Ten years ago as I was going through my initial education coursework, I took part in a program for global collaboration for those going through pre-service training. However, since then I have not incorporated this into my own classroom. I was a sponsor for our middle school’s Model United Nations team and escorted them to the International Model United Nations Conference. And I did not have my students connect with these international students after the conference.
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) advocates for our students to be college and career ready to have the ability to collaborate to meet real world challenges. (P21 2014 1). P21 has created global education competencies which ensure attitudes, skills and knowledge. Teachers and students must be able to understand and be willing to explore other cultures, Teachers must use proper skills to integrate global learning into their classroom so their students will improve their critical thinking skills. Teachers must have the content knowledge to develop global lessons in to their curriculum and students develop the knowledge to understand cultural diversity and global issues (P21 2016 2). Many times I feel even I do not get my students to master the curriculum I hope to teach them respect and cultural understanding. I tell them when I their age ( 12) in Smyrna, Georgia I never thought I would see the South China Sea but I have. I have worked with people all over the globe in my former career in person and online. I communicate daily with people all around the world. The world is so much smaller today and we must prepare them to communicate and collaborate globally and part of this is understanding our cultural differences. These frameworks and competencies are the right start.
The term “flattening classroom” was new term to me in regards to global education. Flattening classrooms by removing the walls and extending the classroom and learning going across globe. This definition of global learning is an excellent way to represent this concept. Vicki Davis gave an important way to pull our students into what is happening in the world by ensuring our students have RSS feeds built for topics/issues the students are interested in keeping up to date (Davis 2012).
I found Aaron Doering ‘s Adventure Learning to be a combination of global learning and PBL (Project Based Learning). These has so many engaging elements for our students. We get them hooked through adventure and extreme localities. Many times I wish our classrooms can just drop the curriculum and as teacher be able to find these engaging projects for our students to take part in. Is tis not when the real learning will happen?
There are still challenges. How do we get teacher buy in? How do we get their commitment to try? Our school is one of 56 schools in the Digital Promise /Verizon Innovative Learning Schools Network across the United States. We still struggle with getting our schools and students to collaborate. Each of the schools have a student storytelling team and a few of these students have collaborate together on creating videos/stories. This is a wonderful opportunity that we are missing out.
How do we get teachers and students “pulled into” global education?
Davis, V. (2012, November 16). Flattening Classrooms and Expanding Minds - Fall CUE - Vicki Davis. Retrieved July 12, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cnY-71ZvoE
Doering, A. (2012, September 24). "Adventure Learning: Aaron Doering at TEDxUMN" Video at TEDxTalks. Retrieved July 12, 2016, from http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Adventure-Learning-Aaron-Doering
Lindsay, J., & Davis, V. (2007). Flat Classroom Project. Retrieved July 12, 2016, from http://flatclassroomproject.wikispaces.com/
Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2014). Teacher guide: K-12 global competence grade-level indicators. (n.d.). Retrieved July 11, 2016, from http://www.p21.org/storage/documents/Global_Education/P21_K-12_Global_Ed_Indicators.pdf
Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2014). Framework for state action on global education. Retrieved http://www.p21.org/storage/documents/Global_Education/p21_state_framework_on_global_education.pdf