Thursday, August 22, 2013

Organically Grown Global Competence

Both readings were timely (overdue?) and interesting. I found myself jotting questions in the margins that were answered a page later-- convergent thinking at it's best... It is wonderful to join BB&N at this time of exploration. 

Having worked internationally for many years, including both host-country organizations and in independent international schools, global competence is a quality that I have often taken for granted. Working with children raised internationally (and having four of my own) I've seen the organic development of global competence due to living in the world rather than in a specific country, state, or city. It is difficult to quantify these skills but I see global competence in Third Culture Kids' acceptance of other people and other viewpoints, their willingness to try new things, their flexibility in travel, life changes, an empathy for others affected by world events, a resilience in the face of challenges, and an academic and personal perspective that reaches far beyond themselves. What strikes me, though, is the natural way in which these competencies exist. There is no obvious decision-making to be accepting, flexible, etc.--they just are. 

As an organization, the difference between add-on skill-building, versus the integration of experiences that foster a culture of global competence, will be the difference between students developing a skill set or becoming organically competent. Creating a globally competent school culture occurs through systemic micro-actions and habits of global mindedness, as well as larger gestures related to multi-faceted diversity, curriculum, travel, and interaction. 

Finally, this move toward global mindedness and global competence should not feel easy or comfortable. We must honestly assess Western-centric viewpoints and allow a challenge to our status quo as individuals and as a professional learning community. We have to be willing to let go in order to open ourselves to something new. I look forward to growing with BB&N in this!

Warm Regards,
Daisy Pellant 
Lower School Counselor

Daisy Pellant, Ph.D., LSC
Lower School Counselor
Buckingham, Browne & Nichols School
10 Buckingham Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don't really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It's just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.                                                            -Pema Chödrön

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