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Educating for Global Competence: Preparing Our Youth to Engage the World

Author(s)Veronica Boix Mansilla and Tony Jackson
Publication dateMay 2011
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Contemporary societies are marked by new global trends-economic, cultural, technological, and environmental shifts that are part of a rapid and uneven wave of globalization. The growing global interdependence that characterizes our time calls for a generation of individuals who can engage in effective global problem solving and participate simultaneously in local, national, and global civic life. Put simply, preparing our students to participate fully in today's and tomorrow's world demands that we nurture their global competence.

This document introduces a definition of global competence developed by the Global Competence Task Force-a group of state education agency leaders, education scholars, and practitioners-under the auspices of the Council of Chief State School Officers EdSteps initiative (CCSSO-EdSteps) and the Asia Society Partnership for Global Learning (see page (iv) for task force participants). The definition builds on seminal work within the states and a broad range of organizations working to advance global knowledge and critical thinking skills. A process of careful articulation and vetting yielded the definition of global competence here proposed:

Global competence is the capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance.

Globally competent individuals are aware, curious, and interested in learning about the world and how it works. They can use the big ideas, tools, methods, and languages that are central to any discipline (mathematics, literature, history, science, and the arts) to engage the pressing issues of our time. They deploy and develop this expertise as they investigate such issues, recognizing multiple perspectives, communicating their views effectively, and taking action to improve conditions.

Contact:Kirsten Taylor Carrkirsten.carr@ccsso.org