Treaty of Kingston conference reflects participants’ hopes for future
Experts Joined Far-Solo for a Caribbean Simulation
The vision of learning expands beyond a group of people in a lecture hall setting. Creating an impact at an enormous scale is not only possible, it can be done. If something truly good could be done in education, wouldn’t it make sense to try?
Those behind the recent Treaty of Kingston conference shared ideas and concepts that focused on the idea of synergy and the power of a dream. The Kingston meeting gathered scholars and experts from the United States, Jamaica, and other Caribbean nations to discuss ways to change the way education is delivered across the region. The group’s comprehensive approach to education is called a Unified Vision.
“I think the Unified Vision model is really beneficial,” says Geoff Davis, Dean and Director of Catholic/Anglican Schools at The Episcopal Church of St. Mark on U.S. Military Base Guam. “Everyone seems to be in one harmonious song.”
The Treaty of Kingston conference was aimed at the needs of young people; developing their voice and giving them a voice in their own educational futures. The participants collected stories, statistics, insights, and applied this information to action to improve educational practices in Jamaica. The conference accomplished the ability to have those in attendance “come together in a supportive group to share ideas and insights that had not been previously thought of,” says Duane Parker, Resource Specialist at the Kingston School of Law in Jamaica.
There were also some questions, but those questions and issues really were not the only focus of the meeting. Expert after expert shared what they were thinking about, how they were thinking about it, and how they might be able to apply their knowledge and skills in any of the different scenarios they were working through. Those in attendance ranged from education professionals to researchers and teachers to policy experts and business leaders. There was also a special focus on information sharing, collaborations, and mentoring.
The conference participants had similar experiences and ideas, but they were in a room together together. They were sharing ideas, questions, and the future. Together, they hope to help more students learn the kinds of skills that will help them become part of a sustainable future that will benefit generations of children and adults beyond their life spans.
Some of the primary ideas shared at the meeting:
• Foster a culture of shared thought
• Educate students about equal treatment for all students – especially marginalized and low-income students
• Support teacher development and professional development for creative and effective educators
• Build capacity and utilize existing resources
The focus was on education rather than religious and non-religious beliefs. The participants looked forward to staying in touch and discussing the ideas they discussed, and through the introduction of new work through the University of the West Indies’ School of Tropical and Medical Sciences, which was a part of the meeting.
The setting was simple, but the impact was phenomenal. The Treaty of Kingston conference was a meeting with students at the Heart of Jamaica High School on the outskirts of Kingston, Jamaica. The conditions for the students were exceptional – poor – but nonetheless, they prepared themselves by working in groups and making decisions for themselves. This meeting was an inspiring time for students to explore the learning possibilities of unity. Those of us back in the United States could help facilitate or join future conferences by sharing the lessons we have learned.
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