INTRODUCTION to the SOCRATES PRIZES
The purpose of the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Global Education is to help accelerate powerful educational forces already well underway. We are optimistic we can speed these changes because of four deeply held convictions — and the findings from Global Learn Day events which began in 1996. In brief:
Conviction One: The world of education has failed to merchandise itself with Madison Avenue branding techniques; and this failure is largely responsible for far too many educators being both undervalued and underpaid.
Conviction Two: It is a tragedy that education does not have a pinnacle award which is as globally recognized as the Nobel or the Pulitzer or an Oscar; and that until we provide such recognition for outstanding achievement we will not correct our chief failure to skillfully promote ourselves and our work.
Conviction Three: We have several models for such prize creation and a realistic opportunity to have an event as big as Hollywood’s Motion Picture Academy……one where educators can be applauded by millions with as much vigor as that given to those in the movies. And that we deserve nothing less.
Socrates Prize Conviction Four: Such efforts will accelerate greater use of technology and significantly improve the outcome of our work; that such activities will be supported by major corporations cultured in the importance of merchandising, promotions and brand identification; that the business world is dependent on us for knowledge workers and knowledge customers; and that they can be excited about the prospects of larger profits as a result of substantially heavier use of new technology.
From the charts of all of our Global Learn Day round-the-world celebrations, and from close study of leaders in education using affordable new tools in extraordinary ways, we have learned a great deal.
It is past time the rest of the world knew of these accomplishments; and why very significant recognition for those of high achievement is our best chance for a better and safer world.
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