“Global Awareness” or “International Mindedness” are key concepts that teachers are required to address as links to their Unit plans. They are often interchangeable. These are the essential focus topics of teaching and learning that help to establish cross-cultural and global connections in pedagogy. Students are challenged to reflect upon issues that have an impact locally, regionally and internationally. This helps them form their own ideas and opinions in the context of their learnings in class.
Here are 3 ways to inspire global awareness among students:
1. Discuss global issues in the class
To promote global awareness, great teachers often look for opportunities to address current local or global affairs as an open-ended discussion in the classroom. Such dialogues are important because children are sometimes not aware of happenings around them locally or internationally. Therefore, it becomes important to discuss such issues on a regular basis with them. To enhance this learning further, teachers create experiential learning platforms such as whole school forums on global citizenship, sustainable environmental projects, leadership workshops, travels, cultural celebrations, students exchange programme and service learning with the local community.
2. Practice experiential learning
It is important to note that creating “global awareness” in children cannot be a theory based teaching only but it also needs to be implemented in real life context beyond the classroom. It is understandable that teachers get preoccupied with syllabus completion and daily lesson plans but great teachers stretch beyond the curriculum to accommodate such aspects of experiential learning.
3. Bring world cultures to classroom
At a ground level, global awareness can be understood better by understanding different cultures in the world. This may not be bound to any geographical limitations but can easily be brought into the classroom. Subjects like “TOK” and” Global Perspectives” are great vehicles to explore in this manner. Providing guidance in developing intercultural learning opportunities in the school community is a leadership role that many great teachers play in the school community.