Growing Global Awareness

We’ve all heard the term: global awareness. As educators, we’re expected to create citizens who can compete and collaborate in society on a global scale.

But how? And why? And, well, what is it?

Not Just Another Buzzword

We live in an interconnected society. To succeed in it, we need to learn to appreciate different perspectives and cultures—that means the ones within our nation as well as those outside of it. Easy to say, harder to do, most of all for students who are developmentally programmed to look inward. Our job includes helping students develop this skill of looking outward and recognizing that the world is bigger than just themselves.

It sounds very social studies, and it is, but global awareness is taught across content areas. Recognizing the context for and work of foreign scientists, reading novels with foreign settings, studying the development of Arabic numerals…these are all ways we contribute to this skill.

Make It Theirs, and Yours

History, current events, and artistic creations all have shown us that the best teacher of global awareness is experience—conversing and learning about different people and places right from the source. Encouraging participation in live lessons, collaboration, and festivals, going on virtual field trips, bringing in guest speakers…the possibilities are endless.

We want kids to succeed in all areas of their lives; it’s up to us to show students why it’s important to learn from other cultures—and to recognize opportunities to do so!

Post by Suzanne Williams, FLVS Curriculum Specialist

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