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Educators’ experiences of global education in practice

Watch this short video to hear from teachers around the world about their experiences of global education in practice.
They need to be responsive, but they also need to be knowledgeable, and to have an up-to-date knowledge, but, also, a passion and an interest in global learning, that actually weaves its way through their approach to their teaching, cause global learning is, I believe, a golden thread. It’s not something that is an add-on to the curriculum. It weaves its way in all aspects of it in all subjects. Also, there is opportunities with global learning in formal and informal spaces that can be planned lessons, but, equally, it can be a conversation with a child that morning about something they’ve heard on the radio, or they have overheard adults talking about. And that’s quite powerful.
And bringing that into a school’s culture is really quite essential to ensure the global approach to global learning is an embedded aspect of its ethos.
The knowledge is really quite important, because there is a real value in children being able to be equipped with the correct knowledge to form their own views, and to then develop those skills that are important, such as critical thinking and problem solving, and to really wrestle with very important issues in the world. High quality texts that you use with children, particularly, in literacy, so that can develop other embedded qualities, such as empathy and compassion, where children can identify with the lives of others that are completely different to them, and in different countries, and in different contexts. I try to promote GCE in my regular curriculum.
This is because, I think, there are already useful contents or meaningful sources in the national curriculum that can be taught usefully applying the GCE perspective. Besides, most students in South Korea are very stressed with their schoolwork. They are pressured to make good academic outcomes. So I don’t want to make them feel that GCE class is another task to complete, or make them feel pressured to perform well in GCE class. So let’s say, for example, during their home economics class, if pupils are going to learn how to knit, I mean, if that’s the lesson plan anyway, based on the national curriculum, then I can just combine charity activities or fundraising activities together.
So after learning how to knit a winter hat, pupils can just participate in social volunteering work. Also, in math class, I can just draw on some useful topics related to GCE. So let’s say, pupils going to discuss some environmental issues, such as like national heritage sites, whether to preserve or develop them. Then pupils just can make charts, calculate various rates using numbers, when they do research, and make the projects to express their opinions in the discussion. Global learning is all about looking at and explaining and critiquing the world around us. In my own personal teaching and practise, one thing I’ve learned is to not shy away from exploring political problems and slightly more controversial problems with my pupils.
I think that by embracing high expectations of pupils, we can really, I can really push my pupils to think critically about the world around them. And I think that’s what global citizenship means to me. I think that the other real big impact that its had is to root learning in real life experiences. I teach ICT, and there’s so many different complex trends happening in the world of technology around us that it seems obvious, but everything I teach has to be relevant to the world, has to be something that’s happening, and a trend that’s impacting the pupils I teach, now and in the future.
I think it’s also important to think really carefully about the skills that might be important in the future, and really double down on them. You know, things like creativity and collaboration, things that pupils will need in 20 or 30 years when they enter the world of work. So according to Chinese rural schoolteachers, they perceive global education as part of quality education, or learning about other countries and the global issues, try to help students to develop all around, and adapt it to this– adapt to this globalised society. Many rural school teachers, basically, integrate global education in curriculum, and their class school activities.

Similarly to perspectives on global education, educators’ actual experiences of global education are also likely to be quite diverse. This might depend on a number of factors, including the contexts in which they work, their areas of teaching expertise, or their previous personal and professional experiences.

Have a look at the video above in which teachers from around the world describe their own experiences. While you watch, consider whether you own ideas and experiences are similar or different to what they describe.

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Global Education for Teachers

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