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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in global citizenship
Posted by on in General

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If you follow me on TwitterInstagram, or Facebook, chances are you have seen my usage of #OurFutureFirst, but what does it mean? What and who does it apply to? Why am I using it when posting about political, global, and educational issues? What is the point?

I came up with the phrase “Our Future First” when discussing politics and life with my good friend and mentor Marlena Gross-Taylor. We were trying to create a slogan for a potential political campaign that would be inclusive while signalling our intent to focus on the future of our country and our world. I suggested these three words and we immediately knew that we had something.

Our

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Posted by on in What If?

reading

When teachers assign student reading, it’s not usually the social-emotional domain that’s the focus of the activity. But if we’re to address the whole child, we have to be aware that books have an impact on students’ hearts as well as their heads.

That’s the focus of an article titled “Literature’s Emotional Lessons,” written by teacher Andrew Simmons. In it he tells the story of a 10th-grade student whose emotional reaction to Piggy’s death scene in Lord of the Flies caused her to flee the room. He writes

In my experience teaching and observing other teachers, students spend a lot of time learning academic skills and rarely even talk about the emotional reactions they may have to what they read—even when stories, as they often do, address dark themes.The Common Core Standardspush students to become clinical crafters of arguments and masters of academic language. While these are essential skills to possess, the fact that my other students appear perfectly comfortable not acknowledging and discussing emotional responses to literature may be as revelatory as this one student’s teary dash from class. Inundated with video games, movies, and memes, teenagers often seem hard to shake up. Characters are fictitious abstractions, and, without actors to bring them to life and makeup and digital tricks to make the drama feel real, students may strictly do the analytical work teachers expect without the interference of a significant emotional response. That’s a bad thing. An emotional response should be part of the curriculum.

Most likely, there’s some concern among teachers about the time such emotional explorations would take, considering there are standards to be met and tests to be passed. But there are standards for the social-emotional domain as well and literature provides a perfect jumping-off point for addressing them.

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Posted by on in What If?

vibe2

This is just one in a series of ongoing posts on the educational innovations in Israel. You can see additional coverage here.

When you think of disadvantaged youth, it's not uncommon for images of teenagers hanging on the streets, drugs, incarceration and a dead end future to come to mind. But what if there was a way to help these young people find a new direction where their lives had meaning and purpose?

On day one of my tour with Vibe Israel to learn about education in the country, I discovered this was a reality at a youth village in a place called Mevo'ot Yam. Here, a surfboard and a wet suit become a gateway to a future that is as wide open as the Mediterranean Sea that is the classroom to these students. Mevo'ot Yam Youth Village looks like a tropical resort, but instead it is home to disadvantaged youth who build crucial life skills such as goal setting, endurance, and inner confidence by learning to ride the waves of a surfboard and navigate the sea. Equally important is the realization for many of the youth that they can play a part in the shaping of the sea and the world.

One of the students (captured below) explained the plight of the clown fish made popular by the movie "Finding Nemo." After the movie, divers would risk damaging the sea ecosystem to capture these fish for sale. The solution to ending this problem was to breed clown fish so that the capture of those in the wild would no longer be necessary. This student learned an important lesson that is gaining popularity far and wide with the Maker Movement. It's better to breed (aka make) something, than to make something. At the school they learn to breed endangered species that can help the oceanic ecosystem.

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Posted by on in Education Policy

Last week saw the inaugural education conference at my school's parent university, the first Srinakharinwirot University Conference in Education (SWUICE). The theme of the conference was 'Education towards global competence in the 21st century'. 

The keynote speech on the first day was given by Professor Roger Moltzen, Dean of Education at Waikato University, New Zealand. Professor Moltzen gave a very interesting address, outlining what he considered to be the necessary elements for an education that would provide learners with the opportunity to become globally competent citizens. Although there were some other interesting speakers and sessions at the conference, in this post I would like to reflect on Professor Moltzen's keynote address, because he touched on some points that I think are at the heart of a number of debates in education at the moment. 


Professor Moltzen outlined what he considered a globally competent citizen might look like. Some of the attributes of a globally competent citizen which he identified are I suspect attributes which many educators have been instilling in their learners for many years. However I think there are some ideas, especially those relating to globalisation and technological advances, which are going to become increasingly important for learners in the 21st century. Therefore I think it is worth reproducing his ideas here. 


What does a globally competent citizen look like?

- Can understand and appreciate, but also critique, their own culture, language & history

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