Successful Strategies of a Global Educator

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Regardless of grade level, subject, or academic setting, you can become a global educator and teach global competence. Here are some ideas to get you started. 

Get Informed – Start by broadening your own global citizenship and developing a multicultural awareness. Evaluate your own culture; think about your traditions, values, beliefs, and attitudes. Learn about other cultures, specifically their unique practices, and perspectives. The Global Competence Position Statement from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) outlines effective practices.

Know what it means to have globally competent students and to create a classroom environment that values diversity and global engagement. Understand what encourages students to achieve the four primary capacities identified by the Global Competence Taskforce: Investigate the World, Recognize Perspectives, Communicate ideas, and Take Action.

Image courtesy of The Council of State School Officers.

Image courtesy of The Council of State School Officers.

Consider any cultural mismatches in your classroom. Culturally responsive teaching (CRT) methods use the students’ personal experiences and interests to engage learners while respecting their cultural integrity. This technique recognizes cultural and linguistic backgrounds to prompt student involvement. In Culturally Responsive Teaching Matters! Elizabeth Kozleski points out key features of CRT and how it “helps bridge the different ways of knowing and engages students from non-dominant cultures in demonstrating their proficiencies in language usage, grammar, mathematical knowledge and other tools they use to navigate their everyday lives.”

Get Collaborative –   Connect with culturally diverse people locally, nationally, or internationally. Utilize online learning and resources to foster cross-cultural experiential learning. Resources for Cross-cultural Interaction and Project Work highlights curricular tools, apps, and other technology resources that present different perspectives, authentic voices, and contextual knowledge.

Incorporate Project-Based Learning. Collaborate with colleagues to create interdisciplinary projects and inquiries. Or join interactive curriculum-based groups such as iEARN (International Education and Resource Network) to “learn with the world, not just about it.” Start by helping students learn about global collaboration. Introduce them to strategies for developing sensitive and effective communication and negotiation skills that use inclusive language to achieve fair outcomes when there are diverse points of view.

Take advantage of the collaboration between the National Education Association and VIF International Education. Together they have developed a collection of global learning lesson plans. Use their models to create new lessons or adjust your plans to build on global perspectives. The NEA also offers curriculum guides and teaching resources on global education and culturally responsive classroom activities that address different cultures and grades using the same basic framework.

Digital literacy is growing worldwide and coding campaigns such as the Hour of Code reach millions. You can collaborate with others in this exciting global movement.

Get Social – Turn to social media for professional development outlets and ideas. Here are some upcoming opportunities.

Global education is trending on social media. Be sure to check out these Twitter hashtags: #globaled, #globalclassroom, and #globaledchat.

Network with global educators through teacher training programs. Participants in the Teachers for Global Classroom Program (TGC) become global ambassadors in their classrooms, schools, and communities. Read about their experiences in the field and learn about their impact on others. Likewise, VIF  supports global educator development and has a VIF Global Schools program where teachers learn to implement global themes into everyday instruction.

So... get out there!

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About Author

Mimi Stapleton

Curriculum Development Specialist

Mimi Stapleton is a curriculum development specialist with Curriculum Pathways. She creates standards-based content for Spanish language learners and ESL, drawing on her experiences in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Virginia Tech and her teaching assignments at both the secondary and university levels. Mimi also facilitates online professional development courses that prepare educators to integrate digital content into instruction. She is an ACTFL/CAEP program reviewer and EdCamper. You can connect with her on Twitter @MimiStapleton.

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