- Globalization- The world is becoming more inter-connected economically, politically, and socially (honestly, I feel like a dinosaur even saying that, as we have largely been tied to one another since before WWI). Its antonym could easily be "isolation." Many school districts, including mine (Fairfax County Public Schools), recognize that the world has globalized and that our students need to understand why that matters (where we get products from can be connected to wars that we are involved in, learning how to communicate across diverse lines because future bosses and clients may be in Israel or Guatemala, etc.) and how they can make themselves more competitive in the world market.
- Global competence- According to Anthony Jackson of the Asia Society (check out his article), global competencies are the skills that students gain in a classroom that will help them be successful in the 21st century world. More specifically, students investigate some component of the world, understand the varying perspectives on the chosen issue, communicate ideas about the issue in a manner that crosses cultural divides, and ultimately take action.
- Project- Based Learning- According to Edutopia, this is when students learn about a real-world issue and then ultimately apply their knowledge to a hands-on experience. Questioning, research, and critical thinking come together to allow students a more rich experience that allows them to apply their knowledge in real world situation. An example of this- a former colleague of mine had her students build a green roof on part of the baseball dugout because they were learning about sustainability. This can be a challenge in our test-riddled world (another post to come on that soon).
- Collaboration- Collaboration is, well, working with others. Sounds basic, but can actually be a challenge in practice, but well worth it when it gets off the ground. Collaboration can happen in your building among teachers in the same subject, which is good, but is even better when there is cross-curricular collaboration (why not teach the Holocaust in social studies when the kids are reading Night?). To take it to the platinum level, collaborate with classrooms around the US or the world. Sites like Global Nomads and iEarn are great about fostering connections around the world. Check them out.
- 21st Century Learner- Understanding how to use technology effectively, being able to dissect complicated ideas, appreciating the roots of varying perspectives, and being able to communicate in a variety of formats all are essential to being a 21st century student. This ties together all that is a globalized curriculum.
Hopefully this post clarifies some things that I have largely ignored up until this point. Please check out my resources for teachers. I am posting materials that are helpful to teachers that want to make the jump into having a globalized curriculum.