Windows to the World:
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!
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.
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.