Global Education is

Whereas content once took center stage in the classroom, the 21st century has presented us with new and pressing issues requiring us to teach differently, exposing our students to multiple forms of innovation, both tangible and abstract. More importantly, it is imperative in a highly globalized world to teach our students how to interact and collaborate with multiple cultures. This requires we rethink our pedagogy and teach students the skills necessary to excel in a contemporary, globally-driven world. Global education is synonymous with Human-Centered Design. Each involves interdisciplinary approaches to education, working in unison to solve a social problem both locally or globally. The emphasis is not solely on using curriculum to solve a problem; rather it is gaining cultural empathy for a group of people to better design a solution that meets the group’s needs and wants.

 

What needs to happen:

1.    We must internalize this sense of urgency to teach differently. We need to replace traditional curricula with interactive, design-based methods, a fusion between curriculum and real world issues. Students must be given authentic options to collaborate with others, as collaboration confined to the classroom limits student potential and is unrealistic.

2.    We must provide our students opportunities to innovate within the context of a purposeful social problem. And we must teach our students how to become comfortable with failure during the process. We can no longer present students with classroom simulations and expect they will gain ample skills. Students must experience authentic problems, with authentic audiences, authentic deadlines, and authentic consequences. It is not what students know but what they can do with that knowledge. In the 21st century, it is necessary to be a problem solver.

3.    We must break out of our own realm of comfort to collaborate across disciplines, recognizing this takes time but highly enhances the academic experience. We must help our students to see that the world does not operate in compartments. English works with math, science with social studies; they cannot function without the other.

4.    We must realize the world is fueled by emotion and social connections. Removing this from academia is unjust and creates climates of apathy, lacking the compassion needed for effective collaboration. Teaching students empathy will transform the way they learn and interact with the world. 

BELOW: Video recorded from March 17th Blog Entry

"The best children books are crayon covered with finger-stained and tattered pages. These are the books that have been loved."

Today we toured a local public school in Tbilisi, Georgia-School No. 165. Cracked, with chipping paint on the walls and rough wooden floors held down in places by bits of tape. Public schools in many parts of the word (and increasingly in the United States) are not viewed in the same light and standing as many private institutions. Click here to read on...