Five Interdisciplinary Goals for Global Education

In working on my literature review, I ran across a reference to this paper. Thankfully, it’s been shared online so you can read the whole article if you wish.

Hanvey, R. (1977). An attainable global perspective. New York: The American Forum for Global Education.

The paper suggests there are five interdisciplinary goals for global education: (a) perspective consciousness, (b) state of planet awareness, (c) cross-cultural awareness, (d) systematic awareness, and (e) options for participation (Hanvey, 1977).

I thought it would be interesting to see how we’re using videoconferencing to meet some of these goals.

Perspective Consciousness
Which basically means, are you conscious of the fact that other people have other perspectives?

  • Global Nomads programs certainly address these issues, especially the Pulse programs which explore differing opinions on hot topics.
  • The misconceptions program we did in April began to raise this awareness for the middle school students involved.

State of the Planet Awareness
This includes an awareness of current events, conflicts, etc. around the world.

  • Many schools have current or world events classes and the Internet makes this study a lot easier.
  • Global Nomads programs again are amazing to help students be “onsite” in the country learning from students their age what life is really like for them. The recent programs from Kenya on the elections are a great example of this.
  • Eco-Conversations, brought increased environmental understanding from a global perspective to Dowagiac students this page school year. We intend to run it again next year, and you are welcome to replicate the project too if you wish.
  • What about how our students reacted to the earthquake in Pakistan a few years ago?

Cross Cultural Awareness
Can surface contact via videoconference raise awareness? Can it bring deeper understanding? Certainly it’s not like living in the culture for a year or more. However at least it’s the beginning of teaching students that others have different values and perspectives. Some potential examples include:

In addition, I think the research by Lee and Cifuentes get at the challenges of moving to the higher levels of cross-cultural understanding described in Hanvey’s paper.

Systematic Awareness
This one is harder. I couldn’t think of an example of a videoconference that starts to address this goal. Can you? This is the definition from the paper:

some modest comprehension of key trails and mechanisms of the world system, with emphasis on theories and concepts that may increase intelligent consciousness of global change

Options for Participation
This one is more difficult too, but I think the recent Videoconference for Hope hosted by schools in Edmonton, Alberta is one possibility.

What do you think? Have you done an international videoconference? Did it meet any of these goals for global education? How will this article change or inform your next international videoconference?

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