Teaching Global Perspectives
The desire to bring global and diversity learning into our classrooms has become part of many discussions surrounding 21st Century Learning Goals. Indeed, the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) identifies “global and diversity learning” among several High-Impact practices. We want our students to investigate the world, to recognize that multiple perspectives exist, and to communicate their ideas and new-found understanding with others. Fink’s Taxonomy of Significant Learning (2003) notes that Caring is a part of significant learning. By developing new interests and feelings about others and about learning, students will be engaged in more meaningful and longer lasting learning.
The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) encourages language learners to think about the products, practices and perspectives of other cultures, and to communicate about the similarities and differences that may exist between the learner’s home culture and that of the target language country. Discussions about these “Three Ps” can help to build a respect and understanding of different beliefs and perspectives as students explore the what (products), how (practices) and why (perspectives) of others cultures and peoples.
As you bring global perspectives into your classroom, encourage students to deeply investigate the world using the framework of the “Three Ps.” In both disciplinary and interdisciplinary studies, learners will be able to gain a richer appreciation for the variety of perspectives that exist around the world.
The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL – www.actfl.org)
The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU – www.aacu.org/leap/hip.cfm)
Dee Fink. (2003). Creating Significant Learning Experiences. Jossey-Bass.