Our Approach

Each year, Asia Society convenes hundreds of educators, policymakers, journalists, diplomats, innovators, artists, and others who are shaping the world. Our unique perspective—at the meeting points of East and West, sciences and humanities, roots of traditions and seeds of innovations—allows us to learn from a world of experiences and pass it on for greater benefit.

Our approach to education is equally diverse. Our initiatives start and end with the students. Our guiding questions are: what knowledge, skills, and experiences lead to global competence, and and how do we spread those ideas and practices widely, in depth, and equitably?

It’s no easy task, and it requires many stakeholders to come together. We also connect ideas and catalyze action. Our practices leverage international benchmarking and best practices in teaching; federal, state, and district policies; afterschool and expanded learning strategies; career and technical education strategies. We do research and share results of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to learning about the world and its systems.

All of these practices inform what teaching and learning should look like. We offer myriad tools and services, from free curriculum downloads to intensive coaching for mastery-based school reform.

We’ve committed to an Open Education mission, offering materials under a Creative Commons license, so any one can use and adapt the materials in support of preparing students for college, career, and the global innovation age beyond.

We seek partners to create and pilot innovative new programs.

And we work with educators, schools, districts, and out-of-school programs to transform learning for a rising generation.

Measures of Success

Independent research organization Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC) has determined that students learning under Asia Society’s Graduation Performance System (GPS) in English Language Arts and Mathematics, which is built on our definition of Global Competence, “would be expected to significantly increase mastery of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).” Students using this system are be required to demonstrate critical thinking skills repeatedly and to show increasing levels of proficiency throughout their education, thereby equipping them with a critical key to success in college and career.

A curriculum based on Asia Society’s student performance outcomes couples rich content acquisition with intentional behaviors that allow students to develop a cognitive framework that enables them to be successful in school and in the interconnected world beyond.

Schools within Asia Society’s International Studies Schools Network, which uses the GPS, have a higher graduation rate than other schools with similar profiles. Hypothesi LLC, a research and evaluation organization, has analyzed data on Network schools from 2004 – 2011. Across the network of 35 schools (20 high schools, 6 middle schools, 6 middle/high schools, and 3 elementary schools), 82% of ISSN students are minorities, 67% are from low-income families, and 14% are English Language Learners. The demographic profile of the ISSN has been very consistent as it has expanded from 3 to 35 schools. Each year, comparisons of ISSN schools to demographically similar schools in the same school district were conducted using data drawn from state assessments on grade levels and subjects tested. The most recent data show ISSN schools outperform demographically similar schools on state assessments in about 66% of such comparisons.  ISSN schools had a graduation rate of 89%, substantially higher than the typical graduation rate for students in urban school systems of about 61%.  These results have been consistent over seven years of data collection.

The Unites States Department of Education has adopted Asia Society’s global competence definition.