Remarks at HGSE graduation 2021 for international students

May 26, 2021

Good morning, it’s such a pleasure to see so many of you who I’ve had the pleasure to teach this year, and others of you who I am just meeting for the first time.

I am so glad to have the opportunity to say a few words to congratulate you as you near the end of your studies at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the day before your graduation. My message to you has three simple ideas: congratulations, thanks and change the world.

I congratulate you because I…


Remarks at 2021 Commencement ceremony of graduates of the International Education Policy Program. May 27, 2021

Congratulations to all of you who are graduating from the International Education Policy Program. I share your joy today, mindful of the significance of this moment in your lives and in your profession. There are four reasons this graduation, you graduation, is especially meaningful to all of us.

The first reason, you are members of the last cohort of students admitted to the International Education Policy Program. As you know this program, established twenty years ago, is no longer a program available to future…


and why educators can’t remain indifferent

Fernando M. Reimers

I was saddened and pained as I watched on television the assault on the Capitol of the United States by a group of zealots who sought to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power on which this democracy depends. As an immigrant to the United States I have deep love and appreciation for its democratic ideals, essence and traditions. American democracy is, as are all democracies, imperfect, an aspiration, a work in progress, always in the making. It is that work in progress that accounts for the increased representation of the diversity…


Where are 60 million teachers twenty four years later?

A meditation on World Teachers’ Day

Fernando Reimers and Eleonora Villegas-Reimers

Twenty-four years ago, we published an article titled ‘Where are 60 million teachers? The missing voice in education reforms around the world.’ The article was published in UNESCO’s journal Prospects in several languages and disseminated widely. Eleonora had been a school-teacher in Venezuela, had done research on teacher education in Latin America, and was then working as a teacher educator in Boston, and Fernando had conducted studies in elementary schools in Pakistan, Egypt, Honduras and Paraguay, interviewing hundreds of teachers, and was advising a national education reform in Paraguay. As we had both then advised…


Fernando M. Reimers

It is important for students to see that what they learn in school helps them make sense of the world outside of school; this applies to a range of areas, whether it is understanding trade and economics, understanding science and technology, or understanding government and social studies.

An impeachment process is an important safeguard of American democracy, a constitutional protection against abuses of power, it is one of the forms in which Congress exercises its role of keeping the presidency in check. Because there have only been three impeachment processes in US history, the current impeachment proceedings…


Delivered at UNESCO 40th General Conference. High Level Meeting on Higher Education.

Fernando M. Reimers

November 13, 2019

Thank you very much Director General Audrey Azoulay and Assistant Director General for Education Stefania Giannini, for the invitation to share a few thoughts at this important meeting and thank you all very much for the gift of your time and attention. My message today is simple, universities must collaborate with schools in the development of curriculum and programs of teacher preparation so that all students gain the competencies necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. If they do this work as…


Reflections on the 40th General Conference of Ministers of Education

Fernando M. Reimers

Ford Foundation Professor of the Practice of International Education

Harvard University

The United Nations Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) was founded to advance a powerful idea, the idea that education is a Universal Human Right. Expressed in article 26 of the Universal Declaration Adopted by world leaders, the notion of education as a universal human right, that must advance a world in which human rights are a reality for all transformed humanity. When the declaration was adopted, a time when the world population comprised 2.500 million people…


Fernando M. Reimers

Another hate attack, this time in San Diego, as members of the Congregation Chabad in Poway, California, prepared to participate in a memorial service on the last day of Passover, reminds us of the lethal consequences of antisemitism and other forms of hatred. This time, the alleged perpetrator is a college student. Someone who has had the benefits of many years of education. A student on the Deans list at California State University at San Marcos, a graduate of Mount Carmel High School, a public school with a rich curriculum where his father has taught science for…


Fernando M. Reimers

On Easter Sunday, 290 people were murdered and 500 wounded in Sri Lanka by radical suicide bombers. The assassins targeted many of their victims in three Catholic Churches as they celebrated the holy day. While the investigation on the motives for the attacks is ongoing, they appear to have targeted Catholics in a country where they are a religious minority. …


Fernando M. Reimers

Soon after he heard the announcement that he had won the Global Teacher’s Prize, Peter Tabichi thanked his parents. Peter’s father came up to the stage, bowed as he greeted each of the other teacher finalists on the stage and Peter gave him the small statue that symbolizes the prize. Peter was born in a rural village in Kenya and lost his mother at the age of eleven. His father, a teacher, raised Peter and his sibblings. Peter became a Franciscan brother, and then a teacher. He teaches science in a rural school in Kenya, the Keriko…

Fernando M. Reimers

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