THE BLOG

The Global Search for Education: Oppi-tunities for Parents

05/19/2015 09:04 am ET | Updated May 18, 2016

2015-05-18-1431981734-9130569-cmrubinworldoppifestivalphoto8500.jpg

Sandra Jackson-Dumont, Cathy Rubin and Randi Weingarten at

Oppi Festival Kick Off

Call me mad or just insanely curious, but I visited over 20 schools before I selected one for my kids. For me, the way I educated my kids was the most critical decision I ever made in my life. In virtually every school, the head of school would remind us at the end of the tour, "this is a partnership between us the school and you the parents - we are in this together!" I knew back then I had a very challenging journey - a huge job in front of me. I knew I wanted an education about education!

2015-05-18-1431981883-2073633-cmrubinworldoppifestivalphoto2500.jpg

The Oppi Festival at Leman Manhattan School


A Festival like Oppi 2015 would have been a magnet for me, i.e. a chance to experience the world's greatest thinkers debate why gender matters, why the arts are so critical in education today, why kids must have global skills to survive in today's world - in an organic, richly intellectual setting where all you need is a passion for your kid's education and a Sam Adams beer. Why oh why was Oppi not around in the 90's?

2015-05-18-1431982327-1844748-cmrubinworldoppiphoto1500.jpg

The Oppi Festival at Leman Manhattan School

The fact is, it is now. I'm sorry for the parents that missed Siva Kumari's (@siva_kumari) vision for a global education for all students. I'm sorry for the parents who missed Columbia University's Erick Gordon (@ErickGordon) present his cutting edge work on making literature more compelling for kids. I'm sorry for the parents who missed Sandra Jackson-Dumont (@sandrajd), Kati Koerner (@nycaier) and Harriet Taub's (@mftanyc) dream dare do visions for the arts and education reform in the next 5 to 10 years. I'm sorry for the parents who missed thought leaders Randi Weingarten (@rweingarten), Andy Hargreaves (@HargreavesBC), Pasi Sahlberg (@pasi_sahlberg), Wendy Kopp (@wendykopp), Simon Breakspear (@SimonBreakspear), Frances Strickland, Gavin Dykes (@gavindk), Naomi Williams (@nomew), Craig Hatkoff (@chatkoff), Lord Jim Knight (@jimpknight) and so many others discuss global education change, its impact on schools and why traditional education models must find balance with the needs of a 21st century child. I'm sorry for the parents who missed Looplabs' "Rethinking Music Creation in a Cloud" (@looplabsmusic) workshop. I'm sorry for the parents that missed artists Taylor Mali (@taylormali), and Jon Burgerman (@jonburgerman). I'm sorry for the parents who didn't see the pitch fest showcasing the next generation of edutainment products that parents and schools may soon be purchasing for kids, presented by Sweden's and Finland's up and coming entrepreneurs. What parent wouldn't want to test these products out and share parenting experience with the creators on how to make them better? I'm really sorry for the parents (and the kids) who missed the charismatic James Harris from Usher's New Look Foundation (@UshersNewLook) who reinforced my belief that the dreamers of today are the doers of tomorrow.

2015-05-18-1431982516-5656821-cmrubinworldoppifestivalphoto6500.jpg

The Oppi Festival at Leman Manhattan School

One of my children came home in middle school and told me, "Mom, my school has NO idea what is going in the world." He was referring to the technological revolution that has turned knowledge and learning upside down, inside out and asked all of us to rethink how, what, why, when and where we learn. This started me on a journey to explore the meaning of education in his world versus the world I was educated for - a world all parents need to think about when it comes to the education of their children. Why are the test results we used to rely on no longer the ones that matter? Why do we need to think about what we test? There are innovations going on all over the world right now to change the way children learn - are you aware of them? Do you understand why the next great engineer, doctor, dancer, filmmaker or entrepreneur can literally come from anywhere?

2015-05-18-1431982562-1940221-cmrubinworldoppifestivalphoto9500.jpg

The Oppi Festival at Leman Manhattan School

My message to the Oppi Festival (@OppiFestival) and Suklaa is thank you for an amazing two days of global learning. My message to parents: you're raising global citizens, you're preparing global scholars and self-starters - the way you educate them is the most important gift you can give them - get involved in the global conversation.

2015-04-29-1430267375-4681032-cmrubinworldtwitter2300.jpg

C. M. Rubin

(All Photos are courtesy of Susan Cook)

Join me and globally renowned thought leaders including Sir Michael Barber (UK), Dr. Michael Block (U.S.), Dr. Leon Botstein (U.S.), Professor Clay Christensen (U.S.), Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond (U.S.), Dr. MadhavChavan (India), Professor Michael Fullan (Canada), Professor Howard Gardner (U.S.), Professor Andy Hargreaves (U.S.), Professor Yvonne Hellman (The Netherlands), Professor Kristin Helstad (Norway), Jean Hendrickson (U.S.), Professor Rose Hipkins (New Zealand), Professor Cornelia Hoogland (Canada), Honourable Jeff Johnson (Canada), Mme. Chantal Kaufmann (Belgium), Dr. EijaKauppinen (Finland), State Secretary TapioKosunen (Finland), Professor Dominique Lafontaine (Belgium), Professor Hugh Lauder (UK), Lord Ken Macdonald (UK), Professor Geoff Masters (Australia), Professor Barry McGaw (Australia), Shiv Nadar (India), Professor R. Natarajan (India), Dr. Pak Tee Ng (Singapore), Dr. Denise Pope (US), Sridhar Rajagopalan (India), Dr. Diane Ravitch (U.S.), Richard Wilson Riley (U.S.), Sir Ken Robinson (UK), Professor Pasi Sahlberg (Finland), Professor Manabu Sato (Japan), Andreas Schleicher (PISA, OECD), Dr. Anthony Seldon (UK), Dr. David Shaffer (U.S.), Dr. Kirsten Sivesind (Norway), Chancellor Stephen Spahn (U.S.), Yves Theze (LyceeFrancais U.S.), Professor Charles Ungerleider (Canada), Professor Tony Wagner (U.S.), Sir David Watson (UK), Professor Dylan Wiliam (UK), Dr. Mark Wormald (UK), Professor Theo Wubbels (The Netherlands), Professor Michael Young (UK), and Professor Minxuan Zhang (China) as they explore the big picture education questions that all nations face today.
The Global Search for Education Community Page

C. M. Rubin is the author of two widely read online series for which she received a 2011 Upton Sinclair award, "The Global Search for Education" and "How Will We Read?" She is also the author of three bestselling books, including The Real Alice in Wonderland, is the publisher of CMRubinWorld, and is a Disruptor Foundation Fellow.