Saturday, August 17, 2013

"Questions about purpose"

In "Educating for Global Competency", Reimers provides a solid framework for exploring and implementing global competency, but it is interesting that he opens with the idea of the paradox of preparing students for an unknown future. Just as our discussions about 21st century skills, the future of learning, innovation and D. Pink's A Whole New Mind have challenged us to explore and revisit the relevancy of our approach and our work for the ever changing future, this article ends with the same type of question that we have struggled a bit with with respect to implementation of raised, mentioned or discussed ideas. Reimers ends with a statement about schools and a school like BB&N, we are in a bit of bind with respect to honoring ideas such as global competency (and others) because of (as far as I understand it) the looming issue of college admissions. If we embrace "global competency", then where does that leave us with respect to college prep, etc? If you add something (new global competency curriculum), then something then has to be taken out, and where does that leave us with respect college admission? 

That being said Reimers also writes that if we focus on three objectives (develop global values, i.e. humanity, foreign language skills and foreign area and globalization expertise), then we should be well on our way. My sense is that BB&N is the type of place that already values those objectives, so maybe being more deliberate and transparent in our approach to these things (toward the global competency end), then maybe the challenge of college admissions and placement isn't that big of a deal. 
The first chapter in the other reading attempts to explore
the issue of implementation and purpose as well - and it encourages participation in a more general manner  " inviting educators, writ large, to pose a more fundamental question: what matters most for students to understand about the world so they can participate fully in its future? The challenge of preparing our youth for the future includes, but is greater than, preparing them for work and ensuring their college readiness. Pressing issues such as protecting the environment, managing unprecedented human migration, and addressing challenges of poverty, global health, and human rights will demand a generation of individuals with a strong capacity to cooperate across national borders..." (9). I understand those as being important ideas to understand about the future of our (and their) world, but in order for them to make headway on these vast issues, how much agency and/or education will they need? Additionally, as far as I understand it, part of  what we do at a school like BB&N includes helping students get into college. I hope that we can find a way  to implement some of these approaches and ideas while achieving a balance with who we are as a school.


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