The globalized world today needs globally competent citizens who have learned to take responsibility for their actions, respect and value diversity, and contribute to a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world. Enabling young people to participate in shaping a better shared future for the world is at the heart of global education and it is our job to ensure that they develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to thrive in our interconnected, diverse global society.
TeachUnicef, Edutopia, Edudemic, Oxfam, Global Concerns Clasroom and Connecting Cultures offer many resources that will help you design your global citizenship curriculum. Field Trip Earth provides teachers with strategies for global education together with resources. You can also check Larry Ferlazzo’s Best Sites for Learning About the World’s Different Cultures. Teachers who are new to the concept can start by reading this guide. You can find a very creative project here for your students to understand the significance of globalization. Sharing this video with your students may be a good starting point for your global citizenship lessons:
In our connected world today, global education does not only mean knowing about other cultures and global issues. Teachers and students should also be communicating and collaborating with their peers and experts all around the world to identify and find solutions to challenges on global issues such as health, environment, natural resources, the economy, global security, peace-buiding, human rights, and so on. Through collaborative global projects students will develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures and contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve real-life problems.
Intercultural understanding encourages students to make connections between their own worlds and the worlds of others and understand that they are part of this global society where cultures, economies, and people are continuously connected. Luckily, technology helps us do that very easily. From video conferencing to blogging, technology provides opportunities for international collaboration anywhere, anytime. Students and teachers can now connect their classroom to the world using tech tools.
You can find a list of links for global collaborations here; but if you are a globally connected teacher, you can find many more links posted by teachers from all around the world on Twitter. The examples below are from the online global collaborative projects our students joined last year. I came across with all these project on Twitter.
Our 5th graders last year joined DEN Voices Connect. They learned the project song, Agents of Change, which was about global citizenship, collaboration, and teamwork. They connected with a partner school in USA and explored digital media based on the song content via their class blogs. They brainstormed on what they could do to become change agents to make a difference in the global society. They shared their ideas on Padlet.We recorded their performance song and sent it to DEN Voices. The experts at DEN combined all the videos sent by the participating schools to make a virtual choir performance by students all over the world:
Our 7th graders participated in the Global Read Aloud Project and analyzed a novel together with the students from their partner school via their class blogs. It was a student-led project and our students enjoyed it so much that they went on collaborating with their peers even after the project was over. You can learn more about this project on their old website.
Our high school prep students joined the Web Design Contest organized by Global Virtual Classroom. They collaborated with two other schools, one in the United States and the other in Russia via Edmodo to design a website on World Cuisine and World Music. They won a merit award; but for us, the experience they had during this project was a true life lesson which was more important than the award.
Having a global mindset will not only foster empathy, flexibility, independence, communication, critical thinking and problem solving skills but will also offer our students an economic and intellectual advantage in their future careers and life. It is a major competitive advantage for young adults entering the workforce and an important life skill for anyone to have no matter where they live or what kind of job they do.
What do you do to foster a global mindset in your students?