A Global Education Guide for Students and Educators
I was fortunate to be chosen to participate in the Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms in 2018. Through this program, I completed a 10-week global education course, attended a global education symposium, and traveled to Morocco in a teacher exchange program, where I had the great privilege of interacting with students and teachers in many Moroccan schools.
This experience impacted my teaching practice profoundly. To be honest, it changed me on a personal level, as well. I am excited to share what I learned and provide resources to the students and teachers of rural Washington and beyond. Our students are often cut off from the world at large, and they deserve better. They deserve connections across our planet and opportunities for rich and diverse learning experiences.
What is Global Education?
Global education is intentional fostering of global competence. According to the Asia Society, global competence is “Possession of the knowledge, skills, and disposition to understand and act creatively on issues of global significance.” To be prepared for the future of our world, students will need to develop their dispositions, knowledge and skills. A globally competent student can investigate the world beyond their immediate environment, recognize their own and others’ perspectives, communicate their ideas effectively with diverse audiences, and translate their ideas and findings into appropriate actions to improve conditions. Now imagine a world where every student has the background, support and instruction that builds these skills!
What is Global Citizenship?
Defined by OXFAM, “A global citizen is someone who is aware of and understands the wider world – and their place in it. They take an active role in their community, and work with others to make our planet more equal, fair, and sustainable.”
- Know generally how the world works
- Can contextualize their local community within our global one
- And actively collaborate with diverse people to improve the state of the world.
Readiness, the New Catchphrase
These days we are hearing politicians and policy-makers talk about college and career readiness, with a shift toward vocational studies and technology to prepare our students for an adaptable future. Readiness itself is a wonderful thing. Whatever our students plan to do in the future, if we can help them prepare, then we are doing our job as educators. The tricky part of that is that we have no way of knowing what opportunities the future may bring. We have to prepare students for an ever-changing idea of what the future will be. What does it mean to be ready? Ready to read? Ready to write? Ready to manage a bank account and drive a car? There are so many facets to readiness! As we become more and more connected to the world at large through technology, being prepared, being ready, means being globally competent, too.
The 21st Century Skills
We can agree that we don’t have the exact answer for what each individual student will need for their future readiness. However, we can also agree that some skill sets are proven to help us become successful adults. Commonly referred to as soft skills, or 21st Century Skills, these skills are transferable. They are useful for mechanics, for doctors, for scientists and for farmers. These skills help every student maximize their potential. Here is a list of skills commonly included in lists of 21st Century skills: critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, information literacy, media literacy, technology literacy, flexibility, leadership, initiative, productivity, and social skills. When 21st Century Skills and Global Competency are combined, you have a powerful goal for education. Ensuring our students have the opportunities to improve these skills and dispositions will ensure that they are prepared for their best possible future.
Where Can You Start?
This page is your guide to starting or continuing a journey into global education. I will provide a variety of resources for you to explore. These are websites, tools, rubrics, organizations, and other links that I found useful in my quest to become a global educator. I will continue to add to these as time goes on, and please feel free to let me know if you find something that should be added. For Project-Based Learning (PBL) resources, local community resources, my sample global education unit, and tips for blending global education with your existing standards, go to the Global Ed- Teach tab.
Digital Tools for Global Education
The following are some of my favorite tools that I discovered through my work with Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms. Click on the name of the tool to go to the site and get started.
