Since I do not teach the traditional student, I will reply as a parent of a 24- and a 22-year old…
Q1. 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?
The amount of change in their lives has been tremendous:digital technology, made portable; diseases never seen before; classmates and friends from far-flung places. A plethora of new cultural foods and entertainment to sample (like the hookah, Bollywood movies, churrascaria and sushi, just to name a few) has all arrived here in West Haven in the past 10 years and is fully entrenched. Each new-to-them thing demands the attention of a curious “kid”. It’s an exciting and intriguing time, but also overwhelming. The pace of these demands will increase as they become evermore globally-minded.
Q2. In your opinion, what are the key reasons for educating for global competence? What are the barriers such an education might confront?
The adoption and integration of digital technology and cultural has sped up the pace of change to a blur. News, good and bad, flows past them at a rate and volume that is stunning which I think does not allow them to fully digest the happenings or repercussions before having to attend to yet more news. Students will need to build “filter” skills to devote attention to what they feel is important and push away extraneous information.
Q3. In your current opinion, what distinguishes a high- from a low-quality education for global competence?
High quality education helps students more with how skill, and less with what skills. Low quality education results in students who can perform a task but not associate that task with what others are doing. Low quality education does not include fostering curiosity, collaboration, letting students find multiple answers to the same question by themselves, or help develop stewardship. High quality education includes partnerships between teachers, students, parents, community (local and global) and adapts quickly to our changing world.