For schools and facultyWhat does it take to develop a global perspective?
Motivated teachers have always found ways to bring the world into their classroom. Our own communities often include people from a variety of cultures. Inexpensive internet communications platforms provide more opportunities than ever to connect classrooms in different parts of the world, or to create a truly global classroom where students and teachers from a range of cultures can follow the same program.
Values and Intercultural Education.
One of my challenges at work is to assess education through measuring the learning outcomes we want the students to achieve. This is a prime topic today in US education as we look for the value added by a specific course or curriculum, but this discussion is also found in Europe as formerly national universities seek to equate their disparate curriculae under the Barcelona Process that seeks to establish common values and assessment in education within the European Union.
My efforts to measure and assess intercultural learning through an international experience have spanned many years. From what I've been able to determine, gaining competence in intercultural understanding involves a fair amount of practice and a willingness to consider doubts about everything you believe to be true. And then there is the motivation -- the impetus to begin. I am asking former exchange students to reach back and try to remember the first time they thought about becoming an exchange student, to see if I can uncover the spark of curiosity that leads to exploration. Unlocking that motivation may be key, and it may start with very early exposure to different cultures.