Sunday, May 5, 2013

Are You Teaching Global Citizens?

At the ECIS Conference, I had the opportunity to see a great variety of speakers.  One of the most controversial speakers was Chadran Nair.  Chadran Nair is the founder of a think tank called Global Institute for Tomorrow, which helps people understand the impacts – good and bad – of globalization. He spoke for us about some of the issues facing Asia today.  He believes part of the problem facing Asia today is that they send their best and brightest students to US and UK schools, where the students learn an economic system that is not compatible to Asia.

His talk was very interesting.  I’ve embedded it below, so feel free to watch for yourself.  However, the most impactful thing he said (for me) was in the question and answer session, when he asked for us to make our students global citizens.  This got me thinking about what makes a global citizen.  Here is my idea of what a global citizen is.

What makes a global citizen?

In my classroom, I try to enforce these elements of being a global citizen by teaching my students:

- that there is two sides to every story

- that there are things in everyone’s history which we may not be proud of

- that no culture or group is perfect

- that time can change the way we look at history

- that everyone has the right to look at life through their own context

- that all people have the right to choose what they want to believe in

- that people around the globe can come together to help each other


I’d love to know – What do you think it means to be a global citizen?  How do we help our students become global citizens?

 Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources



Here is Chadran Nair’s speech from the ECIS Technology Conference: