Global competence is a 21st century imperative
In our changing world, students everywhere deserve the opportunity to succeed in the global economy and contribute as global citizens. We must fashion a more creative and visionary educational response to our interconnected world, starting now.
Students need new skills and perspectives
A nationwide poll of registered voters by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills showed that eighty percent say that the skills students need to learn to be prepared for the jobs of the 21st century are different from what they needed 20 years ago and include: critical thinking, problem-solving, global awareness, and technology skills.
If current trends continue, by the year 2025 most job opportunities will be in Asia. In the next five years, Chinese will top English as the main language on the web. And the majority of growth for all industries will take place overseas.
Studies show that ignorance about our world persists
Twenty-five percent of college bound high school students could not name the ocean that separates the U.S. from Asia. Two-thirds of young Americans could not locate Iraq on a map. More than eight out of ten students and adults did not recognize India as the world’s largest democracy with a population four times greater than the U.S.
The good news
Nine out of ten students believe knowing more about the world is crucial to their futures. Preparing students to live and work successfully in the new global age, as well as to participate effectively in world leadership, requires helping them to cultivate a new worldview.
According to a recently published Asia Society document, the five specific and interrelated capacities embedded in global competence are:
- Understand the world;
- Investigate the world;
- Weigh perspectives;
- Communicate ideas; and
- Take action.
Globally competent students can use the big ideas, tools, methods and languages that are central to the disciplines they learn (history, science, the arts, etc) to engage the pressing issues of our time: from climate change to migration, from human rights to new web technologies and sustainable energy use.
The Journeys in Film Middle School Program provides educators with the tools to teach for global competency, and the films and lessons to inspire students.