On July 18–20th, 2023, the Office of the Under Secretary for Education hosted its annual National Education Summit!
The 2023 theme was: “Together We Thrive: Fostering a Sense of Belonging,” acknowledging that given the right conditions and resources, all children can thrive. PreK-12 educators, librarians, media specialists, and policymakers nationwide participated in sessions exploring four distinct track themes:
- Life on a Sustainable Planet
- Reckoning with Our Racial Past
- STEAM Education
- and an Integrated Arts Education
Can’t wait for the next Summit? Save the dates for next year's Smithsonian National Education Summit: July 16-18, 2024. Be the first to learn about next year’s Summit by following us on social media or signing up for our e-newsletter. Each month we feature education resources from across the Smithsonian that highlight relevant interdisciplinary content, concepts, and skills for grades PK–12+.
The National Education Summit is made possible thanks to the generous support of friends across the country committed to providing free educational resources to America’s teachers. Your fully tax-deductible donation of any size will help make a difference as we work to develop and share free learning materials drawn from across the Smithsonian’s collections, exhibitions, and research areas for communities across the nation, especially those who need it most. Thank you!
Keynote: Welcome Reception
The opening panel of the 2023 Smithsonian National Education Summit features Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III, 2023 D.C. Teacher of the Year Jermar Rountree, and founder of Real Men Teach, Curtis Valentine. The moderated conversation led by Dr. Monique Chism addresses the ways each panelist connected and felt invited to connect as a learner, what relationships supported their growth and development, the challenges they experienced as learners and how they have overcome them. This powerful conversation aims to fill a void in the discourse about identifying, connecting, and meeting the needs of Black male youth. On almost every metric, Black male youth are often left behind in our school systems (over representation of suspensions and expulsions, lower graduation, academic achievement, college matriculation and completion rates). To change, disrupt, and improve these trends requires us to take time to have conversation and dialogue about meeting the needs of Black youth.
The keynote address from the 2023 National Teacher of the Year Rebecka Peterson is entitled “The Power of One.” Rebecka is a high school math teacher from Tulsa, Oklahoma who believes in the power of stories. The presentation explores the importance of learning students’ stories to cultivate belonging and shares the good things happening in classrooms in Oklahoma and across the country.