1. From your perspective, in what ways are the societal and environmental transformations here described affecting your students’ lives today? How will they be affected in the future?
Abbott Tech is at about 1/3 immigrant, both documented and undocumented. It is obvious that many have families with close ties to their native country. Our construction trades are now learning "green technology." This has evolved over the last 6 years. Because food comes from all over the world, we eat a greater variety in our diet. We also eat more processed food than ever before. There are less high-paying low-skill jobs available. Low level office jobs like clerk and typist are almost extinct. With a PC, everyone is expected to create their own documents - at least in education! It is imperative that students finish high school in order to compete for even menial jobs. That was not always the case. Fortunately, Abbott students have "a trade in their back pocket" and have some options others may not have.
In the future, according to the authors, only people who are innovative and creative will be successful. Blue collar jobs will be shipped overseas. In order to make a living, this next generation will need to market themselves or they will have a difficult time finding a well-paying position.
2. In your opinion, what are the key reasons for educating for global competence?
What are the barriers such an education might confront?
Even if our students have little direct exposure to the global economy, it is important for them to learn that there are perspectives beside their own. Globally competent students must learn to think creatively and to self-critique. They must be confident learners.
Competitive testing is a barrier to global competence. We seem to believe it is important to rank "better" than everyone else. Standardized testing doesn't allow for self-reflection or true creativity. Students who test well are rewarded and those who don't test well are limited. Students need real-life successes in order to believe they can be productive citizens.
3. In your current opinion, what distinguishes a high- from a low-quality education for global competence?
High quality global education is integrated throughout the school. Teachers are given time and training to collaborate and expand on ideas. Globally competent students are given true responsibility for their work and real problem-solving experience.
Low quality global education is compartmentalized. The information in one subject area is not referred to in another subject area, so there is not sense of cohesion. Lessons are manufactured to include a global feel, but aren't relevant to a student's perspective.