The Global Fool

our planet is our village

Globalization, Global Competence and Education
May21

Globalization, Global Competence and Education

By The Editors One of the effects of globalization on higher education is (or will be) the gradual shift from the reductionist approach so in vogue now for many disciplines to a more holistic point of view. The limits of the current discipline-specific reductionist approach will be highlighted when attempting to become globally competent, as discipline-specific knowledge will need to integrate global competence concepts to ensure educational success – success measured on the basis of positive contributions to the new globalized environment as part of the workforce or other. In his commencement address to the graduating class of 1990 at Arkansas College, David Orr suggested six principles for rethinking education – one of these principles comes from the Greek concept of paideia. He said: “The goal of education is not mastery of subject matter, but of one’s person. Subject matter is simply the tool.”  In the current digital age, where borders seem to disappear, global competence is necessary to reach mastery of one’s person. The global competence concept was originally developed by Dr. William Hunter through rigorous research and is summarized as  “Having an open mind while actively seeking to understand cultural norms and expectations of others, and leveraging this gained knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments.” During the globalization process of our world, education needs to raise environmental awareness, recognize peace as a common goal, develop appreciation for cultural and social diversity, and operate within the concept of a global village. Education is expected to encourage and represent openness, inquiry, diversity, and limitless learning.  The developing web of MOOCs is one of the major instruments contributing to these educational features. Applying the different facets of the global competence concept to education, independent of the subject matter, will give education the holistic perspective that many feel has been lost. The global competence model in itself is holistic. Feedback provided by Christi Hunter (globalcompetence.org) in a previous post points out that, within the Global Competence Model, Global Leadership Excellence defines the Open-Minded dimension as: “Being receptive to alternative possibilities, being willing to think again despite having formed an opinion, and attempting to avoid those conditions and offset those factors which limit, constrain and/or distort; having a curiosity to acquire new information from a variety of sources and perspectives.” These are all elements that apply to scientific research – and not only. As an example, students in the sciences could refer to the Open-Minded dimension to integrate the holistic approach in their educational experiences, so to better understand the scientific process while acquiring global...

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Global Education
May12

Global Education

By The Editors In a previous post, I introduced the concept of global education as the education perspective expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The concept of global education is defined in more detail by the Global Education website as a set of five perspectives: 1) Interdependence and globalisation, 2) Identity and cultural diversity, 3) Social justice and human rights, 4) Peace building and conflict resolution, 5) Sustainable futures. The Global Education website, which illustrates all aspects of the Global Education Project, has been developed and is maintained by Education Services Australia, a national, not-for-profit company owned by all Australian education ministers. The five perspectives, detailed below, provide a framework for global education. Interdependence and globalisation – an understanding of the complex social, economic and political links between people and the impact that changes have on each other Identity and cultural diversity – an understanding of self and one’s own culture, and being open to the culture of others Social justice and human rights – an understanding of the impact of inequality and discrimination, the importance of standing up for our own rights and our responsibility to respect the rights of others Peace building and conflict resolution – an understanding of the importance of building and maintaining positive and trusting relationships and ways conflict can be prevented or peacefully resolved Sustainable futures – an understanding of the ways in which we can meet our current needs without diminishing the quality of the environment or reducing the capacity of future generations to meet their own needs. I believe that the second perspective, Identity and cultural diversity, should be considered the starting point of a globalized curriculum – exploration of identity and cultural diversity is mostly an introspective endeavor and, therefore, provides the basis for integration of all the other...

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Let’s Invent a Global Society – Lee Bollinger on Global Challenges
May07

Let’s Invent a Global Society – Lee Bollinger on Global Challenges

By The Editors In the video below, Lee C. Bollinger, President of Columbia University, and Chrystia Freeland, Thomson Reuters Consumer News Editor, discuss how Columbia University tackles the challenges of rapid global changes – the changes we have described in a previous post on the great acceleration, results of the events that define the space age and the information age. Lee Bollinger’s approach is matter-of-fact acceptance of the global changes we are undergoing – he describes well the uncertainty we’re facing these days and points out how much we don’t know –  and especially how much it is that academic institutions don’t know. The solution is to be open and invent a new society, a global...

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What is Global Competence?
May06

What is Global Competence?

By The Editors There are few definitions currently available to help understand what global competence is, or better, understand the current interpretations of the global competence concept. One of these definitions is: “Having an open mind while actively seeking to understand cultural norms and expectations of others, and leveraging this gained knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments.”  (William D. Hunter.  Got global competency?  International Educator, 2: 6-12, 2004) Another definition is: “Global Competence is the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to understand and act creatively and innovatively on issues of global significance.” (Council of Chief State School Officers’ EdSteps Project in partnership with the Asia Society Partnership for Global Learning, 2010) I think that two additional elements should be included in definitions of global competence: intellectual curiosity and empathy. We may think of “intellectual curiosity” as contained within “actively seeking to understand” in the first definition and “dispositions to understand” in the second definition.  However, “seeking” and “dispositions” may be the results of different types of motivations and do not necessarily encompass intellectual curiosity, which is a major driving force in the acquisition of true global competence. Empathy — the intellectual identification with the needs, feelings and thoughts of other individuals — does not seem to be included in neither of the two definitions above.   However, understanding and knowledge without empathy would not be sufficient to ensure deep connection at the individual level and, therefore, would limit the ability to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments. May be time to consider revising and expanding some definitions of global competence?          ...

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