Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Educating For Global Competence:Preparing Our Youth to Engage the World - Global Literacy

This week we are reading and reflecting on chapter one  in the Asia Society's book entitled Educating for Global Competence: Preparing Our Youth to Engage the World. Chapter one begins by outlining three global forces which are present in our changing world.  The areas are:
  • the flattened global economy and changing demands of work
  • unprecedented global migration
  • climate instability and global environmental stewardship
Each of these transformations affect our students now and in the future.  In our current global economy there are no borders.  Employers are looking for capable individuals from all parts of the world.  The people who can provide expertise at the lowest rate are the people who will get the jobs.  We need to prepare our students so that they can reach out all over the world and be marketable.  Our students should be knowledgeable about various types of economies which may differ from ours.  The student of the future needs to have global perspective and competence.

The concept of global migration reminds me of a group my parents belonged to when I was a child called the "Living room Dialogue".  In this discussion group the members were from all different religious backgrounds. Once a month the members got together to discuss a reading from their religious perspective.  As a young child I was exposed to people sharing and respecting different perspectives at a deep level.  I think that our students need to appreciate the opportunities for exchanging ideas, norms, traditions.  The key for me is teaching a spirit or attitude, of collaboration, not competition, when it comes to diverse populations at all levels, locally, nationally, and internationally.

In my opinion the concept of climate instability and global environmental stewardship is closely tied to economics.  I will briefly state that in my opinion we as a country and a world put economic gain over long- term environmental sustainability.  If we do not educate our students about the long term effects of climate instability I fear that there will be ramifications that we can not even imagine.

Barriers do exist for the education of our young in terms of global awareness and action.  I feel that the primary barrier is economic.  There are many individuals and institutions that put money over knowledge.  I am so very empowered, and moved to take action, in learning about the current global competence "movement".  I can comment on one high quality college level educational program,  School For International Training, in Brattleboro, VT.  I am an alumni and it is a wonderful undergraduate program based on the ideas of John Dewey.  At this point they may offer graduate programs.  I so look forward to rejuvenating of international awareness and action in this course.

1 comment:

  1. Joan, it remains true that the "sins of the father are visited upon the sons." Unfortunately, as a race, we are slow learners.