Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thoughts on Summer Reading

I found both the Reimers article and the Asia Institute report thought provoking and at times daunting given the charge they present to us as educators.   

The Reimers article for me raises the tension that exists between two goals we seem to be working towards:  to rigorously prepare our students academically and to help them develop the skills and global competencies to enter life equipped to navigate the world that has become increasingly "flat." Though there are many activities and lessons already in place in our community promoting a global perspective, I feel there is great potential to increase an interdisciplinary focus in BB&N's curriculum in an effort to increase global competency.  In my position, I am able to see the range of projects/work students are engaged in across the curriculum.  I think there are opportunities for greater connections across content areas and to explicitly infuse a more global theme.  In doing so, I think the level of engagement of our students would be different – more in depth and self-directed - when asked to see cause and effect and the connections between concepts introduced in different domains.  But, as others have noted already, what would we have to "let go" to create more opportunities for this work and dialogue.  Would we risk losing time to cover content or risk losing rigor?  Such a shift would require sufficient time, focus, planning and most importantly a commitment to take root. 

On a different note, I am very interested in ways we can continue to connect our students with others whose range of experience is quite different from their own.  I was intrigued by iEARN and loved Christa's description of and experience with the Global Voices Initiative.  With the technology available, the opportunities for experiential learning to further more global awareness seem now more accessible and more possible.  I believe these real and "live" connections would have an impact on our students more lasting than the study or discussion of differences.  It is an area I would love to explore and discuss more with colleagues. 


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