Using the Guide
According to the Asia Society, "global competence is the capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance." As our students look to the future, they should feel connected to the rest of the world, understanding their ability to take action locally, while also being part of a larger community. As part of my Teachers for Global Classrooms experience in Colombia, I put together this guide to provide my current school, South Valley Academy, with resources to help make global education part of our curriculum. Clicking the TGC-Colombia tab above will reveal a list of topics for further study. Additionally, some useful terms have been defined below. Enjoy!
Below you will find definitions for terms that will frequently be used throughout my Teachers for Global Classrooms (TGC) work in Colombia. These are my working definitions for now, but may be adjusted as I learn more. I still struggle with the vagueness of the definitions provided by organizations and scholars working on global education, but only continued thinking and dialogue will refine these definitions:
- Global Competence: According to the Asia Society, "global competence is the capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance. Globally competent individuals are aware, curious, and interested in learning about the world and how it works. They can use the big ideas, tools, methods, and languages that are central to any discipline (mathematics, literature, history, science, and the arts) to engage the pressing issues of our time. They deploy and develop this expertise as they investigate such issues, recognizing multiple perspectives, communicating their views effectively, and taking action to improve conditions."
- Global Citizenship: There is no agreed upon definition for global citizenship, but here is how UNESCO defines it right now: "global citizenship does not entail a legal status. It refers more to a sense of belonging to the global community and common humanity, with its presumed members experiencing solidarity and collective identity among themselves and collective responsibility at the global level."
- Global Citizenship Education: According to UNESCO, "global citizenship education aims to empower learners to engage and assume active roles both locally and globally to face and resolve global challenges and ultimately to become proactive contributors to a more just, peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, secure and sustainable world." It should include the following competencies: "knowledge and understanding of specific global issues and trends, and knowledge of and respect for key universal values (e.g., peace and human rights, diversity, justice, democracy, caring, non- discrimination, tolerance); cognitive skills for critical, creative and innovative thinking, problem-solving and decision-making; non-cognitive skills such as empathy, openness to experiences and other perspectives, interpersonal/communicative skills and aptitude for networking and interacting with people of different backgrounds and origins; and behavioral capacities to launch and engage in proactive actions."
- Sustainable Development Goal (SDG): Developed by the United Nations, these 17 non-legally binding goals were established in 2015 to end all forms of poverty and protect the environment. All countries are expected to develop and implement action plans to increase the prosperity of all, while also combating climate change and eliminating practices contributing to environmental degradation by 2030. Education, health, social protections, and job opportunities are included as social needs, but are to be pursued without damaging the environment.
- Education for Sustainable Development (ESD): This is defined by UNESCO as education "aimed at integrating the principles and practices of sustainable development into all aspects of education and learning, to encourage changes in knowledge, values and attitudes with the vision of enabling a more sustainable and just society for all."
Links to Sources
Educating for Global Competence: Preparing Our Youth to Engage the World by the Asia Society
- This book provides a framework for understanding global competencies, outlining what they are, why they are significant, and how to incorporate them into curriculum.
- This document seeks to create a working definition for global citizenship and the components necessary for global citizenship education.
- This is the homepage for the Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the UN to be achieved by the year 2030.
- 2005-2014 was the UN's Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. This report describes the progress each country made and next steps for countries to continue educating for sustainable development.
- Here you will find the collection of UNESCO publications on global citizenship
- Here you will find the extensive collection of Asia Society publications on global competence and 21st-century learning.