Global Awareness for Every Teacher & Every Child Association for Childhood Education International April 2010 Dr. Betty B. Peel, Associate Professor Mr. Blake F. Wiggs, MAT Social Studies East Carolina University
Curriculum standards for both schools and universities are placing increasing emphasis on global awareness (Freidman, 2005; Hunt, 2005; Heyl & McCarthy, 2005: Collins, Czarra & Smith, 2002)
Why? • “Globalization is not new, but the present era has distinctive features. Shrinking space, shrinking time, and disappearing borders are linking people’s lives more deeply, more intensely, more immediately than ever before.” (United Nations, 1999)
What is global awarenessall about? • “Global education should be ‘about’ improving teaching quality; getting values of mutual understanding, respect, and cooperation across cultures into the curriculum; and inspiring students’ curiosity to explore beyond their borders and boundaries.” Bales, 2005
From a child’s perspective, this includes such concepts as: • “You are a human being; your home is planet Earth; you are a citizen of a multicultural society; and you live in an interrelated world.” (Anderson, Nicklas & Crawford, 1994)
Global awareness means more than knowing your “geography” • “Global education encompasses the strategies, policies and plans that prepare young people and adults for living together in an interdependent world. It is based on the principles of cooperation, non-violence, respect for human rights and cultural diversity, democracy and tolerance. Osler & Vincent,2002
Can all teachers teach these concepts? • What about teachers who have not traveled extensively and who are not knowledgeable about cultures other than their own? • How do they create a climate which fosters global awareness? • How do they obtain the knowledge and dispositions to do this?
Teacher education standards and programs have included content on diversity to prepare teachers for our changing classrooms demographics, and yet….
Many geographical areas remain culturally and soci-economically homogeneous • And include populations who have limited opportunities for travel and the development of “world perspectives”
Is global awareness necessary for all teachers and students? Global awareness is just as important for these teachers and students living in less diverse regions as it is for those living in multicultural urban areas….consider the values: cooperation, respect, tolerance, etc.
Challenges to Teacher Educators: • Equip teachers with the knowledge & skills to teach global content • Foster dispositions which enable educators to deliver global content effectively • Prepare teachers to create learning environments which foster global mindedness
Current strategies to prepare and support teachers • Community networks • Content workshops • International travel • Libraries • Interdisciplinary perspectives What do these entail?
Community Networks • Social networking • Community festivals Merryfield and Kasai, 2004 Provide preservice teachers with opportunities to connect through campus and community activities with international students and families. Encourage participation and experiential learning through active involvement in cultural traditions and celebrations.
Content Workshops • Engage teachers in global awareness • Prepare teachers for diversity • Develop cultural literacy Focus on content that closes the “knowledge gap,” but not by learning isolated social studies facts. Current educational values stress critical thinking & respect for other cultures.
International Travel • Summer Institutes • Study Tours • Personal Travel Many current preservice teachers have had opportunities to travel abroad. If they have traveled with a group of Americans, they may have primarily interacted with their travel group and experienced the culture only through the eyes of “a tourist.” Opportunities to visit with families, in homes, schools, etc. provide a more realistic view of cultures. Merryfield and Kasai, 2004
Libraries • Non Western Sources • Global Newspapers • Conflicting Viewpoints Hicks and Ewing, 2003 Use technology and primary sources to assist preservice teachers in viewing historical as well as current events through the eyes of people of another culture.
Interdisciplinary Perspectives • Encourage an interdisciplinary model rather than study in isolation (choosing to learn about one country or concept at a time) An interdisciplinary context focuses on citizenship exercised across multiple life dimensions (ecological, economic, political, social & cultural)
In 1969, Taylor wrote, “Whatever they teach, teachers should be educated in a way calculated to raise their awareness of what is happening to mankind in the world’s contemporary circumstances.” • Teacher preparation programs today strive not only to raise this global awareness among graduates, but also to teach how to raise this awareness among their students
To enhance global awareness among their students, teachers should include these dimensions in their classrooms & teaching: (Hanvey, 1976; Kirkwood, 2001; Merryfield, 2001) • Perspective Consciousness • “State of the Planet” Awareness • Cross Cultural Awareness • Knowledge of Global Awareness • Awareness of Human Choices • Understanding of the Marginalized Point of View • Involvement in Local or Global Affairs • Analyzing the Educational Legacy of Colonialism
Perspective Consciousness • Students should Realize each person’s world view is unique • Classroom Strategies Compare personal likes/dislikes; older children may compare personal timelines of important life events
“State of the Planet” Awareness • Students should Be aware of world conditions and trends • Classroom Strategies Practice conservation and recycling; participate in projects which promote awareness of others’ living conditions (such as Heifer Project)
Cross Cultural Awareness Students should Perceive your culture from other vantage points; live “in” rather than “with” Classroom Strategies Set up a pen pal project with a classroom in another country; younger children can communicate through pictures
Knowledge of Global Dynamics • Students should Be aware that world events are interconnected and have unanticipated consequences • Classroom Strategies Examine the plight of endangered animal species
Awareness of Human Choices • Students should Realize implications of choices • Classroom strategies Provide learning opportunities to demonstrate cause & effect; supply & demand
Understanding the Marginalized Point of View • Students should: Have empathy for the disenfranchised • Classroom Strategies: Use children’s literature, role play and discussions to facilitate children’s understanding of discrimination, human rights
Involvement in Local or Global Affairs • Students should: Participate in service learning with a goal of improving the human condition • Classroom Strategies Start a classroom/school recycling project; collect canned food for a local food bank or soup kitchen
Analyzing the Educational Legacy of Colonialism • Students should Analyze alternatives to the Eurocentric framework of history • Classroom Strategies Use children’s literature that portrays the views of other cultures
Every day, teachers make instructional decisions that affect how students perceive their own culture, their nation, the lives of people around the world, and the issues and conflicts facing the planet. (Merryfield, 2002) Is global awareness important for ALL teachers and students? ABSOLUTELY!
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