Global education curriculum are underway, as promoted by Harvard Project Zero, the International Baccalaureate, Facing History and Ourselves, and Oxfam, and spelled out in The Asia Society’s eBook Educating for Global Competence: Preparing Our Youth to Engage the World.[i] The authors define global competence as 1) knowing how to do research about world issues and 2) recognizing that we have a subjective rather than objective perspective and identity. Students learn to identify and appreciate perspectives of others and how our views are shaped by our gender, religion, class, ethnicity, nationality, age, etc.. 3) This awareness enables students to communicate with diverse groups of people. For example, as a teacher I sometimes sit on the table in front of the classroom but I was unaware when I did this teaching workshops in Japan that this was very rude. Also, no one is addressed by their first name without a title of respect added, as in Gayle-san or Gayle-sensei, it’s OK to slurp soup, and of course you bow rather than shake hands and take off your shoes before entering a home or temple. 4) Global knowledge gives students the incentive to take positive action. The authors recommend connecting students to international youth organizations such as Bridges to Understanding, Take ITGlobal, World Savvy, and iEARN, and partnering with schools in other countries.
[i] Veronica Box Mansilla and Anthony Jackson. Educating for Global Competence. Asia Society and Council of Chief State School Officers, 2011.