission and connect learning to the Global Goals,

  2. convincing policy makers to create conditions under which Global Goal Education can flourish

  3. networking with NGOs, UNESCO, and other organizations that are on a similar mission.

  4. convincing the public that the teaching profession is the most important profession in the world and has the potential to play a key role in making the world a peaceful and just place.

  5. offering advice, seminars and think tanks for teachers to change their curricula with a focus on meaningful action.


Global Goal Education is inspired by the works of the Global Teacher Prize, the Global Education and Skills Forum Dubai, the Varkey Foundation, Professor Fernando Reimers, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Professor Wolfgang Klafki, Professor John Hattie, the Varkey Teacher Ambassadors, the Pestalozzi Programme at the Council of Europe, TeachSDGs, the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes Kansas, Dr. Antonie Alm, Otago University New Zealand, the teacher training programme at the State of Hesse in Germany, the spirit of Hessische Europaschulen, UNESCO, UNESCO MGIEP, the World's Largest Lesson, the Global Goals, Dr. Andreas Schleicher, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, DAAD, TEDxHeidelberg, European Union: Youth in Action Programme, Sir Ken Robinson.

Important thoughts and actions: Mike Soskil, Joe Fatheree, Nancy Barile, Jelmer Evers, Johannes Knewitz, Peter Hachemer, Judith Junck, Katrin Ackermann, Franziska Holland-Moritz, Souad Belcaid, Nathan Bowling, Tom Bennett, Bijal Damani, Steve Revington, Elisa Guerra, Miriam Mason-Sasay, Yasmin Noorul Amin, Merit Karise, Alexandra Harper, Pascale Mompoint, Josef Huber, Santhi Karamcheti, Agelikki Pappa, Norm Conard, Kiran Bir Sethi, Muhammed Omer, Adam McKim, Vese Vesela Bogdanovic, Jennifer Williams, Stephen Ritz, Richard Johnson, Aqub Mohamud, Maarit Rossi, Melissa Morris, Richard Spencer, Nancie Atwell, Diane Smokerowski, Hanan al Hroub, Robin Charasiya, Nadia Lopez, Jacque Kahura, Dhaval Batia, Paul Solarz, Mark Reid, Naomi Volain, Hanan Al-Madaheen, Inés Bulacio, César Bona Garcia, Marcio de Andrade Batista, Colin Hegarty, Dana Narvaisa, Ronald Ddungu, Phaella Naeng, Kaz Takahashi, Jeff Charbonneau, Nchessie Andrews, Lisa Parisi, Jolanta Okuniewska, Manuela Prajea, Barbara Ricardi, Vanesri Kasi, Noorjahan Sultan, Kaitlin Roig De-Bellis, Christian Williams, Marie-Christine Ghanbari-Jahromi, Marie-Hélène Fasquel-Erhart, Nancie Lindblom, Kevin Witte, Tammy Dunham, Melissa Noack.   

Can teachers help save the world?

On January 22nd 2017 UNESCO MGIEP published the following photo on twitter:


To answer this question I might have to add what Goal 4.7 is, because still many people haven't heard of the Global Goals: the goals the UN has released that humankind should achieve by 2030.


4.7: By 2030, [we have to ] ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development


Many teachers – in classrooms all over the world – already provide education for sustainable development. We teach our students about sustainable lifestyles and encourage them to come up with methods of how they can make their lives more sustainable (first order change) and convince others to make their lives more sustainable (second order change). Great examples are teachers and students who grow their own vegetables, go plastic-free for a certain period of time, encourage the school cafeteria not to wrap food that will be eaten immediately and so on. They can influence their surrounding as students and they can be encouraged to increase their impact when they gain more power in the course of their lives, like when they choose a profession or become entrepreneurs themselves or convince people in power to act sustainably.


