What’s Needed to Be a Global Citizen in the 21st Century
In this article in Perspectives, Massachusetts educator/author John D’Auria suggests four proficiencies that students will need to be “nimble learners responding to challenges and opportunities that none of us can foresee”:
• Seeking out diverse perspectives – “Too often, we gravitate toward like-minded people,” says D’Auria, “a behavior that insulates us from expanding our perspective… Preparing for a global society requires that we become curious about how others think.” It also helps to learn another language.
• Valuing emotional insights – “Recent research into emotional intelligence helps us to appreciate that emotions often contain important data,” says D’Auria, “information that our cognitive processes are slower to grasp… Emotional connectivity also links us to other human beings, even when we cannot speak their language.”
• Embracing creativity – “The global economy thrives on inventive thinking,” he says. “We need to value creative skills and develop them in our students. This should not be the domain of a ‘talented’ few” – nor should it be buried in test preparation.
• Developing a growth mindset – Students will need to be continuous learners, which requires perseverance and resilience in the face of unknowable challenges and setbacks, says D’Auria. He believes educators need to explicitly teach Carol Dweck’s key insights – that intelligence and talent develop through working hard using effective strategies. “We need to provide time and support for our students to value experimentation and strengthen their capacity to learn from mistakes,” he concludes. “Though errors, failure, and setbacks are not what we seek, we need not fear them, and we should learn to recycle them into new learning.”
“Preparing Our Students for Global Citizenship” by John D’Auria in Perspectives, Fall 2011 (p. 14-15); D’Auria can be reached at email@example.com.