Developing Global Competency
Generally, the emerging field of global competence includes a few elements: a) knowledge of other world regions, cultures, economies and issues of global importance; b) values of respect for other cultures, and the disposition to engage responsibly in the global context; c) skills to communicate in languages other than English (Stewart, 2010). How then can schools nurture a student’s global competency?
Integrating international content into all curriculum areas – from the sciences to the humanities – is just the beginning. Using an international perspective as a framework for instruction in individual disciplines can lead to a richer understanding of the interconnected nature of the shared human experiences and interactions existing throughout the world.
Developing an internationally oriented faculty with globalized interests will also contribute to kindling the excitement of the discovery of other cultures, beliefs and viewpoints. As teachers share their experiences of studying and living abroad with learners, they can foster a sense of exploration and curiosity in these students.
Certainly, the study of world languages and cultures should hold a prominent place in this vision for education as well. When we learn another language, we learn about another culture and the ways that other peoples view, understand and speak about the world in which they live.
In the future, “the ability to collaborate with people in different times zones, across languages and across cultures” (Stewart, 2010, p.99) will become essential. Thus, it is important for us to help our students to develop their global competency.
Stewart, V. (2010). A classroom as wide as the world. In H.H. Jacobs (Ed.), Curriculum 21: Essential education for a changing world (pp. 97-114). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.