Many teachers – like for example the teacher community at the Council of Europe – explicitly dedicate their teaching to human rights, gender-equality, non-violence and no-hate-speech by supporting empathy and creating TASKS [transversal attitudes, skills and knowledge] that make students walk in someone else's shoes and reflecting on emotions. Students are encouraged to reflect strategies that can help them raise their voices without using violence or hate against other people.


Many teachers – like for example the finalists of the Global Teacher Prize – explicitly work towards global citizenship. We connect students with other parts of the world through letters, social media, video projects and videoconferences and support personal relationships between people from different backgrounds. We also help them create awareness for different circumstances that people live in and different attitudes they might have on life. Nevertheless, we'll help them discover that all humans are connected through basic needs and feelings like longing for safety, peace, relationships, love, progress and happiness.


Not only can/do/will teachers play a key role in Sustainable Development Goal 4.7 but also in all parts of Sustainable Development Goal 4 and all other Global Goals, for we – the 60 million teachers on this planet – are currently taking care of 1.2 billion students and more to come. Our lessons and curricula can/do/will cover all of the 17 Goals as topics and if we manage to get all 60 million teachers on board to not only COVER the topics but also focus on ACTIONS that help achieve this goals, we will not only play the key role in this one part-goal, but in all goals and we will be a movement that finally changes the world for the better.


We can empower the movement and increase the process if we reassess the way we currently assess our students. If we encourage social activity, research, plans and actions that help achieve the Global Goals and make learning meaningful and purposeful in the truest sense of these words, we can make a massive impact. Give learners and teachers autonomy and don't expect everyone to come up with the same results. If we truly understand that our diversity is the greatest treasure we have and empower everyone to contribute in their best possible way, achieving the Global Goals is no utopia.


What teachers need to be able to play a key role in making Goal 4.7 possible FOR ALL LEARNERS in the world is to have time and ressources so that we can help train ALL teachers for sustainable education, peace and human rights. We need our governments and the UN to provide the ressources so that we can visit each other in ALL countries and empower teachers to be agents of change. And we need to bring quality education to all children of the world.


If humans put their minds to it, they can fly to the moon. Let's encourage everyone to put their minds to achieving the Global Goals. And let's encourage all teachers to know their impact and contribute to a better world.

In an interview with Tish from creatubbles I talk about how to see oneself as a change maker, encourage your students and contact experts outside of school. Interview 1.


In the second part of the interview we talk about how to connect learning to Global Goals in school contexts with standardized testing and why it is important to focus on Arts & Culture as well.

My students' react: President-elect


My students today were close to crying. They feel betrayed, like their generation is going to have to live in a world which is becoming more isolated and hateful. They have witnessed the Brexit referendum and feel like Europe is falling apart. They have witnessed Trump rising to power. They can watch nationalist movements getting stronger in several countries. They are afraid of THEM vs. US and they feel it's everywhere they look.


I talked to them. They analysed it all. Quoted articles and gave me a whole analysis of society. A few years ago I couldn't have been prouder of them.


Then I asked: So, what can we do?


All their answers were analysing the situation over and over.


I repeated: What can we do?


And they explained what had gone wrong and whose mistake it was.


I said: What can we do?


And they told me that artists should create art and politicians should do this and older people should vote that.


I changed my pronunciation: What can WE do?


And again, they told me what other people could and should do.


Then, I heard quite clicks in their brains.


WE need to act.


And the proper question should be:




And then the question should turn into statements, into plans and into actions. There are 1.2 billion students in the world. And there will be more. They need to learn that their actions matter. That they make a difference. And that they can stand up against discrimination, xenophobia, sexism and racism, against war and terror and poverty and crime, hate and fear. They need to learn effective and peaceful ways to make a difference.


They need to learn how to find reliable sources, do proper research, find background information, communicate with people from different backgrounds, approach a topic on an emotional and on an academic level, question statements, analyse speeches, come up with their own opinion and have the ability to defend it.


