ERIC Identifier: ED373021
Publication Date: 1994-10-00
Author: Haakenson, Paul
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education Bloomington IN.

Recent Trends in Global/International Education. ERIC Digest.

Swiftly changing global realities are affecting classrooms in virtually all parts of the United States, and increased efforts are needed to help students make sense of the global age. Today's young people are exposed to images from around the world through media and the entertainment industry as never before. Global linkages are increasingly visible to the general public through environmental issues, telecommunications networks, and international trade. These developments contribute to intercultural understanding, and misunderstanding, within nations and across the globe, and point toward the need to help students navigate this sea of information.

For over 25 years, the field of global/international education has attempted to develop a rationale and resources to support educators who make explorations of the world and its peoples a part of their curriculum. Many educators have written that in order to be fully prepared for the complexities of the 21st century, young people should be imbued with a global perspective. Attaining this world view may involve several approaches, including the study of cultures, languages, international issues, responsible citizenship in an interdependent world, and global connections within local communities. The literature on global/international education offers strong models and substantial resources for practitioners. The following trends reveal sources of continued growth and support for global/international education.


While the initial interest in teaching for global awareness at the high school level has continued, there appears to be an increased movement toward expanding the international components at the elementary and middle school levels. There are numerous articles outlining rationales, activities, and approaches to including global issues in elementary curricula (Angell and Avery 1992). An important addition is the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Global Education Framework. The framework is being piloted in 14 elementary schools throughout the U.S., with one in the Netherlands, and is a significant contribution to the field. There are also substantive efforts to support the internationalization of community colleges and universities, through increased student/faculty exchange, international student recruitment, involvement in overseas development, and professional training for staff and faculty.


A major effort is underway to develop standards for global/international education. It is headed by the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Elliot School of International Affairs of The George Washington University, and the American Forum for Global Education. These standards offer a perspective on what America's youth need to learn about the world, including content areas, skill competencies, and attitudes. They are designed to facilitate the integration of a global/international perspective into existing curricula. The ultimate effect these standards will have on classroom instruction has been debated, but their existence will contribute much to the on-going dialogue about priorities of teaching and learning in schools. For a preliminary report on the standards and placement on the mailing list, contact Fred Czarra at The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), One Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington DC 20001-1431, 202/408-5505.


A number of promising global/international education projects are underway. Global Involvement, Inc. is directing a project to develop materials and staff development programs for international studies in major cities of two regions: 1) Chicago, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and 2) New York City, Trenton, and Philadelphia. Through their Education 2000 project, the American Forum for Global Education seeks to create and implement a curriculum design in six communities focused on our interconnected world. The International Education Consortium has developed curricula and staff development models with a humanities approach to global studies, as well as a nonwestern literature project. The Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE) is carrying out research on assessments of global education programs nationwide. The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) is a strong advocate of global studies, particularly through its International Activities Committee. The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the National Middle School Association (NMSA) offer mini-grants to schools for global/international education projects. The Alberta Global Education Project in Canada is an important source of information on new resources and current thinking in the field.


There has been increased attention to infusion of a global perspective in teacher preparation programs (Merryfield 1992; Tucker and Cistone 1991). The Global Awareness Project of Florida International University carries out preservice and inservice teacher education on global/international studies, as well as successful community and school-university partnerships in this field of education. The Professional Development Schools project of The Ohio State University seeks to combine pre- and in-service education by linking student teachers with internationally-minded teachers in the schools. Several other teacher education programs have also developed a strong global component. Teacher preparation with an emphasis on teaching for a global perspective is becoming a vital and effective means to the advancement of global/international education.


Efforts to promote global/international education at the state level are less clear, though several states have been more active than others. The California International Studies Project based at Stanford University is a statewide attempt to provide international studies centers around the state for curriculum and staff development. Wisconsin has extended its international education efforts through state legislation, new programs, teacher institutes, and a well-received guide to curriculum planning in global studies. Also, Minnesota has articulated its model learner outcomes for international education. In recent years, ASCD has identified a Global Commissioner from each state to assist them in several projects. Further information on state-level activities, publications, and reports can be gained through Fred Czarra at CCSSO.


