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To be Globally Competitive, We Must be Globally Competent

Justin W. van Fleet and Rebecca Winthrop | September 29, 2010 12:31pm

NBC News launched "Education Nation" in an attempt to engage the public in thoughtful dialogue about how to provide every American with an opportunity to have the best education in the world. The discussion focuses on many important aspects of the American education system, including dismal dropout rates, poor performances in reading and math, the role of technology and global competitiveness.

While basic skill development and workforce preparation skills are important in the American education system, a paradigm shift must take place recognizing that in order to be truly globally competitive, we must be globally competent. Educating young people to become global citizens will allow them to learn about the interdependence of the world's systems, believe that solutions to global challenges are attainable, feel morally compelled to confront global injustices and take responsible action to promote a just, peaceful and sustainable world. While at first glance a focus on global citizenship may seem secondary in a system where basic literacy remains a challenge for many, these skills are vital. If we truly aspire to have a world-class education system in America, we must engage with the world. The challenges that face the world todayfrom global poverty and climate change to financial systems and conflictrequire globally-minded solutions. Global competency skills are necessary so that young people can invent a future that appropriately addresses global challenges.

How To Become A Globally Competitive Teacher? Connor Sephton

To become a globally competitive teacher, an educational instructor must hone his or her skills for the global educational market. For example, learning languages will broaden a teacher's skills and make him or her more a more viable candidate for teaching positions in other countries. Other skills, such as communication and people skills, may also allow a teacher to complete on a global scale. Part of being a globally competitive teacher may also have to do with the way a teacher instructs students; teachers who "think globally" will prepare students to be citizens of the world. Globally Competitive Teaching Methods Political Discussions - Teachers who stay abreast of current events and involve the classroom in debates about global issues will be more globally competitive. By drawing from the world around them, these teachers will pass on wisdom and a sense of universality to their students. Projects And Activities - The most globally competitive teachers will use global topics as the basis of classroom projects and activities. For example, murals or collages depicting the cultures and customs of different countries might be an effective way to teach global values to students. Classroom discussion is often used to augment projects and activities - sometimes, questionnaires or tests regarding world customs may be used to reinforce knowledge. Travel - Trips or homestay opportunities for teachers (and possibly students) may contribute to making instructors more globally competitive. For example, a trip to Latin America, Europe, or Africa may result in an expanded consciousness, and a new awareness of the "global village"; teachers will then pass this new awareness onto their students.

Teachers who want to become, or remain, globally competitive should continue learning as they pursue their careers; staying abreast of new developments in pop culture, technology, politics, and education will help teachers to understand the world outside of their country's borders.