AND THEN act accordingly. We should teach them not to stop their work when they understood a topic, when they understood that there is a problem and feel sorry about it. We should help them make a difference. Ask them: What can we do? What else can we do? And what else? And then help them actually MAKE THE DIFFERENCE. Build bridges. Overcome boundaries. Do good.

My students' first ideas:

* talk to people with other views

* be convincing, use facts and emotions

* introduce people from different social groups to each other

* find friends from different social backgrounds

* express your fear

* vote & motivate others to vote

* find an organization that supports your views and join them

Eine Tirade - UNd eine Antwort

Also bei mir hat alles damit angefangen, dass ich gehört habe, von einer guten Freundin, dass sie sich ein intelligentes Video über Schule anschauen wollte. Sie fand einen Ausschnitt aus einer Sendung, von einem Mann, ca. Ende 50, der – wie er es selbst nennt – eine Tirade über das Schulsystem loslässt. Wie, eine Tirade? Das ist doch ein Wortschwall ohne Substanz? Wollen Sie nicht lieber einen differenzierten Beitrag leisten? Mit Argumenten, Belegen und ohne Polemik? Darauf würde er wohl sagen: „Muss ich nicht machen.“ Müssen Sie nicht machen? Wollen Sie nicht machen? Vielleicht bekämen Sie dann auch konstruktive Reaktionen und würden weniger Gräben ziehen. Wie entscheiden Sie denn, wann Sie sich gewählt und konstruktiv ausdrücken? „Aus dem Bauch.“ Ich ziehe hörbar die Luft durch die Zähne. Bei wichtigen gesellschaftlichen Themen sollte man nicht aus dem Bauch heraus entscheiden, denn einen fundierten Kommentar zu verfassen sollte eigentlich etwas sein, das alle, die aus der Schule und der Universität herauskommen und aus dem Fernseher verlauten lassen, können. Sie sollten was können! Sie sollten fähig sein, eine solche einfache kommunikative Aufgabe zu bewältigen … Und da hab ich angefangen zu denken … Was ist denn da passiert? Was passiert denn in unserem Fernseher?



Klingt für Sie komisch? Ist aber so. Und in der Wortwahl und im Ton fast wörtlich den ersten Minuten von Harald Leschs Beitrag „Unser Schulsystem ist Mist“ nachempfunden, der am 21. September im ZDF veröffentlicht wurde.



Mehr ...


Den ganzen Text gibt es auch als PDF.


Kommentar zu "Unser Schulsystem ist Mist"
Kommentar zu Harald Lesch.pdf
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Der Bildungsmonat

Als Antwort auf Armin Himmelraths "Die Bildungswoche" kommt hier "Der Bildungsmonat". Mit Schwerpunkten auf Pressemitteilungen von Hessen, Bund und Europa. Und einer kleinen Auswahl deutschsprachiger Presseveröffentlichungen.

Der Bildungsmonat: September I
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Der Bildungsmonat: August
Bildungsmonat August Hachemer.pdf
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Importance of Drama Education

Society asks teachers to help students develop great communication skills, compassion, media awareness and intercultural competence. Many people fear a world solely reigned by digital technology in which real human interactions are rare. A growing number of people already have problems living with respect and appreciation for their own or other people’s bodies.


Having the opportunity to do drama at school gives our students plenty of opportunities to interact, create, be and act. Here, students can learn to express themselves and get to know others. Every Drama teacher could tell you the true story of students who used to be shy and hiding behind their hair, but then grew so much confidence within one school year that even their parents were surprised to see how freely they acted on stage.


Many students expressed that they gained self-esteem through drama lessons. Schiller says, “humans are humans when they are playing”; Hartmut von Hentig goes as far as saying “we only need two subjects: Drama & Science”! Still, most places in the world don’t offer drama lessons to all or any students. In my article for the Global Teacher Prize blog, I have summed up, why every student should have the right to do drama at school.

The Importance of Drama in Education
The pdf contains a few more photos than the blog post. You can download it from here.
Why every school should offer drama.pdf
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Digital Education for everyone?

