Global Connections IV

February 2000

Massachusetts, United States of America

Global Connections IV centered on Environmentalism, an issue being addressed increasingly by secondary schools worldwide. As Principal Li of the No. 1 Middle School to Central China Normal University wrote:

High school students have a certain range of knowledge, and they also have the conditions to master the knowledge of environmental protection. They are just going to enter university for further study or go to society for work. Whether they possess complete environmental protective knowledge has a great deal to do with cultivating the qualified citizens who will take on the heavy responsibility of protecting the environment for the 21st century. Therefore, it is a must that high school students learn basic courses of environmental protection, obtain the basic knowledge and technical ability of environmental protection, and receive the education of scientific environmental conception order to strengthen their environmental sense and raise their consciousness of environmental protection.

Seventy four (74) other Principals, their representatives or delegates from nineteen (19) countries also endorsed the implementation of environmental education and shared examples of how their schools were introducing classes, programs, and community service projects to address ecological and environmental issues.

Participants at Global Connections IV prepared the Deerfield Declaration on Education for Sustainable Development, the Preamble of which states:

We, the delegates of the fourth Global Connections have gathered . . . to explore ways by which schools – educators and learners – can contribute to the attainment of sustainable development at local, national and global levels.

Concluding with a five-point initiative, the Deerfield Declaration emphasized the promotion of holistic and integrated educational experiences, the morality of our stewardship, the need for preserving ecological balance, the recognition of our indivisibility and the acknowledgement of the lore and wisdom of indigenous peoples who have taught us that we belong to Earth rather than the Earth belongs to us.

Speakers such as Gilbert Grosvenor, Chairman of the National Geographic Society Board of Trustees and Educational Foundation (US), Libby Grundy, Director of the Council for Environmental Education (UK), and Richard Winchell, President of the Friends of the Bermuda Aquarium, highlighted critical areas of the environment and cited educational initiatives being taken to address them while others, such as Gloria Villegas-Cardoza of the Boston Nature Center of the Massachusetts Audubon Society, Tom Heise, a teacher of History at Deerfield Academy, and Chris Oostenink, a scientist from The Hotchkiss School, provided specific examples of educational programs and projects involving students from independent schools and inner city centers which focused on broadening environmental knowledge and sensitivity.

The four day Seminar also provided for mini-presentations on specific school initiatives including those from the Horace Mann School (US), Falcon College (Zimbabwe), The Putney School (US), The Royal Grammar School (England) and the Yuendumu Community Education Centre (Northern Territory, Australia).

Of special interest were a poster session at which delegates were able to display information and artifacts on their environmental programs and talk informally about their courses, nature centers, community activities and collaborative interests and a visit to Milton Academy’s Mountain School to observe first-hand their environmentally oriented programs of study.

Global Connections IV also included the announcement of two new initiatives, the creation of a web site at (which has evolved into the current site) and the establishment of a public, not-for-profit entity under the U.S. tax code, the Global Connections Foundation, Inc. Both activities are supported through charitable contributions and are designed to provide opportunities for further resources and collaboration between schools nationally, regionally, and globally.

View Declaration