Practical Suggestions for Teaching Global Education.
by Taylor, Howard Eugene
Teachers may be convinced of the need to teach for a global perspective,
but are often at a loss when confronted with everyday concerns about teaching
global education. A literature review reveals a preoccupation with implementing
global education with preservice and inservice teacher education programs.
Missing from the literature is a significant perspective of teachers knowledge
resulting from classroom experiences with global education. This Digest
draws on current practices in global education to provide teachers with
practical suggestions regarding instructional and technological resources
as well as the use of cooperative learning for teaching global education.
PRACTICAL RESOURCES FOR TEACHING GLOBAL EDUCATION
Of the many instructional resources teachers can use to teach global
education, none is more practical than those found in local communities
(e.g., Anderson, 1990). Volunteer organizations, businesses, and churches
are excellent resources for illustrating how local communities and economies
are connected to other peoples and nations. The World Affairs Council Network
and the Peace Corps (World Wise Classrooms), among others, have developed
educational programs and materials for teaching global education that K-12
teachers can access at little or no cost. Through exploring the purpose
and role for these local-global connections, elementary and middle school
students can develop an appreciation for the roles their communities play
as members of an interdependent global network. Other organizations (e.g.,
Veterans of Foreign Wars, colleges/universities, and Sister Cities International)
have members who have engaged in international activities and as guest
speakers in a classroom can share stories from the field, enriching student
comprehension of and perceived need for cross-cultural awareness.
Teachers and colleagues
Cross-cultural experiences of teachers and their colleagues are another
readily accessible instructional resource (Merryfield, 1995; Taylor, 1995;
Gilliom, 1993). By identifying colleagues who have studied/taught abroad,
participated in various international activities, engaged in international
travel, and have family members living overseas or spouses with military
experience, teachers can open a door to a world of experiences that address
a variety of interests, beliefs, and practices of other cultures. Teachers
can identify colleagues' cross-cultural experiences by conducting an informal
survey. Through collaboration with colleagues, teachers can increase the
potential for developing integrated global units, creating global support
networks, and conducting global service learning projects (e.g., organizing
hunger drives for oversees operations, purchasing acres of rain forest,
and collecting school supplies for students in other countries).
Having students with cross-cultural experiences (e.g., international,
English as a second language--ESL, and study abroad) enhances the potential
for teaching for a global perspective (Merryfield, 1994; Taylor, 1995).
Teachers having students with international experience or students who
are ethnically diverse can conduct in-depth studies of cultures and countries
that students otherwise may not have studied (Merryfield, 1994; Taylor,
1995). Additionally, teachers can draw on ethnically diverse students'
knowledge and experiences to address cross-cultural conflicts prevalent
in their communities (Merryfield, 1994).
Students with ESL skills and competence are particularly resourceful
members of a global classroom. Working with a colleague who teaches adult
ESL students, Taylor (1995) implemented an "ESL pen pal" project between
seventh graders and immigrants from Asia and Latin America. Elementary
and middle school teachers may want to involve ESL students as pen pals,
guest speakers, or conversation partners (Wilson, 1993) or have students
work with ESL students to host a community cultural arts festival.
Again, informal surveys can also be used to identify cross-cultural
experiences of students (and their relatives) as well as to solicit student
participation in demonstrations of global artifacts. From drawing on their
own experiences and resources (or those of classmates), elementary and
middle school students can create any number of projects (e.g., bulletin
boards, travel brochures, display cases, mobiles, 3-dimensional books,
newspapers, poems, and skits) to demonstrate new knowledge and appreciation
of other cultures. To further encourage value of cross-cultural experience,
middle and high school students traveling abroad during the school year
could keep a written or video-taped travel log that would not only alleviate
the need for teachers to create alternative lessons for absent students
but promote the role of student as cultural diplomat.
Field trips to local sites that demonstrate community and regional global
historic connections (e.g., missions, ethnic communities and shops, shipping
ports, military bases, embassies, and battlefields) are also excellent
instructional resources. In planning field trips, teachers may want to
contact local World Affairs Council Network offices, some of which offer
preplanned trips for visiting embassies and participating in programs with
international businesses and military bases. Students could take trips
to historic sites, host local historians, research historic archives (e.g.,
newspapers, court records, and photographs), visit local museums and historic
societies, interview immigrants, and tour ethnic communities.
