In 2008, we announced a commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) to train 10 million teachers by 2015. We undertook this goal, because we believe that every child has the right to a quality education. Throughout the course of a child’s education, there is perhaps no more important influence than the teachers that guide, nurture, and inspire learning.

Strong teacher education programs are one of the key ways that we can help ensure that all children have access to great teachers.  Through the Microsoft Partners in Learning Program, we have invested in 115 countries since 2003 to support quality teacher education, the use of technology in learning, and ongoing professional development as part of our commitment to education.

A quick overview of the Partner in Learning program

To date we have reached almost 8 million teachers, and we are continuing to invest in more teacher outreach and training to ensure we reach the goal we set as part of the CGI commitment.

By working with teachers around the world through the Partners in Learning program, we’ve also learned that we need to do more to support the school environments in which teachers work. School leaders need training and ongoing professional development to support transformative change. One teacher can make great things happen in a classroom, but several teachers with supportive, strong leadership can make a whole school great.  And a great school has positive implications for a whole community.

Our Partners in Learning Innovative Schools Program helps school leaders lead positive change within their school communities by providing the tools and resources they need to successfully envision and implement educational transformation.  The Innovative Schools program helps schools leaders inspire thought leadership, discover best practices, and create models that any school, any system can use in the future to prepare children for success in the 21st century.

The program is built on findings from 12 pioneering Innovative Schools that have each taken a unique approach to assessing, improving, and evaluating their learning environments to successfully move beyond the limits of the classroom and traditional learning models. With mentor, pathfinder and breadth schools, there are now more than 2,500 schools in this program. 

The sharing that happens within and across the communities of Innovative Teachers and Schools is simply amazing and inspiring.  These educators from around the world are committed to improving their teaching and their schools; to sharing experiences and learning from others; and to helping students develop a strong foundation for a college or career.

In a few weeks, we will expand the program to include more than 70 new schools and growing the program to 23 more countries.  These new schools join the community of Innovative Schools and Innovative Teachers  that is today playing a crucial role in securing a quality education for every child.

Learn more about Innovative Schools in action by looking at videos on Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Web site.

Lauren Woodman, General Manager Government and Education Engagement Programs