Our Global Education Committee has officially changed its name to the West Valley College Global Citizenship Committee; a revised logo is forthcoming. Something else that’s exciting: yesterday during All College Day (when all faculty, administrators and staff gather to kick off the academic year), the official focus was to explore the relationship between global citizenship and student equity and success. One session, led by me and Dr. Cynthia Reiss, aimed to examine how, specifically, the precepts of global education impact student equity and success, and how, thus, all of us on campus ought to be hyper conscious of those precepts and working to infuse them in all curricular and co-curricular activities.
A poll in the “Shared Futures: A Community for Sharing Resources on Global Learning” website maintained by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, highlights the most common ways of sharing those precepts:
* Demonstrating how students’ actions influence and are influenced by global circumstances.
* Showing that students experiences and beliefs exist in a global context and are not exceptional.
* Sending students abroad and/or increasing the presence of international students in the classroom.
* Engaging students in global networks of communication and business.
Our conversation began by attempting to understand the definition of “global citizenship” as it is rooted in individuals’ willingness to seek awareness and to work for social justice, to be empathetic, and to understand interdependence and complex issues from multiple vantage points–essentially, to transcend parochialism.
Then we talked about WHY the precepts of global citizenship matter in the attempt to improve student equity and success: those precepts affect all three domains of student development (thinking, seeking a sense of self and relating to others). Global citizenship “relates to both knowing–how one decides what is important and true–and knowledge about different cultures. It relates to one’s sense of identity and purpose… to one’s relationships with others, including responsibility to others” (Braskamp 2).
We discussed how and why opportunities for infusing Global Citizenship are most evident in three growing areas at the college: using technology/eLearning, service/experiential learning, and formal faculty development (and informal purposeful self-awareness and practicing/modeling habits of mind that are rooted in global citizenship). We watched and discussed Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Adiche‘s powerful lecture, “The Danger of a Single Story.“