Global education is an approach to learning that prepares people to participate in the changing world. The tenants of diversity, inclusion, tolerance, respect, equality, and cooperation are keys to the global education approach. Global education helps open people’s minds to the interconnected nature of the world we live in, and global education prepares students to succeed through international collaboration.
Proficiency in multiple languages is one key that helps people collaborate across cultures. At its most basic level, the ability to speak a second language helps individuals communicate with people from other parts of the world. While many countries stress the importance of learning English as a second language, native English speakers ability to communicate with others in non-English languages conveys a genuine sense of respect for other cultures.
In studies comparing second language skill development with cultural attitudes in elementary school age students, findings indicate that young people who are exposed to foreign languages are more curious and respecting of other cultures.
Sharing Perspectives and Expertise
Thought leaders exist in countries and cultures around the world. Whether one is interested in learning to cook from an expert in France or Latin America, or learning about microprocessors from a technology expert in Southeast Asia, there are plenty of reasons to seek wisdom outside of our immediate communities. Global education prepares students not only understand where thought leaders can be found around the world, but how to engage and collaborate with these individuals.
Preventing Global Conflict
Through language learning and the sharing of thought leadership from around the world, the globe can become a more peaceful place with less conflict. Through collaboration, people learn to value their neighbors who may once have been considered a threat. According to a Yale University study, gaps in knowledge and experience can lead to stereotypes and bias. When middle school students were exposed to different images and ideals related to race, religion, and culture, they were able to select their own beliefs more carefully.
Global Ed is Here to Stay
After experimenting with global education in the classroom, students and educators will understand why this approach to learning is here to stay. Fortunately, global education can be applied across curricular areas. Whether using non-western examples in mathematics tasks or Latin-American literature, educators and students can find a multitude of ways to make their classrooms global!