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Global Competences for Teachers Made Easy: A Game-Changing Approach

My work centers on ensuring the balance and integrity of programs in a manageable way. I know the greatest impact on improved learning happens between the student and the teacher, but, if we, as school leaders, don’t provide the structures that explicitly address overload for teachers to have that impact, we are doing them both a disservice.

Sometimes a simple crosswalk between documents in use, approaches, or resources is enough to reduce overload.

Teachers are expected to be aware of, understand, incorporate, and model increasing numbers of important elements into their programs including global competencies; inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (I-DEA); and environmental education. Dispositions, knowledge, and skills related to global competence are areas now being addressed in teacher education programs (van Werven, et al 2023), and established educators striving to remain current can take three specific actions to do so:

1) Intentional integration of global topics and multiple perspectives into and across the curriculum;

2)  Ongoing authentic engagement with global issues;

3)  Connecting teachers’ global experiences, students’ global experiences, and the curriculum.

For educators in International Baccalaureate (IB) schools, some of these elements will be embedded in the philosophy and curriculum in the Approaches to Teaching (AtT), for example. For teachers of Grades 2-5, specific actions in each of the areas of the Approaches to Learning (AtL) skills are provided. By using these as our base as they are already in use and adjusting these slightly, we can achieve our goals of authentically connecting global topics, issues, and experiences without overburdening our programs and teachers.

Notice the transformation in this example:

‘Encourage communication using different languages’ ->

Recognize cultural differences in communication and encourage communication using different languages.’

I can imagine a wealth of rich and interesting discussions with students that would arise through adding a cultural lens to the important focus on multilingualism.

Here are two further examples:

‘Explicitly ask students to discuss and reflect on the value and limitations of resources used through their inquiries’

-> ‘Explicitly ask students to discuss and reflect on the value and limitations of a diverse range of resources used through their inquiries.’

‘Collaborate with, for example, the librarian and technology specialists to support students to build research skills and to learn how to identify reliable sources of information’

-> ‘Collaborate with, for example, the librarian and technology specialists to support students to build research skills and to learn how to identify reliable and unbiased sources of information’

Core & More Education offers a set of integrated competencies for the Approaches to Teaching in PYP, explicitly including the attitudes, values, and aims of Education for Sustainable Development, I-DEA, and International Mindedness. Starting a plan for learning from this important top layer ensures our students the comprehensive program for which we aim.

Get in touch for more information!

c.orkiszlang@core-and-more.com

Sources

Iris M. van Werven, Robert J. Coelen, Ellen P.W.A. Jansen & W.H.A. Hofman (2023) Global teaching competencies in primary education, Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 53:1, 37-54, DOI: 10.1080/03057925.2020.1869520

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