Global Education Philosophy

“Cultural competence is the will and the ability to form authentic relationships across difference." —Gary Howard, founder of the REACH Center for Multicultural Education

Global competencies we foster in our students

  • Deepened critical thinking and problem solving to effectively analyze global issues and challenges
  • Bilingual or trilingual abilities
  • Competent communication and work with people who are culturally very different from themselves
  • Understanding and respect for values and priorities of the many countries and cultures of the world
  • Understanding the interconnectedness of global systems—economic, social, cultural, racial, religious, technological, and ecological
  • Integrate service in a global context
  • Foster student leadership
  • Provide unique learning opportunities that would not be otherwise possible

The global education program achieves these goals in the following ways

K-12 classroom curriculum

The core of what we teach our students about the contemporary world happens in classrooms. Global education is an extension of the classroom experience.

CGS groups and clubs with international focus, even if working locally

An essential goal of the global education initiative is to empower our students to lead Catlin Gabel's efforts toward diversity, service learning, and global action. These groups are a vital expression of our global education initiative.

  • SAFE (Students and Friends for Equality)
  • Global Citizens Club
  • Bienestar (homework club serving students in low-income housing)
  • Comunidad en Acción (helping the local Hispanic community)
  • SPEED/UJIMA (Students Promoting Equity and Ethnic Diversity)
  • MUN (Model United Nations)

Communicating with people around the world

Pen pal correspondence, virtual exchanges, collaborative podcasting, and blogs that cross international or state borders help our students see themselves as members of a larger community. Now more than ever, our students are global citizens, connected to what happens locally and abroad.

Global travel—Short-term study abroad for students and teachers

The school's goal is to make it possible for each student to participate in at least one international trip during their Middle School and Upper School years.

Whether national or international, trips support and enhance our classroom curriculum. Trips do not happen in isolation: they connect with existing curriculum, across disciplines and divisions. When trips are approved, colleagues seek collaborative opportunities with the trip's leaders and student participants.

Trips are only one component of global education, though the international perspective and understanding gained from spending time with people in other cultures is impossible to recreate in any other way.

Students and teachers visiting Catlin Gabel for extended time

International students and teachers who come to Catlin Gabel for a year or more enhance our understanding of other cultures, religions, and political perspectives, and provide a lens through which to see ourselves more clearly. Every opportunity should be taken to honor and learn from these community members.

Students abroad for extended time

The Catlin Gabel community benefits from students who take leaves of absences (LOA) when the LOA students and the school maintain meaningful connections throughout the absence.

Community members (faculty, staff, families) who have been or are involved in international experiences

Catlin Gabel is a diverse community of individuals. Many have spent extended time living or working internationally. The global perspectives of these individuals are felt throughout Catlin Gabel.

Seeking faculty and staff with varied international, linguistic and cultural experience.

The richness and diversity of Catlin Gabel's 200+ faculty and staff members create the global fabric of our community.

International alumni

Catlin Gabel alumni live and work throughout the world. They are excellent guides in assessing and developing the school's global education initiative.

Contact the global education coordinators: Kathryn McDermott (US), and Barbara Ostos (MS)

An independent preschool through 12th grade day school in Portland, Oregon
8825 SW Barnes Road,
Portland, Oregon 97225 |
503-297-1894 |

Explore why Catlin Gabel is a national leader in progressive education.

We welcome more than 100 new families annually to our inclusive community from the Portland area and beyond.


A demanding and engaging program in which each student is the unit of consideration

Playing sports involves life lessons in determination, grace, and resilience. We invite everyone to be part of a team.

Extensive support ensures our students are successful.

Learn about Catlin Gabel news and events on campus and beyond.

We foster a community that appreciates our differences and recognizes our essential unity

Every gift benefits our students. Every volunteer hour builds our community.

powered by finalsite