Friday, January 17, 2014

ED 716 Global Literacy Week 2 Reflection

My reflections from Chapter 1 - Educating for Global Competence:Preparing Our Youth to Engage the World and keeping in mind the following:

I. From your perspective, in what ways are the societal and environmental
transformations here described affecting your students’ lives today? How will they
be affected in the future?

II. In your opinion, what are the key reasons for educating for global competence?
What are the barriers such an education might confront?

III. In your current opinion, what distinguishes a high- from a low-quality education of global competence ?

While reading Chapter 1 in Educating for Global Competence:Preparing Our Youth to Engage the World by Veronica Boix Mansilla & Anthony Jackson, I had many thoughts as well as a bit of anxiety thinking about global competency and the students in my school. My thoughts mainly focused on how seldom the students in my school actually thought or had discussions about people, places, and issues around the globe; let alone people, places, and issues right here at home.The anxiety and uneasiness I felt came from the thought of, “How are we going to get these students to become aware of the world around them, and that of other regions in the world ?” This comes at a time when we already feel such urgency to close the achievement gap, one of the many challenges we are faced with. Our current focus seems to be that of teaching students what they need in order to perform at or above grade level. When thinking about teaching with a focus on global education I feel that there’s a lot to think about, a lot to put into place, and not a lot of time. It concerns me that many of the jobs in the United States are being outsourced especially in the area of STEM careers. Our students, thinking more so at the middle school level, are not aware of how competitive the job world is. Whether you have a college degree or not. And to think that people from other countries are being hired at lower rates for the same skills and positions should concern them. However, it is the job of the teacher as well as the parents to educate the youth regarding these issues and to prepare them for the future.

Another difficult task we face as teachers in Urban areas in promoting global awareness is the lack of education among the parents and the lack of parental involvement. As educators, we do our best to promote higher education with our population of students (district wide) with special program, incentives, and college day kick-offs, to name a few. But it still doesn't seem to be enough, we need the parents to be involved and educated as well. Key reasons for educating for global competence is not only to be able to compete for jobs globally, solve problems at home and world wide, but to encourage students to feel and think that they have a “common responsibility to make the world work” (Tony Jackson,Global Confidence and Its Significance to the American Schools). Educating children towards global competence is a new way of teaching and learning yet we still remain focused on the teaching of our own history, problems/issues and people. Implementing global discourse and thinking in the classroom will also require teachers to think globally in order for their lessons to reflect that in the teaching of their content. It will also require students to have the means to access technology and the internet, both of which are at a current state of inequity among American students.

When looking at schools in terms of high- and low- quality global education there are many factors that need to considered. And although some schools have already established a globally focused curriculum,the majority of Schools in the U.S. have not, at least not yet. Schools whose academic curriculum is rigorous and attends to high achieving standards are the schools that will be able to teach their students how to think creatively, question appropriately, and apply what they know. But in order for that to happen teachers would need to be provided with a curriculum that is globally concentrated and one that includes professional development for teachers. Professional development that provided training and on-going support to highly qualified teachers. This I would consider to be a high quality global education system. Unfortunately it would be costly and not be feasible for all schools and districts. High quality global education would include investigating the world whether is be through studying abroad or using technology to communicate with other parts of the world; also costly. And finally, a high quality global education would have a focus on learning more than one world language.  Global competence appears to be the direction we should be pointing our children in, yet it will require time and planning, as well as for educators to see the importance and urgency of it.

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