Buy a vowel, get a clue! These are words that come to mind when I think of the naysayers who do not believe in Climate Change or the interconnectedness of our world. Thus, the need for Global Competence. Fortunately, things have a way of happening when they are needed. People are coming together in spite of those who would keep us apart. It has taken a "Global Pandemic" to shine a light on certain truths that others would deny.
When I reflect on the principals taught in the TGW class I can see how they are playing out in our current reality. The COVID 19 Pandemic is the epitome of why we need to practice the domains of Teaching for Global Competence. In the first domain, we are called to "Investigate the World". As we traverse the intricacies of this global pandemic it is important to know that the pandemic has traveled throughout the world and how our interconnectedness has facilitated the spread of the disease. Investigating the world in this instance serves to aid us in understanding the dynamics of the spread of the disease and can also inform an educated and efficacious response to preparing for combatting the spread of the disease.
Next, we are instructed to learn to "Recognize Perspectives". It is too easy to point a finger and call it the "Chinese Virus" as unfortunately, we have heard from places on high. Our society and our students should be able to make sense of what is going on from an objective standpoint. In order to achieve that they must be willing to recognize the perspectives of people from other parts of the world. they must be able to look at situations with an informed eye/point of view that will allow them to remain objective and come to responsible conclusions regarding the origins, transmission, spread, and response to the disease.
As we progress further through the domains we come to the domain of "Communicate Ideas".
This domain is of particular consequence when we apply it to this current issue of the COVID 19 Pandemic. Communication between countries is of the utmost importance when a potentially disastrous and deadly disease begins to make itself known. Such communication can have the desired effect of early response to mitigate the impact of the disease on others. In addition, communication can foster more effective strategies to address the disease based on the experience of the first reporters.
Finally, we come to the domain "Take Action". There are so many opportunities for taking action in this real-life scenario. We simply need to pay attention and we can see how the Take Action aspect of Global Competence is actually playing out in our world on a daily basis. People are switching lanes in their daily lives and businesses to meet the needs of those who are responding to the Pandemic on the front lines.
Young people and people from all walks of life are making masks at home to support first responders and or their neighbors. Engineering students are putting their skills to use developing ways to make the necessary equipment available in a timely manner. Restaurateurs are feeding their employees, their community first responders, and others. Volunteers are coming from many places to support the medical professional needs of epicenter locales. Countries are supporting each other with much-needed equipment. Yes, China is sending equipment to other countries.
I reiterate, Buy a vowel, Get a Clue. The Teaching for Global Competence is necessary for our world to move into the future with the level of Intellectual, Cultural, Economic and Philosophical acuity that is needed to navigate our current and future level of interconnectedness. The development of responsible citizenry is not something that occurs by accident. It is and must be intentional if we are to prepare the youth of today to become the leaders of tomorrow.