The Global Competencies for Educational Leaders Framework was developed in four phases. In Phase 1, a literature review of research on school leadership and global competence was conducted and analyzed, along with pilot interviews with eleven elementary, middle, and high school administrators with experience implementing global initiatives. From this, we identified an initial set of global competence tenets for school leaders and associated practices. These were then mapped onto the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (formerly known as the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium, or ISLLC, Standards) to create alignment with between this framework and recognized best leadership practices (National Policy Board of Educational Administration, 2015).

In Phase 2, focus groups were conducted with practicing elementary and secondary school administrators from the United States and abroad with varying exposure to global education. Focus groups provided feedback on the tenets and definitions developed in Phase 1, along with resources and examples of each tenet in practice. The first focus group included 45 school administrators across the United States. The second focus group included 22 school administrators from the United States, Argentina, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

In Phase 3, the tenets, definitions, and list of suggested activities went through a final expert review of 39 individuals working across the K–20 pipeline. This included (1) individuals in organizations that work directly with school personnel implementing global competence programs (e.g., nongovernmental organizations, university professors, education associations), (2) state and federal government programs and personnel that support global learning, and (3) teachers and administrators in schools and districts identified as already being committed to integrating global competence. Twelve experts provided feedback through a virtual survey, and 27 convened for a morning of roundtable discussions. (See Acknowledgements for a list of expert reviewers.)

In Phase 4, we interviewed nine school administrators who provided case studies that illustrate concrete, narrative examples of how each tenet has played out in real school settings. These case studies came from school administrators from urban and suburban settings in California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C.; and represented one K–12 school, one elementary school, three middle schools, and four high schools that serve a range of student populations regarding socio-economic status and racial, cultural, and ethnic diversity. (See the appendix for a list of administrators, their school contexts, and the global initiatives that they lead.)