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Qualities of a 21st Century Teacher

Teacher Profile

Asia Society has a network of laboratory schools throughout the country. The goal of Asia Society International Studies Schools schools is to graduate students who possess the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind necessary to succeed and contribute in the 21st-century global environment. Teachers are all-important not only to ensure student achievement, but also to create a school culture of equity, excellence and relevance.

Informed by our own teachers, here is a list of skills and dispositions we seek when hiring and constantly work to nurture. We hope this list will inform your own hiring and teacher professional development programs. 

ISSN Teachers prepare students to be Ready for College. They:

  • Design and implement a college-preparatory, globally focused course of study for students which systematically builds students’ capacity to demonstrate college level work across the curriculum
  • Recognize the levels of students’ literacy in academic and social language and help them build meaningful bridges between the two
  • Facilitate learning opportunities that enable students to have the experience of achieving expertise by researching, understanding, and developing new knowledge about a world culture or an internationally relevant issue
  • Model and explicitly teach students how to manage their own learning by identifying options, evaluating opportunities, and organizing educational experiences that will enable them work and live in a global society
  • Know the system of schooling deeply and know their students well, advising and advocating for students to graduate with all options open for post-secondary education, work and service.

ISSN Teachers possess the Knowledge Required in the Global Era.  They:

  • Have a deep understanding of their individual content and connect their content area to authentic global issues and perspectives.
  • Understand and stay up-to-date on current world events, international issues, and global debates and help students gain understanding of these through daily interactions.
  • Present balanced viewpoints on global issues and assist students in viewing issues from multiple perspectives.
  • Have the capacity to integrate international content, issues and perspectives into a standards-based curriculum.
  • Understand and model for students how to address complex problems, collect, analyze and synthesize information from a range of sources, tolerate ambiguity and uncertainty, and produce potentially viable solutions.
  • Understand that decisions made locally and nationally have international impact and that international trends and events affect local and national options.
  • Are able and / or willing to learn to communicate in one or more languages other than English.
  • Recognize, value, and respect the broad spectrum of ethnicities and cultures in the school community and teach students to collaborate effectively with individuals from different backgrounds. 

ISSN Teachers are Skilled for Success in a Global Environment.  They:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in and model the essential skills of reading, writing, comprehending, listening, speaking and viewing of media necessary for student learning in their content area.
  • Develop and present information in an articulate and persuasive manner, orally, in writing, and through digital media.
  • Use problem solving skills to recognize and act on the needs of individual students, colleagues, and the school community.
  • Are familiar with contemporary and classic culture, associated music, art, literature and trends, and seek to integrate these in relevant ways into the curriculum.
  • Understand and use the arts from their own and other cultures to assist students in gaining new knowledge and skills and expressing their own ideas in a variety of ways.
  • Reflect on their successes and challenges, utilize new strategies to reach every student, and find resources to maximize student learning.
  • Continue to be intellectually curious and demonstrate the habits of mind that lead to life long learning about their craft, their students and their content.
  • Use an inquiry-based model of teaching that enables students to actively manipulate ideas in order to construct knowledge, solve problems, and develop their own understanding of the content.
  • Use instructional strategies to understand the contributions of different cultures and recognize and draw upon the diverse cultural assets within their classrooms and community.
  • Use multiple forms of assessment to evaluate student learning, and provide ongoing feedback to students to empower them to manage and accelerate their own learning.
  • Create opportunities for students to reflect on their own learning and the teaching they have experienced.
  • Are committed to behaving ethically toward students and other members of the school community. 

ISSN Teachers are Connected to the World.  They:

  • Are proficient in the use of essential digital media and communications technologies and use them to communicate and work across national and regional boundaries.
  • Evaluate, critically select, and use various forms of media, art and technology in lesson design and implementation to maximize student engagement.
  • Appreciate and respect diversity and work effectively with people from other cultures, backgrounds, and fields of expertise.
  • Have traveled internationally or are willing to engage in international learning experiences.
  • Are receptive to other’s perspectives, welcoming differences in interpretation and judgment, and are able to revise and expand their own views.
  • Accept responsibilities of global citizenship and make ethical decisions and responsible choices that contribute to the development of a more, just, peaceful, and sustainable world.
  • Are committed members of the ISSN professional community, participating in on-going professional development, including mentoring, lesson study, peer observation, critical friends groups, study groups and collaborating with teachers locally and nationally through the Network.