GCC Course Descriptions


An Introduction to Global Competence (2 credits)

A globally competent citizenry is critical for the 21st century and educators must be prepared to teach for global competence. But what is meant by this oft-quoted phrase? The focus of this course will be to examine conceptions of global competency and help teachers build a framework for developing this pedagogical outlook. Central to teaching for global competence requires a robust understanding of how globalization has transformed the world. We will investigate factors that have created a more interconnected and interdependent world while considering the sources of this complexity. The course will employ Appadurai’s five dimensions of global cultural flow, namely: ethnoscapes, mediascapes, technoscapes, financescapes and ideoscapes, as a pedagogical tool for analyzing and interpreting global phenomena.

A core learning opportunity in this course will include an ongoing analysis of a contemporary event/phenomenon that is exemplary of global connectivity while pointing towards opportunities for civic engagement for students and teachers, employing Appadurai’s framework and other suitable analytic tools. The contemporary, illustrative example will serve as a means for inquiring about the world, one that will help stimulate learning processes that can be developed in multiple contexts to support the development of globally competent students.

Global Fieldwork for Global Competence (2 credits)

Domestic or international fieldwork experience lasting 2-3 weeks in which participants are placed in schools and community organizations to integrate and implement learning in the classroom.  The fieldwork component of the Global Competency Certification Program provides a critical and immersive element to the online coursework leading up to the experience.

Collaborative Practice Groups (1 credit)

This course is designed as a capstone project to enable students to apply key learning and insights which they have developed through course and fieldwork experience. In an online space students are matched in an interdisciplinary cohort and are encouraged to pursue interests developed during their Global Competency Certification studies.   Participants design an instructional and assessment framework project which will be critiqued and collaboratively developed throughout the course by each cohort group.  The project will have a direct application to the participant’s workplace which will complement their ability to teach towards global competency in the classroom.  All projects and resources will be collected in an open source library to grow the collective body of work dedicated to global competency and internationalization.


Dialoguing in Global Education (1 credit)

Culture, language, relationships, and interactions: These are essential in an interdisciplinary and interconnected world. The smaller the world grows, the more important living with/in different perspectives and among others becomes. Guiding questions included in this course include: What is culture? How is the term ‘culture’ problematic given its malleability, deployment and potentially hegemonic use? How does subjectivity become instantiated in/as culture? What do we need to understand about the lives of others to make ourselves open to listening and learning about and from others while making the world mutually intelligible?  How does interpretation and meaning challenge all to maintain openness about otherness? This course uses a combination of queries from students and literature on identity, both individual and social, to explore these questions and offer students a framework to use in their fieldwork experience.

Global Systems (1 credit)

We are citizens of a new era distinguished by unprecedented global interconnectedness.  And yet these interconnections do not manifest themselves equally across the globe as nations and territories struggle to find level playing field. This course explores cultural, racial, monetary, exchange, and political world systems. Students will study critical analyses of these systems. Students will come to understand the world-systems approach is complicated by a false local-global distinction. We will consider how local endeavors have global consequence and how these global relationships shape or are resisted in local entities.


Sustainability and Environment (1 credit)

One global issue that demands immediate attention is how to balance societal and environmental health. This course explores a contemporary ‘state of the planet’ across ecological concerns, including global climate change, desertification, species extinction, food crises, water quality and shortages, infectious diseases, and storm mitigation. Educators will then weigh environmental costs against the demands of societal development. Students will analyze current IGO, NGO, governmental and community-based organizations’ work to address global environmental concerns on a local, regional, national, and global scale coupled. Students will also conduct a gap analysis of what needs to be addressed in the near (5-10 year) and longer-term (10-50 year) future.

Human Rights and Global Competence (1 credit)

Human rights are vulnerable. , Protecting them globally will be important work for this and future generations, and thus is a central concern for global educators. This course will briefly trace the rise of human rights discourse in the 20th and 21st Centuries. Students will consider various typologies of rights (children’s, positive/negative, first, second and third generation); efforts towards consolidated action to promote human rights (ICCJ/Rome Protocol, UN Conventions, enforcement mechanisms, ECHR); and forces that contravene (authoritarian regimes, as well as US, China, Israel, and other states’ non-participation).