|Tool||How I Used It|
|Google Translate||Using Google translate, I translated my daily journal prompts into both Spanish and French, engaging my bilingual students to help proofread. Subsequently, I used it extensively for full conversations with students who struggled with English. We sat together at a computer and took turns typing. This became a regular way to touch base, show interest, and get feedback. Awareness of culture, language, and cognates went up impressively! Just be aware that it can be tricky getting a clear translation at times. Always have a native speaker check your work, especially if it will be in writing!|
|World Population History||This amazing site has maps and resources that show how the world has changed through history. It includes a counter that shows the current population. I am fascinated by the whole site, and I believe there are many applications I haven’t had the chance to get to–yet! I used it for a dramatic lesson on the indigenous tribes of the Pacific Northwest. I had students go to the map and find what North America’s population looked like in 1700. They saw the settlements of Europeans on the east coast, but the only major population in our region was a HUGE population center of indigenous coastal tribes. Then we simultaneously used the tool that moved the map through the years, and the dots that signified the large coastal population simply blipped out, right after the years of contact with Europeans. The class became very quiet and a bit gloomy, but it had such a dramatic impact. Then they were able to watch as the population changed again and grew into the state we know today. We went back to that lessons many times through the semester. No matter what you are studying, science, social studies, geography- this interactive map has some value to add.|
|Flipgrid||Flipgrid was a huge upgrade in my teaching practice! I used Flip Grid videos before, during and after my trip to Morocco to engage my students in the journey. They all formulated questions for Moroccan students about daily life and school. They took videos of themselves that were very endearing and informative. Then I shared their videos with volunteers in Morocco who then responded in their own videos, answering the questions posed. Additionally, I posted daily updates of my own on Flipgrid that my students could access. They were able to ask questions and tell me they missed me while I was half a world away. I have so many ideas for other ways of using Flipgrid in the future. It is such a good way to engage students with technology.|
|Google Arts and Culture||If you haven’t seen Google Arts and Culture, you are in for a treat. It is kind of a trap, though, since it is so visually stunning that you will have a hard time limiting your searches. For my Moroccan studies alone, I was introduced the historical figure of Hassan I, viewed a slideshow of Moroccan leather embroidery, and learned about a famous equestrian painting. No matter the subject you are teacher, this tool has something visually stunning to add. It’s a treasure.|
|Padlet||This year I will be adding Padlet to my classroom tools. I think it will be a great way to create collections of responses to prompts I give to my students. I often offer a menu of ways to respond to literature – a picture, an essay, a poem, a song… Padlet is versatile and we can all see the results of everyone’s responses in one place. It’s very engaging. You can upload slideshows, images, videos, audio responses, or just text. Individual creativity is easy to foster, and students feel accountable. They want to be included.|
Assessing Students for Global Competence
One of the trickiest parts of becoming a global educator is figuring out how to assess global competence. Truthfully, any lesson you are now teaching can be infused with global perspectives and it is fairly simple to take steps toward creating a global classroom. However, understanding what global competence should look like is key to success. Here are three tools I found useful for understanding how to assess student work for global competence. Click on the title of the tool to go to the resource.
|Tool.||Ideas for Using It|
|Preparing Our Youth to Engage the World||This resource is from the Asia Society and it is clearly written, easy to follow, and full of good examples of student work. If you are not sure what global education in action should be, this will spell it out for you. It doesn’t give you a rubric, or standards beyond the four “competences”. However, in just over 100 pages, it lays out global education in a very approachable and hopeful way. I highly recommend it.|
|Preparing Our Youth for an Inclusive and Sustainable World||This is the OECD PISA Global Competence Framework. Where the Asia Society’s publication is concise and user friendly, this one is a bit more scholarly and dense. It is still useful and gives some solid rubrics for measure global competences. However, it can be a headache to wade through it all. I took away a great deal of respect for the folks who are working on standards and assessments for global education. This is an area of such great importance, and it is clear that amazing work is being done. I recommend this source for a deep dive.|
|Framework for Developing Global and Cultural Competencies||This is a simple, basic framework that lays out grade bands and competencies with general expectations. It comes from the International Affairs Office of the Department of Education. It is not an in depth look at student assessment or at global education. It merely gives a broad idea of goals and expectations for our students, sort of anchor standards, if you will. The four competencies they use are 1. Communication and Collaboration 2. World and Heritage Languages 3. Diverse Perspectives 4. Civics and Global Engagement. In addition, the sidebar of the tool gives a description of a globally competent individual. So this is a tool for the broad brush strokes. I’d use this to help others see the basic focus of global education, but it does not provide the detail needed to assess student work directly.|
|Global Competence Matrix||This is a nice one-pager from World Savvy for explaining global competence. It breaks it down into four areas: Core Concepts, Values and Attitudes, Skills, and Behaviors.|
Additional Resources for Educators
|Teaching for Global Competence in a Rapidly Changing World||This is another excellent resource from the Asia Society.|
|Primary Source||An organization that provides PD, teacher resources, etc.|
|Top Ten Characteristics of Globally Competent Teachers||An EdWeek blog|
|The Globally Competent Learning Continuum||A great rubric for teachers to self-assess their own global competencies|
|Glocalization: Time-Space and Homogeneity- Heterogeneity||A rather scholarly, but enlightening read about glocalization, by Roland Robertson|
|Teaching for Multicultural Literacy, Global Citizenship and Social Justice||An argument for multicultural literacy from James A. Banks|
|The World Is as Big or as Small as You Make It||This is an inspirational video that shows you how making connections across cultures can have an amazing impact on students.|
A Collection of Global Education Videos
Global Education and Skills Forum 2015: What Should Children Learn?
Dan Rather’s Interview with Linda Darling-Hammond on Finland
Global Kids 25th Anniversary Video
Taiye Selasi: Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From; Ask Me Where I’m a Local
Gordon Brown video: Global Ethic vs. National Interest
William Gaudellli video: Global Citizenship
Disclaimer: This website is not an official U.S. Department of State website. The views and information presented are the participant’s own and do not represent the Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms, the U.S. Department of State, or IREX.