One thing that most educators will agree on is that education is changing. Moreover, it is changing at a rate faster than we could have imagined 30 years ago. Much has been said about students' need to develop skills in technology and qualities like grit and a growth mindset to succeed in this rapidly changing world. It is also becoming increasingly apparent that today's teens will need to exist in a much smaller world than previous generations have.
With social media and technological advances like video chatting, communication around the world is easy. It's fast. And it affects all aspects of business and education. So, it is increasingly important that students develop global competence before they enter the global future workforce.
The Four Domains of Global Competence
There are four primary domains of global competence identified by the Center for Global Education.
- First, globally competent students are prepared and excited to investigate the world. They take an interest in issues of the world as a whole and they are curious about learning more about these issues.
- Students with global competence also recognize that people have varying perspectives. And they respect the fact that their own perspective may not match that of a classmate, coworker, or even family member.
- Globally competent students are also able to communicate verbally and nonverbally. They can interact with a variety of audiences and use their knowledge of varying perspectives to communicate respectfully and confidently.
- Finally, globally competent people use the knowledge they have about the world to effect change. They identify problems, and they work to find solutions.
Making a Difference
One of the key reasons that global competence matters lies in the fourth domain - effecting change. A globally competent person will ultimately make a difference in their world. The difference may be immediate in the area surrounding the person, or it may be long-lasting worldwide change. The key is that the person has a passion for and interest in bettering the world around them. They seek to leave the world better than they have found it.
Teaching global competence acknowledges that our world is shrinking and, in some ways, borders are disappearing. Our teens will have many opportunities to interact with people all around the world - in their business and even socially. They may find that problems in a country halfway around the world affect them directly through their business or their studies. And this closing of margins makes it necessary for students to understand what it means to be a citizen of the world.
How Students Learn Global Competence
Sometimes it can be difficult to make someone understand that a problem halfway around the world is their own. It can be doubly difficult to encourage someone to do something about a problem unseen every day. So, education in global competence can be valuable in guiding students to a broader worldview.
- Schools that teach global competence teach across disciplines.
- Students learn that all subjects affect each other.
- Schools have diverse staff and instructors who have global experiences.
- Students engage in projects and investigations.
They learn to work with a diverse set of peers, and they are encouraged to seek and recognize similarities between their own lives and the lives of people all around the globe.