When field trips are not possible, teachers should contact museums,
historic societies, and other community organizations for free and inexpensive
instructional materials (e.g., videos/video uplinks with study guides,
CD-ROMs, and printed materials).
Of the innumerable sites available on the Internet, global educators
may find a few particularly resourceful:
Global SchoolNet Foundation (http://www.gsn.org/) is a multiactivity
program for elementary and middle school students that includes "Where
On the Globe Is Roger?," a project hosted by a former U.S. Marine Corps
combat pilot visiting schools and reporting on cultures and geography while
driving around the world, and a step-by-step classroom tutorial for "harnessing
the power of the Web."
Intercultural E-mail Classroom Connections (IECC) (http://www.stolaf.edu/network/iecc/)
can be used by elementary and middle school teachers to connect classes
with other countries and cultures through classroom e-mail pen pal and
project exchanges. IECC and "ESL pen pal/conversation partner" programs
are a particularly effective means of avoiding a show and tell approach
to global education.
Using Metacrawler Beta Server (http://www.metacrawler.com/) middle and
high school students can use key words and phrases to conduct data searches
on any number of peoples, places, and topics.
Additionally, from accessing the Internet Public Library (http://ipl.sils.umich.edu/ref/)
high school students can draw upon a wide array of information (e.g., government/law,
science, business/economics, and the environment) for development of a
COOPERATIVE LEARNING FOR A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
Being challenged to prepare students for responsible global citizenship,
teachers need to use instructional strategies that reflect the increasing
diversity of today's global society (Becker, 1990). Through cooperative
learning activities, which "assume heterogeneity and emphasize interactive
opportunities," teachers not only meet the needs of diverse students but
prepare all students for successful global cooperation and competition
Teachers may be concerned about using cooperative learning strategies,
especially with lower-achieving students who may not have the academic
skills and self-control needed for successful participation in such activities.
However, through providing clearly stated directions, including rewards/reprimands
for desired/inappropriate behavior, and allotting enough time for implementation,
lower-achieving students can attain the goals of global education through
participation in cooperative learning activities (Taylor, 1995).
Additional suggestions to consider when using cooperative learning strategies
include: (1) leading a discussion on the need to work in heterogeneous
groups to develop appreciation for diversity and skills needed for success
in the global workplace; (2) providing students with team-building activities;
(3) maximizing heterogeneity (e.g., create groups that are diverse in ethnicity,
socioeconomic status, gender, ability level, and types of intelligence
and personality); (4) determining a signal to get students' attention when
needed; (5) preparing an alternative assignment and designated time-out
area for continually disruptive and uncooperative students; (6) explaining
the alternative assignment before initiating the cooperative learning activity
to raise students' level of concern about behavior and productivity; (7)
having students select roles for each team member (e.g., task organizer,
time keeper, and recorder); (8) grading students individually; (9) having
students complete peer reviews of cooperative effort; and (10) including
in assignment directions achievement targets and times.
Some of the most effective, cost-efficient, and readily accessible resources
for teaching global education are resources that walk into the classroom
everyday and are found in every corner of the community. Teachers can discover
a whole new world of innovative instructional resources for preparing students
for global responsibility through a heightened awareness of the innumerable
connections in the classrooms and communities and linkages to our global
society. Accessing these resources through participation in cooperative
learning activities, students are able to develop skills necessary for
success in the 21st century.
National Office of World Affairs Councils, (202)785-4703.
Peace Corps World Wise Schools, 1990 K. Street, N.W., Washington, DC
20526 or 1-800-424-8580, extension x2283. (http://www.peacecorps.gov).
Sister Cities International, 120 S. Payne Street, Alexandria, VA 22314,
References identified with an EJ or ED number have been abstracted and
are in the ERIC database. Journal articles (EJ) should be available at
most research libraries; most documents (ED) are available in microfiche
collections at more than 900 locations. Documents can also be ordered through
the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (800-443-ERIC).
Anderson, C. C. (1990). Global education and the community. In K. A.
Tye (Ed.), Global education: From thought to action. The 1991 ASCD yearbook
(pp.125-141). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum
Development. ED 326 970
Becker, J. (1990). Curriculum considerations in global studies. In K.
A. Tye (Ed.), Global education: From thought to action. The 1991 ASCD yearbook
(pp. 67-85). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum
Development. ED 326 970
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Taylor, H. E. (1995). Teacher research and reflective narrative analysis:
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Wilson, A. H. (1993). Conversation partners: Helping students gain a
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