Monthly Archives: July 2015

Global competence and global incompetence

In between facilitating my learning group I managed to squeeze in Darla Deardorff’s course ‘Exploring intercultural competence through intercultural encounters: from research to practice’. Darla is one of the most prominent thinkers in this field of research and as an international educator and a father to a ‘third culture’ child this is an area of personal and professional interest. There are a number of terms that I come across that are closely related including international mindedness, global citizenship, global consciousness, global competences, global citizen etc. Recently I was asked by the International Baccalaureate to share my own explanation of international mindedness that you can find below.

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 16.37.51

In the course Darla asked a number of provocative questions and discussion was rich as we started to imagine what competences someone who is globally competent would demonstrate. From my perspective I wonder what global incompetence also looks like and how much related unlearning needs to happen as a consequence of adult influences.

With the continued impact of globalisation including the movement of people global competences will surely have even greater need in the future of learning. Recently I read that only 25% of email traffic crosses borders leaving plenty of space for the need of global competences in the digital world. Connecting to the work of Carrie James who is the author of ‘Disconnected- Youth, New Media, and the Ethics Gap‘ it is a struggle for young people to apply ethical behaviours from real-life to the digital world.

Darla talked about ‘cultural humility’ and I wonder what conditions are needed in schools and family homes to ensure ‘cultural humility’ thrives and becomes a norm.

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog posts

The Future of Learning Institute 2015

Fortunately this is my fifth consecutive year to be involved with the Future of Learning (FoL) summer institute at Harvard. Although this week comes at the end of an incredibly busy academic year as Headteacher at the Berlin British School for me this institute is like an intellectual massage that annually rejuvenates me for the year ahead.

In the plenary with David Rose (CAST) he shared some examples about the failure of standardised testing. The evidence is clear that there are many influencing factors (plus the general design of tests) that make the data from many tests invalid. As David Rose shared, even the personal details that might be completed at the beginning of a test can influence performance. Everyone has an emotional history and these emotions impact test performance. Therefore we are not necessarily accurately assessing reading, writing, mathematics etc. – we are starting by assessing emotions. David Rose is well known for his work on Universal by Design and I appreciate his mindset when children are failing. Rather than focussing upon ‘What’s wrong with the student?’, Rose asks the question, ‘What is wrong with the way that we teach?’ From my perspective if we were to universally adopt this approach in schools then we would see far more evidence of effective learning, attainment, achievement and this would be reflected in positive societal changes.

FullSizeRender (54) copy

1 Comment

Filed under Blog posts