Saturday, January 18, 2014

Educating for Global Competence

Reading:  Educating for Global Competence: Preparing our Youth to Engage the World by Veronica Boix Mansilla & Anthony Jackson
Responses to Reflection Questions

I. From your perspective, in what ways are the societal and environmental transformations here described affecting your students’ lives today? How will they be affected in the future?

Globalization is increasing the cultural and racial diversity in our classrooms, neighborhoods, and communities. In my observation, there are more students of different cultures present in the classroom than ever before. They speak different languages, have different custom and values, and hold different perspectives. Some students find it easy to accept diversity, are inquisitive, and want to learn about cultures and customs. Yet others are more  reluctant and find it difficult to engage with students of different backgrounds. Students must be encouraged  to embrace and celebrate world cultures in order to guide them towards acceptance, respect, and tolerance of  diversity.  Our students have a great opportunity to learn about the world first hand by interacting and communicating with students,  neighbors, and members of their community that are from different cultural backgrounds.  As we continue our transformation into a global society, our students will be interacting more and more with people of differing cultures in all aspects of their lives.  Students who can share, collaborate, and understand the perspectives of others from diverse backgrounds will be equipped with a skill and disposition that will benefit their personal growth and success in our global society, and will benefit society.  

Globalization is creating a flattened global economy. Our students are being impacted by this shift in our economy.  The skills students must acquire and develop in order to enter today’s workforce are changing.  The jobs that are emerging in our economy require specialized training, education, and high skills.  The jobs of yesterday, those requiring less education and lower skills, are diminishing from our workforce.  Jobs that require less education and lower skills are being sent overseas to be performed by others that will work at a lower cost. Students must obtain the appropriate education and develop the skills to meet the qualifications of today’s jobs. Additionally, the rapid advances in technology and globalization require our students to develop a disposition to continuous learning.  Creativity, innovation, and vision are valuable skills that are in great demand. Education must meet the needs of the economy, and help students develop and acquire the skills that are in demand.

The effects of globalization is impacting our environment and increasing global warming. Greenhouse gasses are melting our polar caps and are threatening our coastlines, changing both land and sea habitats, and creating a potential threat of infectious diseases. The greenhouse effects has a direct  impact on our global society and economy.  Catastrophic environmental occurrences cause loss of life and property. Populations migrate seeking refuge from the effects of environmental changes.  Industry and farming is impacted as well.  Education and research is needed to increase our knowledge about reduction greenhouse gasses. Students must learn about the causes, effects, and solutions to global warming. They must learn about the responsibility of reducing their individual carbon footprint in order to help lessen global warming. Education about our  environment is critical and urgent for the future well being of our global society.

II.  In your opinion, what are the key reasons for educating for global competence?  What are the barriers such an education might confront?

The key reasons for educating for global competence are:
  • to help students acquire the knowledge and skills they will need to be contributors in a global society
  • to create a generation that understands the world and the global problems it shares
  • to help students understand that people hold different perspectives and to understand why these perspectives are important
  • to help students value diversity, cooperation, and collaboration especially when problem solving and identifying and creating solutions

In my opinion, one barrier to teaching global education is the lack of knowledge by educators on how to to teach global education.  Educators who do not have the background and knowledge of global education may not properly integrate global education that produces globally competent students.   The time to develop and implement effective global education may be a barrier.   The emphasis in drilling students in reading, writing, and math in order to improve standardized tests may leave little time to develop an effective and high-quality global education curriculum.   Finally, the lack of funding to purchase resources and pay for the development curriculum that effectively integrates global education may be another barrier.

III.  In your current opinion, what distinguishes a high- from a low-quality education for global competence?

In my opinion, what distinguishes a high from a low-quality education for global competence is shown by how well a teacher integrates and implements global education learning .  Education that shows high-quality global competence provides students with real world authentic  learning experiences and opportunities.  Students research, collaborate, plan, and take action to address issues and help others.   They can reflect on their personal contributions and learning from taking action. Education that does not meet these qualities is education that lacks a  high-quality of global competence.

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