Thursday, August 22, 2013

Will you please globalize me…

I agree with a lot of the comments and reflections others have posted. So, I will take this opportunity to reflect on the two quotations that bothered me the most and the one quotation that gave me hope.  Remember, I liked and agreed with a lot of what I read...

"While the economic advantages that accrue to global competency have received more attention than the civic advantages, global competency is helpful not only from an economic standpoint but as a cornerstone of democratic leadership and citizenship (Reimers, 186)."

            Received more attention? Understatement of the decade! I guess I'm wondering how our population, elite private school students and parents, will see this as anything other than a tool that they can "master" so that they speak the right language to get high paying, innovative jobs. How do we break the culture of success being equated with financial gain? Do we recognize how elite private schools are culpable in promoting this culture? How do we break from the culture of keeping up with the joneses when we have to compete for affluent families to fill our seats?

If our students and parents want us to "globalize" them, they are going to have to be active participants in understanding that they won't be able to stand on the sidelines and watch "others" drive themselves insane trying to offer experiences that feel like add-ons, like diversity work has felt. It starts with self. If your motivation is financial, then your heart will not be opened to learning about yourself or other people.

"Students have to live their human rights; their schools have to provide authentic experiences in the practice of tolerance (Reimers, 192)."

This may be a word choice issue, but if we teach tolerance, we will continue to fail to create genuinely empathic, curious, ethical young people. Using the word tolerance sets up a power dynamic in which one literally decides whether or not to 'tolerate' the other. I am afraid that we are going to gloss over the importance of being inclusive and what that truly means.  

I hear "colonization" when I hear tolerance because if our population seems this as an "us vs. them" scenario, then we our community will suffer from "globalization-fatigue" rather quickly.

"Schools the world over bear a new fundamental responsibility: to prepare students for difference and complexity. They will need to prepare all youth—migrant and host alike—for new contexts in which multiple cultures coexist. Managing this complexity—fostering kinship, communicating effectively, working together, valuing difference, benefitting from diversity—is essential to success in a global world." (Asia Insititute, 4)

            Finally, I guess I didn't see anything I read as a "new" concept, which interestingly provides me with some hope. Diversity initiatives, for decades, have been trying to instill what this quotation says. I guess I need to know why those initiatives failed and why this one will be successful. Trust that I want it to be successful. It starts at home; it starts with self.  It starts with each person recognizing that s/he has a stake in the game because it's the right way to interact with others, both locally and globally.

Is boils down to teaching our students to "Do well while doing good." Thank you, Gustavo, for sharing that quote!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.