Thursday, August 22, 2013

reaction to readings

The notion that global competency includes skill components as well as attitudinal components rang true and significant for me. I think it will be important for all of us to remain mindful of the delicate balance between these two components as we move forward with this topic and develop new policies, programs and/or curricula. The American education pendulum is still swinging in the direction of increased levels of assessment, accountability and documentation of measurable student growth, and I think this poses an additional challenge to maintaining the appropriate balance between the global competency components. As schools begin to articulate their commitment to global competency, I can imagine that some will develop and point to lists of easily measured isolated skills, various knowledge bits, or global topics that students will encounter during their educational careers. Even with the best of intentions, this approach might miss the mark. In order to get it right, I think it will be critical to explore, consider and discuss age appropriate ways to foster the attitudinal components (empathy, tolerance of differences, peace, recognizing differing perspectives, equality, etc.), even when student progress in some of these areas will be difficult to measure, or when the ideas themselves are still considered to be controversial by some. Another wise (even if obvious) point made was the recognition that "what is engaging and motivating for students differs at various levels of education." I think that is an idea worth keeping in the forefront as we forge ahead. Looking forward to the discussions!
Bill Hritz

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