Poverty (1 credit)

Mitigating poverty is an important factor in world economics. Identifying a nation or person as impoverished is a discursive and political act and shapes how we are taught to respond to it. Growing and pervasive economic inequality in the world is at the root of many of our most pressing global issues. Morality, pragmatism, and enlightened self-interest motivate a variety of players – economists, bilateral donors, international institutions, non-governmental organizations, philanthropists, and social entrepreneurs – to address this inequality in a variety of ways. Students will explore the causes and experience of global poverty, analyze successes and failures in mitigating it, and review sources and modalities for teaching about it.

Economic Globalization (1 credit)

It is difficult to talk about global systems and interactions without an examination of the economic processes central to globalization.  This course explores macroeconomic concepts implicated in global economic policy, economic health, and distribution of resources, capital, and people.  Microeconomic policy is included to the extent that small business (particularly those run by women) and communities are part of the global network.  The course develops a shared understanding of economic concepts regularly encountered in global education and development literature to help students synthesize these materials.

Aesthetic Experience and Global Competence (1 credit)

Globalization and global education can have an alienating effect if the experiences and emotional content of everyday life are left unexamined.  This course will invite students to focus on the experiential dimensions of globalization, with special attention to how art can open us up to–and help us work through–difference, enticing us to imagine a better world.

Engagements with literature, visual art, documentaries, films, and web-based works will help bring relevant issues, and the subjectivities that surround them, to life. Participants’ own embodied/affective/intellectual responses to globalization will evolve and manifest through digital arts and creative writing projects. Integral to this course is consideration of how aesthetic lenses and processes might enrich participants’ pedagogical practices.


Digital Pedagogy and Global Competence (1 credit)

Digital media and technologies are increasingly available in classrooms around the world.  These technologies have the means to engage learners but also to fundamentally change the manners in which students access and produce knowledge.  Too often, new technologies appear but merely replicate existing ways of learning.  This course examines the pedagogies of digital technology.  The course expands the repertoire of teachers while considering how the changes in pedagogy shape knowledge around global education.  The world and technology are moving, shifting, and complex in ways that can be supported by digital pedagogies.

Inquiry-based Learning for Global Competence (1 credit)

Global learning requires a disposition of ongoing and sustained inquiry because of the vast knowledge bases it draws upon. Inquiry-based learning is a learning approach that is rooted in the investigation of questions and case studies, as well as problem solving. Participants will consider various approaches to inquiry, both for their own global competency but also for guiding students in the development of their global awareness. This course will engage students in professional learning groups to explore issues that are germane to their teaching situations and of interest or need in terms of their professional learning. Critical to this course is social and critical reflection on the meta-issues that arise when engaged in inquiry, including limitations of what can be known, perspectives, and awareness of the presence of the author(s) viewpoint orienting any given text.

Discussion Leadership for Global Competence (1 credit)

Global classrooms are inherently discursive as they require teachers and students engage across difference, both in the material learned and in interpersonal relationships. Facilitating discussion can be challenging given their dynamic nature and situational quality. This course will provide participants with various types of discussion environments (e.g., Socratic, deliberative, interpretive, simulative) along with the tools to structure and facilitate those interactions. Special attention will be given to the intersections of discussion leadership and global learning; participants will gain an understanding of which approaches are most congruent given the larger curricular aims of a course.

Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment for Global Competence (1 credit)

Global competence is critical to prepare students for current and future lives as global citizens to make a positive impact in the world. But what does it mean to design curriculum, instruction and assessment for global competency? This course explores how foundational domains related to global competence, including space, time, self and social issues, can be inducted into a variety of curriculum areas to support the development of students. Curriculum in this vein supports student learning about interdependence, systems thinking, consciousness of self, awareness of others and the limits of knowing in the world. This course will focus on curriculum development, instructional practices and assessment activities that embed these values and support teachers in developing their global competence as well as the ability to engage students in similar journeys.