Deutscher Volkshochschultag is Europe's biggest congress for further education. It is attended by 1.500 guests from 40 different nations. This year's congress was titled "Digital education for everyone". At the conference three German Ministers (Education, Work and International Collaboration) as well as the President of the Federal Republic of Germany presented their keynotes on education and further training. I was invited to discuss the opportunities of digital learning in a panel with education experts Dr. Jörg Dräger, Nina Oberländer and Professor Dr. Josef Schrader.  

While Dr. Jörg Dräger presented the abundance of possibilities digital learning provides for the present and future of education, and I agree with him on that, I also stated that e-learning shouldn't only be created by IT-experts and companies but also by teachers and neuroscientists. As a core competence teachers need to be able to judge e-learning with regards to didactics and pedagogy so that we can make sure that we choose the best methods for our students' needs and the competences and content that we are teaching. Teachers still need to be trained in analogue methods and make sure that we offer a lot of real life experience in our classrooms, meaning tasks that are relevant, three dimensional and multi-sensual. At the same time we can embrace the opportunities of the digital world:

  • Simulation of situations that are too far away, too expensive or too dangerous to experience
  • Personalized rehearsing and acquisition of content and knowledge
  • Access for everyone, even people who can't be present, because of economic or health-related reasons
  • Freedom of choosing resources
  • Recommendations of possible paths for a better orientation in the world of learning


I was portrayed as Iustitia, the Roman goddess of Justice by @karlcdamke.

I was told that the audience perceived me as a balanced communicator who reminded them that too often when we discuss digital learning we compare bad teachers to good computers or good teachers to bad computers. While really we should look at our goals for learning and evaluate the different methods of learning with regards to what our students need at a particular point of their learning process.

00:00 - 12:00 Dr. Christoph Köck introduces Dr. Jörg Dräger, Mareike Hachemer, Nina Oberländer and Prof. Dr. Josef Schrader

12:00 - 38:00 Dr. Jörg Dräger presents his findings about possibilities for digital learning

38:00 - 1:29:00 Panel discussion about possibilities and requirements for digital learning at schools and in adult education.

Bundespräsident Joachim Gauck addressed the importance of education and further training in his speech and stressed that lifelong learning will help learners to be independent and capable. Minister of Education, Johanna Wanka, stated that there is no question of how to avoid digital learning, but that the question is HOW can we ACTIVELY DESIGN digital learning. While Professor Pörkson from Tubingen University said that we should have a school subject called Digital Ecology, I believe that we can and should teach a responsible and skilled use of digital media across all school subjects. Our Minister of Work, Andrea Nahles, said: "Everyone has the right to indulge in further training, whether it coincides with our economic needs or not." She revealed plans of turning the German Agency for Work (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) into an Agency for Work and Qualification (Bundesagentur für ARBEIT UND QUALIFIKATION). Minister Gerd Müller, responsible for International Collaboration, stated that education is the key to a future for the millions of people who are currently fleeing from war and destruction.

It was a great pleasure to meet Constantin Schreiber from ntv who directs a great series of videos called Marhaba - Ankommen in Deutschland. He speaks Arabic fluently and explains cultural peculiarities of Germany and Germans, addressing immigrants from Arabic countries.  


Please watch his videos and read his texts at http://www.n-tv.de/marhaba/

Global Teacher Prize and GESF 2016

This year I was honored to join the Global Education and Skills Forum and the Global Teacher Prize Ceremony for the second year. As a top 50 finalist I was also invited to join the Teacher Ambassador Summit and meet many of international teachers who do amazing work and are absolutely fantastic to spend time and work with. I would want to write a whole book about each and everyone of them. I feel honored to have this chance to discuss education with the most influential teacher leaders, education scientists and education politicians as well as country leaders in these events, hear the latest news from the OECD, UNESCO and leading schools and university as well as work with my colleagues and Professor Fernando Reimers from Harvard Graduate School of Education, or Ross Hall from Ashoka UK. We discussed how to promote literacy, creativity and global citizenship, fight against radicalization, and give our students the chance to be social changemakers.


