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How to Teach for the Global Innovation Age

Imagine taking a test and the questions look like this:

  • You want to provide Internet access to 90% of the population of Africa, how would you do it?
  • How do you design a new map to get help a person navigate from Mumbai to Delhi?
  • Make an evacuation plan for San Francisco.

 This isn't from an average pop quiz at school. These are interview questions from one of the leading multinational companies: Google. 

 The global innovation age demands a new set of skills for all our students. Employers want creativity and leadership. Cognitive ability outweighs a university degree. They measure how you collaborate and compete. They want to know how world savvy you really are.

 The question facing education systems worldwide is how to design learning experiences that will help students rise to these challenges. How do we go deeper into content, develop global skills, and provide space and time for connections and understanding?

 The answer? Invest in this type of education for teachers. 

 There is no shortage of free resources out there for teachers to use, with many excellent organizations providing access to high-quality global content appropriate for the classroom. 

 What we know is that resources are not enough. 

To support rigorous and engaging learning while bringing relevant global content into the classroom, teachers need opportunities to think, learn, and do. Now there is an opportunity to work toward a Global Competence Certification, which includes coursework, international field experience, and communities of practice around a capstone project. Credits or continuing education units (CEUs) recognizes teacher accomplishments and the value of this type of education. In the coming weeks, this blog will take a more nuanced look at what teachers of global competence should know and be able to do.

Humans increasingly address issues as a global community. Think about issues facing the world—from the macro (disease, human slavery, global warming, and cyber security) to the economic (trade, human capital, multinational businesses) to the local (meeting needs and opportunities for diverse communities)—little can be accomplished without bigger perspective and collaboration. Preparing teachers to integrate this global connectedness in the classroom effectively is also critical need. Students today will need to do it in the real world soon enough.    

Asia Society is excited to be working with World Savvy and Teachers College Columbia University on this opportunity to encourage global competence in the classroom and preparing student for their global future. We look forward to sharing some of the lessons learned with you on this blog.

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