George Lucas Educational Foundation

Education as a Vital Global Marketplace Represents the Future

Explore the many ways students are taught around the world.
Owen Edwards
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Austria | Bulgaria | Canada | Chile | India | Japan | New Zealand | Pakistan | Room to Read | Russia | Sweden | Uganda | More Edutopia Resources

Much is made of the idea of the global marketplace, and few of us are unaffected by it. But the expansion of trade between the world's nations, for all its far-reaching effects, is a phenomenon involving commodities, products, and money. In other words, stuff, and the prices paid for it.

Another vitally important global marketplace exists, however, in which ideas rather than things are what count: the great international bazaar of education, a flourishing and bustling agora occupied by thousands of notions, traditions, theories, and practices devoted to the universal need to teach successive generations of the human race. Education is not oil, or electricity, or soy beans, or gold, but it represents something more important than any of those: the future.

For our second annual window on the world of education, we have gone looking for examples of how students are taught in places as different as Austria and Uganda, Chile and Pakistan. In some cases, our writers have found ideas that offer innovations to American educators; in other stories, they show us unique situations that may not hold out practical solutions to teachers in Cheyenne or Chicago, but still serve to broaden and deepen our knowledge of what works best a world away from our schools. Always, we are reminded that in the end all humans are connected through the global, and noble, act of passing along knowledge.

Join us on a world tour:

Owen Edwards is a contributing editor for Edutopia and Smithsonian magazines.

Comments (3) Sign in or register to comment Follow Subscribe to comments via RSS

mawheba safey eldin's picture

The links listed in this article are very interesting, especially the articles about education in places as Uganda and Chile. I think that as educators we need to know more about the people in other parts of the world and how they overcome problems of resources concerning education. In our school, we believe that technology integration in learning and teaching has become necessary, but we need to adapt our methods to our limted resources. The articles I read were informative to me because I got a glimpse of what goes on in other countries. We teach our students about different cultures and different countries, but at the end of the day, we're all the same, people aspiring to know more and learn to accept all. Thank you for this article.
Mawheba Safey Eldin
Cairo, Egypt

Dianne Murray's picture
Dianne Murray
school librarian, retired, after 36 years

Anyone else involved with any exchange student programs?? I'm starting a blog about the world of exchange students.
I'd love to hear your thoughts of how schools can utilize and benefit exchange students. Thanks!

Ed Gragert's picture

Thanks for bringing back this 2008 article. In a world in 2014 in which 57 million primary school age children are not in school and another 70+ million teens are not in secondary school, it's critical that we become engaged in ensuring Education For All. In both my work at iEARN-USA ( and now at the Global Campaign for Education-US (, we have worked to bring education issues globally to the attention of US educators and students. I applaud Edutopia, the authors of these linked articles and wonderful folks like Lucy at the Global Education Collaborative for highlighting how we are all stakeholders in education globally

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