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Global Education

Global Competency: Global Connection

Participate Learning’s mission is to unite our world through global learning and to provide equitable education opportunities for all students. But how do schools infuse global learning opportunities across grade levels, subject areas, and school-wide activities in a way that supports existing initiatives? What skills and attitudes should students have to help them become globally competitive for their future careers and success? How do students develop into engaged citizens of the world?

To help schools and educators answer these questions, Participate Learning identified ten global competencies for which young people need to develop the skills necessary for global competitiveness. Engaging with these competencies helps students become global leaders who pay attention to the world, feel connected to it, and take action to make it a better place. 

This is the third in a series of blog posts that dive into each global competency to provide a more detailed definition of each one and practical resources to integrate into your teaching instruction. The third global competency we will look at is global connection.

Skills, values, and attitudes of globally connected students

Students who are global leaders feel a deep connection to the world. They celebrate the interconnectedness of all people and cultures and take responsibility for making the world a better place, working together for a better tomorrow.

Nurturing these values and attitudes often builds from sharing stories and helping students see how their lives can be both similar and different from the lives of children all around the world. In Aileen Ashby’s classroom at Jupiter Elementary in Palm Beach County School District, Florida, students build a sense of these global connections through diverse perspectives that are introduced in books.

Students who are globally connected recognize the common humanity and dignity of all people. They see themselves as not just members of their immediate community but also as citizens of the world who are interconnected with others. They take ownership of improving their surroundings and the planet.

When students build global competencies, they are prepared to apply academic knowledge in real-world contexts. This readies students for future careers where critical thinking and problem-solving will help them succeed while making a positive difference in their communities.

How to help students see themselves as world-changers

Global classroom experiences help students understand the interconnectedness of the world and their role in it. You don’t have to be a certain age to start making the world a better place. Take these first-graders at Winstead Avenue Elementary, who learned about agriculture and food waste. They wanted to change how their cafeteria saved food to ensure no children at their school went hungry.

Using the Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for their learning, students built academic skills and were empowered to solve a problem they noticed in their community. That sense of global connection can be cultivated in students even from a young age, preparing them to solve complex problems in future careers and positively contribute to society.

Through a framework like Global Leaders, this type of action-driven learning can continue throughout a student’s academic career. Globally focused academic learning prepares students to lead in a complex world. 

As you help students build their connection to the world, they are taking steps toward becoming engaged global leaders. Bringing a global perspective to your school opens up the world to your students, developing their intercultural knowledge.

Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts that focus on applying other global competencies! We would love to hear how you are helping your students become globally connected. With Global Leaders, students experience learning that goes beyond mastery of specific academic skills; they develop solutions and ideas to change the world. Share your lessons and activities on social media using #UnitingOurWorld.

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