Leading Innovation in Global Competence for ALL Students

kim3I returned from my Global Competence Certificate summer fieldwork experience in Ecuador in 2015 with lots of new ideas, professional allies, and many, many questions. As a result of the deep thinking I had done in the GCC Introduction to Global Competence course, the core of my questions revolved around how I, as an individual classroom teacher, could advocate and facilitate the inclusion of globally competent content and pedagogy in grade 9-12 History Department standards. Prior to my GCC experience, I had seen this done in upper-level electives (for example, in our own department, we added a “Contemporary World Issues” course), project-based learning, and afterschool clubs and activities. I love these innovative ways that global competency has become a bigger part of the K-12 experience, especially since so many of these actions are student-driven. But I was left wondering is being globally competent really something only certain students can “opt-in” to, or is it a skill that should be required of all?

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Breaking Down the Classroom Walls

Research tells us that a teacher’s practice is generally set within the first five years on the job and that teacher effectiveness does not significantly improve beyond that time. I don’t know how true that is for teachers who continue to seek professional development. I have been fortunate enough to have participated in several programs over the past 25 years that have profoundly impacted my teaching. Most recently, two colleagues and I completed the GCC program through World Savvy, Columbia University Teachers College and the Asia Society. The GCC has significantly changed both my teaching methods as well as my teaching stance in the classroom.


Since completing the GCC, the Global Competence Matrix has become the driving force for my curriculum decisions. No longer frozen in time, we examine history through the lens of current issues affecting the world. [Read more…]

ARTICLE: Edina Educators Bring Global Competency to the Classroom

The Global Competence Certificate was recently featured in the January 2016 edition of Edina Magazine. Since 2015, Edina (MN) Public Schools has partnered with the GCC to enroll a cohort of teachers in the program. Bianca Gelia Suglia, one of the educators in the Edina group, reflects on her time in the GCC, the fieldwork trip to Colombia, and how her experience has made an impact on her work as a peer coach. “This was such an enriching and invigorating journey,” Suglia says.


First cohort of educators receive their Global Competence Certificate

The first cohort of 11 educators graduated from the Global Competence Certificate on January 19, 2016. The graduation ceremony, held online as is most of the program, celebrated the hard work and achievements of the graduates.

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In her address, Dana Mortenson, Co-Founder & Executive Director of World Savvy, lauded the graduates: “We all see you as tremendous leaders with the potential to really reshape the dialogue about what teaching and learning should look like in the 21st century and the global age.”

Dr. William Gaudelli, Associate Professor & Chair of the Department of Arts and Humanities at Teachers College, turned to the future in his remarks: “I look forward to learning about the great work that you’ll do to educate and prepare the next generation of children—those who will live well into the 22nd century–to inhabit the world more justly and more peacefully and with respect for all others.”

Throughout the 15 months of the program, the graduating educators completed 12 credits of academic coursework; participated in fieldwork experiences in Colombia, Ecuador, or Uganda; and wrote a capstone project that advances teaching and learning for global competence in their school or district.

Congratulations GCC graduates!

Video: Current participant shares why Global Competence Certificate “worth every second”

Nance Miller, a middle school teacher in Mill Valley, CA and current GCC participant, discusses how the GCC fit with her own outlook and helped her grow her understanding and teaching practice: “…it was worth every second.”

Video: Inside the Global Competence Certificate with Prof. Bill Gaudelli

Four Ways to Boost Your Global Competence This Summer, and Inspire Your Students in the Fall

Regular school-year classes have ended, and summer is finally here. As you refresh, look for ways to learn about the world, and seek inspiration for the fall, consider these ideas, shared by professors and participants in the Global Competence Certificate program…

Read a book…
In preparation for the Global Competence Certificate fieldwork trip to Ecuador this summer, participants recently read “The Queen of Water” by Laura Resau & Maria Virginia Farinango. This moving story of an indigenous girl taken from her village in the Ecuadorian highlands at age 7 to be a servant in a mestizo couple’s home is based on a true story. The book touches on issues of poverty, child labor, identity, and ultimately one young woman’s courage to pursue the life she wants for herself. Written for a young adult audience, any young-at-heart-adult reader will appreciate it as well—a great book to read together with older kids!

