- In preparing students for the modern workforce, think globally
- A globalized curriculum helps children learn without barriers
- See related article: 10 things schools need to do to build students’ networks
- For more news on global learning, visit eSN’s Innovative Teaching page
Learning should be lifelong. Our curiosity for the world around us and its people should be unwavering, and yet school curriculums around the globe do not reflect our ever-evolving landscape and impede the transition to developing technology. In my view, education should inspire a passion for things beyond our immediate circle.
We should be aiding our children and future generations in their journey of lifelong learning and equipping them with the skills they can transfer in any job or business they find themselves in. Education shouldn’t be narrow. Children need space to learn and grasp new concepts and ideas; that’s how we get innovation and a more prosperous future. Rolling out a globalized curriculum will achieve just that—and more.
It will culturally enrich students
Culture influences us all, and the mediums we participate in, but much of it is neglected in the traditional curriculum–particularly in Western countries. Having a globalized curriculum would culturally enrich students because it encourages critical thinking about global challenges such as climate change, poverty, and international conflicts.
A globalized curriculum would develop problem-solving skills, too, as students could analyze complex global issues from multiple perspectives and formulate their own solutions individually and as a group. Having students work together is crucial, not only for their personal development, but also to enhance their communication with others. In a work setting or in entrepreneurship, it’s advantageous to be able to work with different people and adapt to their personalities and thinking, and combined with technology, students’ social skills will greatly benefit. Debates can be held in different formats, such as virtual games, facilitating a different type of conversation but not completely abandoning human oversight. Further, a globalized curriculum would take teamwork to the next level with the use of immersive technology like VR so students can participate from their classroom or bedroom and connect with others from anywhere in the world.
Finally, a globalized curriculum creates unity through diversity. Growing awareness of other cultures, and reducing discrimination on race or culture, opens the door to more opportunities for collaboration and equitable opportunities for all. Granting this connection will produce more open-minded and free-spirited students with a deeper understanding of global issues and how different countries operate. As remote working is becoming the norm in many countries, students should be learning how to work from different places and to use technology at their disposal to create their own work. Entrepreneurship can involve lots of travel and exploration, and a globalized curriculum would incorporate that and make knowledge much more accessible.
Promotes thinking outside of the box
We should move away from the idea of a ‘dream job’ or pursuing a career we love. We all have different skills and talents. Not many of us can put ourselves in one box, but a traditional curriculum puts value on pleasing others and responding to their ideas rather than cultivating your own and making something out of it. A globalized curriculum would not only equip students with the skills they can take into the workplace, but also would equip them to set up their own business if they wish. The ability to create jobs should be fostered, but it is not promoted or integrated into daily lessons. A globalized curriculum ties entrepreneurial skills such as management, leadership, and financial literacy with digital skills like AI and coding, which means students would have tools for leadership roles or creating their own ventures. Financial literacy is not something that is widely taught in schools, so a globalized curriculum would fill that gap and ensure more students don’t fall behind in these vital life skills.
Encourages global citizenship
We need a more humanitarian approach to education to embrace our own humanity, understanding what makes us human and what makes us unique, and to embrace diversity, growing our Emotional Quotient (EQ) and Social Quotient (SQ). IQ tests, the traditional methods of measuring a person’s intelligence, do not measure the critical skills for the future. They measure one kind of intelligence–the type that AI can do far better than humans.
Generation Z, the most social-media savvy generation, is aware of global events and challenges and is more conscious of social issues. A globalized curriculum would support their activism and role as global citizens. In addition, entrepreneurship requires you to be a leader on many fronts, not just for your business and team but on the world stage. A globalized curriculum would emphasize the importance of pragmatism and contributing to your community and therefore create respectable business leaders.
Bridge gaps between students from different socio-economic backgrounds
A globalized curriculum enables students from various backgrounds to find common ground and foster mutual respect. It helps overcome stereotypes and prejudices, promoting a more inclusive and harmonious school environment. Remote learning tools create an inclusive environment as they can participate no matter where they are from. Furthermore, having a globalized curriculum would break down prejudicial barriers by getting students to engage with people from different backgrounds to them. Keeping learning and students insular does so much harm.
When we know our strengths and abilities, we can embrace our passions and follow our purpose, so that we are working with our very reason for being and as such can make a greater contribution to society. Learning 21st-century skills and solving real-world problems, our students are primed for success as they enter the world of business or academia. As Richard Branson says, “Entrepreneurship is about turning what excites you in life into capital, so that you can do more of it and move forward with it.” Globalization is critically important for the success of humanity because we need global collaboration to solve global problems. We need EQ, empathy, and understanding to collaborate with people from other cultures and belief systems and we need entrepreneurial thinking to come up with the solutions.