While Salma Hayek and Matthew McConnaughey as well as stars from Bollywood and international music acts were invited, a red carpet was set up to celebrate teachers and Stephen Hawking, Bill Clinton, Prince William and the Pope paid their respect to the teaching profession. I can't judge who should be the best teacher in the world, but I'm glad about everyone - be it top 50, top 10 or winner of the Global Teacher Prize - I met, communicated with and was inspired by. I chose to write a bigger text about the whole trip in German and publish it here.

Bericht: Global Teacher Prize, Global Education and Skills Forum, Teacher Ambassador Summit
Bericht vom Global Teacher Prize.pdf
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Traveling and teaching in the USA

I was chosen to be a fellow for the Lowell Milken Center in Kansas and therefore had the chance to travel on the paths of education in the United States. I met several of my friends and colleagues from the Global Teacher Prize Finalists, visited their schools and educational programs in Boston and New York, participated in the Global Education Day in Philadelphia and spent a fascinating time in Fort Scott, an amazing town for teachers, right in the middle of the USA, in Kansas. There I met Lowell Milken Director Norm Conard and his team of researchers as well as the the the Teachers of the Year and Lowell Milken Award Winners from Arizona, New Mexico, Maine, Washington and Nebraska. We were interviewed at the radio and town hall, visited many educational sights and worked on Unsung Hero projects. These projects are research and creativity based projects that focused on a hero in history that isn't well-known yet. Read more...

Revere Journal has published an article about my stay in Revere and Boston with Nancy Barile and Revere High School.

The Fort Scott Tribune dedicated one page of their journal to our fellowship.

Teacher Leaders

The first time I heard the term "teacher leader" was in the months before the teacher prize ceremony. Although I know plenty of teachers in Germany, who teach others, give advice, are mentors, give public presentations or are involved in school development processes or development of curricula, the term teacher leader is never used, nor have I heard a German equivalent of the term. German teachers don't seem to believe in leadership. Some might believe in sharing, some might believe in inspiration, very few believe in leading.

Talking to plenty of different teachers inside and outside the country, in different types of schools with different subjects, I am convinced that no two teachers in the world have the same job. Everyone is in a completely different situation. Therefore, it seems that a lot of people think that no one should be allowed to publicly utter any opinion about teaching.

I have been asked by plenty of journalist to give "three pieces of advice to teachers" or "recommendations to other teachers". And I have refused to do so, because I don't believe that it is possible. Still, we should pay attention to those teachers who share their experience and their believes. It's up to us to listen or read and then reflect on advice or stories we hear about teaching. Of course, you're not expected to blindly believe anything you hear about teaching. But there is a chance in listening to each others' stories about teaching, the different experiences we make that sometimes have quite a few things in common. And most teachers I know are clever and reflective. They know how to take the best they can out of another teachers' words.

And teacher prize finalist Elisa Guerra Cruz from Mexico says: "I think a true leader nurtures the potential of others in the group and helps them achieve their highest performance level in benefit of themselves and the rest of the team. They know even when to step down and give others the chance to lead as well. Isn't that what we do with our students?"

And my friend, teacher prize finalist Nancy Barile from Boston has dedicated one of her teacher blog posts about why teachers should share and put presenting at a conference on their bucket list.

Nancy & ME

One of the greatest things about being a Top 50 Finalist for the Varkey Global Teacher Prize was meeting the other teachers who came from places all over the world, including Malaysia, India, Afghanistan, China, Spain, and Jordan, to name a few. Many of the Finalists began connecting over Facebook and Twitter, and that's where we met: Mareike Hachemer from Germany and Nancy Barile from the USA.

 We wrote ab blog post which was published on Nancy's inspiring teaching blog at the Center for Teaching Quality.

