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.

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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.

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