Watch a movie…
Babel (2006) stars Brad Pitt & Cate Blanchett and tells four seemingly unrelated stories about people around the world who don’t appear to have anything in common. However, these stories converge in unexpected ways and the film shows how connected we really are. Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, this film won several awards, including an Oscar for its score and a Golden Globe for best film. Participants in the Global Competence Certificate program’s Global Systems course watch and discuss this film to explore the course’s themes of global interconnectedness.

Play a game…
One of the current GCC participants, a 9th grade government teacher in Minnesota, recommends Cyber Nations, a free browser-based nation simulation game. Create a nation and decide how you will govern it. Invest in education, erect grand national monuments, trade with other nations, build peace or wage war—you get to decide! You will exercise your judgement and management skills while interacting with other players’ nations. The game provides an engaging way to learn more about the consequences of our actions and how we are all interrelated, no matter what nation we call home.

Apply to the Global Competence Certificate program…
Looking for a way to elevate your role as a global education leader? Apply to the GCC program and join other educators who are passionate about preparing youth to thrive in a global 21st century!

Enjoy your summer!


FEATURE: Inside the Global Competence Certificate Classroom

Aesthetic Experience & Global Competence

Art can help us empathize and connect across difference, and it entices us to imagine a better world. In one Global Competence Certificate course, Aesthetic Experience & Global Competence, participants focus on experiential dimensions of globalization and consider how aesthetic lenses and processes can enrich global competence in life and in the classroom. The course uses Movement & Displacement as a theme in which participants explore their own responses to these issues through digital art, creative writing, and socially conscious art projects. For example, in one exercise, participants create a photomontage (see above for an example) that expresses their personal perspectives on the theme and discuss it with their peers through a process of reaction and response that is practiced throughout the course.

GCC participants have had high praise for the Aesthetic Experience course, taught by Teachers College faculty member Olga Hubard. One participant wrote: “This course pulled me so very far outside my comfort zone. And I really needed to go there with my own pedagogy and personal development…I’m a more courageous person from having applied myself in meeting the challenges set forth by this course.”

IN THE NEWS: Gaudelli Calls for More Global Citizenship at UN Academic Meeting in Seoul

William Gaudelli, one of the GCC program’s founding architects, called for immediate action to broaden and strengthen global citizenship education in a panel discussion on May 20 in Seoul, South Korea. He was an invited panelist at the Second United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) Forum. Dr. Gaudelli is Chair of the Department of Arts and Humanities and Associate Professor of Social Studies and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, one of the GCC program’s founding partners.

“We are at a moment in time where we face the paradoxical capacity to destroy much of what the modern era has achieved. But we also have the chance — one that may not come again — to pivot towards a more just, sustainable and tolerant global society. I say ‘pivot’ intentionally here, since a subtle change, of course, will not be sufficient. We need dramatic changes in education, and we need them now.”

Dr. Gaudelli plays a leading role shaping the development of the GCC program and teaches Introduction to Global Competence, a core course in the program. Read more about his remarks and specific action steps to foster global citizenship education HERE.

William Gaudelli with Jeffery SachsL-R: Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University; TC alumna Raina Sim; and William Gaudelli, Chair of the Department of Arts and Humanities and Associate Professor of Social Studies and Education

UPCOMING EVENTS: Global Education Forum 2015

Global Education Forum

An exciting global education event is in the works for October 2015! The Global Education Forum will bring together two premier institutions at the cutting edge of global education: Asia Society (one of the GCC program’s founding partners) and University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. This fall, they will co-present The Global Education Forum in the heart of Philadelphia.

The Global Education Forum will be held October 16 and 17 on the Penn campus and will utilize innovative methods of teaching and learning, including Ignite talk sessions (10-15 minute talks much in the pattern of a TED-talk), a variety of 75-minute workshops, and Teacher Swap Shops, all focused on pedagogy, theory, and best practices in global education. The conference will also end with an EdCamp format to allow participants to network and learn from one another based on their interests.

Visit the Global Education Forum website for more information. Register by July 30 to receive the early bird rate!