Great teachers need recognition

Isabelle Finger is of Swiss-French background and married to a German. She lives in California and profoundly believes that education is the definitive path by which we discover ourselves and can exercise the utmost freedom in our lives. She blogs about education in English and French and has published an interview with me after the Global Education and Skills Forum.

The Guardian

An interesting telephone interview with Holly Welham from The Guardian led into an article that I feel doesn't represent what I said. In particular, I really have no idea, whether German teachers quit the profession often or not or why. Still, they chose to make this their headline. Alright.

The German Press

The German press somehow loved the story about the "Hessian girl" who "might win one million dollars". For quite a few journalists it was fun to mock the prize as an "American casting show for teachers" and they never got tired to put the million dollars into the center of attention instead of starting a discussion about teaching, the criteria for the prize or help me spread the message about the million(s) that I think should be in the center: The millions of great teachers out there who dedicate their lives to provide education which helps children become active and self-motivated.


And then: Not a word about the Top 10 in the German media. Not a word about the winner Nancie Atwell. Let's write about the Oscars, Miss Universe and the Sportsperson of the Year instead. Winner of the global teacher prize? Not worth mentioning?

Oh! I'm lying. One article was published that at least mentioned Nancie Atwell, the top 10 and the Global Teacher Prize ceremony.


HR3 im Gespräch mit Mareike Hachemer
2014 12 09 - 1815 hr3 Hachemer.mp3
MP3 Audio File 2.9 MB
HR1 im Gespräch mit Mareike Hachemer
Global Teacher Prize-Kandidatin
2015 01 14 HR1 Interview HACHEMER Global
MP3 Audio File 2.8 MB
FFH im Gespräch mit Mareike Hachemer II
AirCheck 05.02.2015 06-07-54.mp3
MP3 Audio File 2.8 MB
SWR im Gespräch mit Mareike Hachemer
2014 12 09 - 1610 SWR Hachemer.MP3.wav
Wave Audio File 4.0 MB
FFH im Gespräch mit Mareike Hachemer I
AirCheck 05.02.2015 05-06-55.mp3
MP3 Audio File 2.1 MB
FFH im Gespräch mit Mareike Hachemer III
MP3 Audio File 2.1 MB

Global Teacher Prize - Ceremony

Being a top 50 candidate for the global teacher prize I visit the Global Skills and Education Forum in Dubai.


Saturday: Meeting the top 10, fascinating, experienced teachers from very different backgrounds: Haiti, Cambodia, Malaysia, Afghanistan, India, Kenya, the UK and the USA. People who have founded schools for the blind and deaf, have offered education where education is under attack, offer more creative alternatives with open spaces, teach through dance, plant fresh foods in poor, undernourished areas or challenge their students to read more than 40 books a year.


Panel: Andreas Schleicher, OECD: "The State of our World" Schleicher asked the audience to wonder about the future. What will it look like? Which jobs will remain? Which will disappear? We are in the middle of a race between technology and education. And education is developing much slower than technology.  While poverty and inequity are the main problems in our societies we don't have to stand by. And money shouldn't be as much of an issue as it is said to be. If we increase the level of education of the lowest achieving beyond PISA base level, he says, the GDP would rise enormously, in every country (up to 3000 percent in Ghana).


He stresses that the world is no longer divided between poor badly-edcuated and rich and well-educated  countries, but between countries with a strong socio-economic impact on student performance and countries with a socially equitable distribution of learning opportunities. 


What is important for students' success is their mindset of how to require skills. If they believe that they have to have talent, they won't improve. If they believe they have to work hard and find help, they will improve much more.

With the teaching profession there is one important rule: We need those people in teaching who are best at it. Therefore, we need to attract people who are very capable and have a lot of skills: social, intellectual, personal, structural. Thus, the profession needs to be attractive. We need to reinvent the image of teaching. And to do so, we need to open our classrooms and show examples of good practice. This way, dialog will be encouraged and teachers will continue to inspire each other. Also, with open classrooms, people outside school will see what we do and why we do it. And this might make a difference.