A number of years back, I participated in a Globalization Teaching Circle (later renamed the Marco Polo Collaborative) with a cohort of thoughtful colleagues who were interested in enhancing our students’ global competencies. We asked ourselves, what does it mean to have globally competent students? We represented very different disciplinary backgrounds - from political science to music to architecture and everything in between - and the discussions were energizing and productive. Together, we developed a framework of Global Learning Goals that would help us define and guide our vision, one that I believe is even more important today.
Marco Polo Collaborative Global Learning Goals
We want to prepare students to comprehend, communicate, and participate responsibly in a globalized world.
Knowledge (influences attitudes and shapes practices)
Attitudes (structures practices and influences apprehension of knowledge)
Practices (enables new knowledge and development of attitudes)
I share this framework as a way to help you think about how to help develop globally competent students. But, of course, the big question is, how do you operationalize this in your classrooms? Ask yourselves: how you can bring in voices and perspectives from other cultures? Can you look at the issues you discuss with more than one lens? In what ways can you help students stand in the shoes of those different from themselves? Can you provide access to other worldviews on contemporary issues and problems? Can you introduce case studies, literature, research that enable students to engage with international perspectives? Think about one opportunity you can add to your class this semester, then add another next semester - incremental changes are key to reworking curricula with the goal of developing globally competent students.
An easy way to start is to engage this week with International Education Week activities being held right here at Temple University. Check out the Global Reach, Global Teach website for information on all the events happening this week. For your convenience, we’ve listed a few faculty events below. Check out also the International Collaboration Program that allows you to invite guests from our campuses abroad to your classrooms.
Stephanie Fiore, PhD, is an Assistant Vice Provost at Temple University and Senior Director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching.