TO BE GLOBALLY COMPETITIVE, WE MUST BE GLOBALLY COMPETENT
MINDA T. SERRANO
Education young people to become global citizens will allow them to learn about the interdependence of the world’s systems, believe that solutions to global challenges are attainable, feel morally compelled to confront global injustices and take responsible action to promote a just, peaceful and sustainable world. While at first glance a focus on global citizenship may seem secondary in a system where basic literacy remains a challenge for many, these skills are vital. If we truly aspire to have a world-class education system, we must engage with the world. The challenges that face the world today— from global poverty and climate change to financial systems and conflict— require globally-minded solutions. Global competency skills are necessary so that young people can invent a future that appropriately addresses global challenges.
The advent of technology and communication advancements have made global citizenship education a need rather than a luxury— and more feasible than ever before. Social entrepreneurs have developed models to integrate global citizenship education into formal and informal education opportunities. These initiatives, while developed at the individual level, are proven models that can be adopted and taken to scale.
Beyond formal programs, there are new opportunities emerging from online platforms that can augment a teacher’s innovation when it comes to implementing global citizenship education. YouTube, Skype, Facebook and Twitter allow individuals around the world to connect in ways never before possible. Creativity is the only barrier to the educational possibilities; yet, the curricular flexibility and mandate from the top must be present in order to support and value these educational innovations, not hinder them.
The author is Teacher II at Natividad High School