One of the most exciting new directions in global/international education is the vast array of computer networking resources. The International Education and Resource Network (I*EARN) is a non-profit international telecommunications network of primary and secondary schools in 21 countries, through which students work collaboratively on projects to make a meaningful difference in the world. The Institute for Global Communications (IGC) provides computer networking tools for international communications and information exchange, including EcoNet, PeaceNet, and ConflictNet. There are numerous other projects which engage students from different countries in electronic mail exchanges, simulations of foreign policy negotiations, or discussions of works of literature as a point of departure toward understanding cultural similarities and differences.


These resources and references will help educators interested in exploring global/international education gain a sense of what is available and how practitioners structure learning activities around these concepts in the classroom.

* An annotated bibliography for elementary and secondary teachers on global education is available through John Cogan, Curriculum & Instruction, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, 612/625-1896. It includes general, implementation, research, and organizational references.

* The American Forum for Global Education holds annual conferences and produces quality resources, including their monthly newsletter "ACCESS" and a Global Resource Book. The Forum is also a part of the International Network for Global Education (INGE), which serves to promote teaching about global issues in schools and colleges throughout the world. Contact: 120 Wall Street, Suite 2600, New York, NY 10005, 212/742-8232.

* For more on ASCD initiatives, contact: ASCD Field Services, 1250 N. Pitt St., Alexandria, VA 22314-1453, 703/549-9110. Addresses for Global Commissioners in each state and the 14 pilot schools are available from the ASCD Global Education Network, which also offers current information on global/international education projects and resources through their newsletter "Global Connection" and occasional papers. Contact: ASCD Global Education Network, c/o Briggs Elementary, 400 W. Quarry, Maquoketa, IA 52060.

* SPICE develops current curricular units and resources to assist K-12 teachers. Contact: SPICE, 300 Littlefield Center, Room 14, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5013, 800/578-1114.


The following list includes references used to prepare this Digest. The items followed by an ED number are available in microfiche and/or paper copies from the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS). For information about prices, contact EDRS, 7420 Fullerton Road, Suite 110, Springfield, Virginia, 22153-2842; telephone numbers are (703) 440-1400 and (800) 443-3742. Entries followed by an EJ number, announced monthly in the CURRENT INDEX TO JOURNALS IN EDUCATION (CIJE), are not available through EDRS. However, they can be located in the journal section of most larger libraries by using the bibliographic information provided, requested through Interlibrary Loan, or ordered from the UMI reprint service.

Angell, Ann, and Patricia Avery. "Examining Global Issues in the Elementary Classroom." SOCIAL STUDIES 83 (May/June 1992):113-117. EJ 458 401.

Becker, James, ed. SCHOOLING FOR A GLOBAL AGE. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1979. ED 116 126.

Hanvey, Robert. "An Attainable Global Perspective." THEORY INTO PRACTICE 21 (Summer 1982):162-167. EJ 269 219.

Hartoonian, H. Michael, and Hilary Stock. A GUIDE TO CURRICULUM PLANNING IN GLOBAL STUDIES. Madison, WI: Wisconsin State Department of Public Instruction, 1992. ED 356 176.

Merryfield, Merry. "Preparing Social Studies Teachers for the Twenty-First Century: Perspectives on Program Effectiveness From a Study of Six Exemplary Teacher Education Programs in Global Education." THEORY AND RESEARCH IN SOCIAL STUDIES 20 (Winter 1992):17-26. EJ 450 763.

Merryfield, Merry, ed. THEORY INTO PRACTICE 32 (Winter 1993). This entire issue is devoted to the topic: Teacher Education in Global Perspectives.

Remy, Richard, and Robert Woyach, eds. APPROACHES TO WORLD STUDIES: A HANDBOOK FOR CURRICULUM PLANNERS. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1989.

Tucker, Jan, and Peter Cistone. "Global Perspectives for Teachers: An Urgent Priority." JOURNAL OF TEACHER EDUCATION 42 (January/February 1991):3-10. EJ 429 348.

Tye, Kenneth, ed. GLOBAL EDUCATION: FROM THOUGHT TO ACTION. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 1990. ED 326 970.

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