Great Decisions Teachers Institute - North American Foreign Policy Institute

Great Decisions Teachers Institute - North American Foreign Policy Institute

Educating the Next Generation on International Issues


We seek to contribute to the creation of a public – particularly the next generation of community leaders – that is:

  • Well-informed on international issues, policy choices, and their consequences through explanatory materials and dialogues with policy makers, academics, and diplomats as well as multimedia sources
  • Mindful of the multiple perspectives, interconnectedness, competing interests, risks and conflicts, as well as of issues the management of which requires global cooperation
  • Motivated to fulfill the civic responsibility of participating in discussions that influence public policy, as well as equipped with cross-border channels of communication

Scope and Agenda

The Institute works to mobilize schools and communities of North America (U.S., Mexico, and Canada) to engage in dialogue on contemporary issues of international relations. Educators, students and community members are encouraged to engage in a discourse that is:

  • Informed and enriched by the understanding and comparison of the participating national perspectives, each influenced by its history, situation, interests and values
  • Motivated by the search for policies - whether joint or nationally distinct - that promote outcomes that are stable, fair, peaceful and productive
  • Elevated by expertise in the subject areas considered and supported by leaders in pedagogy, so as to effectively engage students and community members in these exchanges

The Institute provides continuing timely preparation and wide dissemination of high quality background materials and teaching tools that reflect relevant diverse national, values and/or interests and perspectives. It organizes and runs training programs for discussion leaders, as well as provides support to teachers and students who want to engage more deeply with international policy. The objective is to better inform the dialogue, to cultivate greater international understanding through discussion and networks for direct exchange, using modern media to maximum advantage.

It will work with appropriate partnering organizations, endeavor to develop discussion opportunities in a growing number of school classrooms and community groups and, increasingly over time, regional and cross-border exchanges of the participants, while also reaching out to additional countries to participate.

The Institute draws on the guidance of an international group of experts in the selection of timely topics, initially relying on the Great Decisions editorial body and the Institute Advisory Board.

This Institute is a joint venture with
the Foreign Policy Association

Foreign Policy Association


  • Launched in Summer 2016, the Institute is poised for expansion in 2019