I cannot express how honored I feel to have been chosen to participate in the Teachers for Global Classrooms Fellowship. We are only in our third week of the coursework and already my understanding of the global citizenship and global competency is evolving.
Learning to use the digital dictation software on my computer has been a challenge, but I am finally getting the hang of it and realize that proofreading is essential before posting anything. Last week, as I was dictating quietly while my students worked independently, one student asked, "Mrs. Schuster may I go to the restroom?" And I responded. "Yes, but be sure to come right back." As I proofread my discussion post for that week's assignment, those exact words had typed themselves into my lengthy discourse about global competency. It was both comical and frightening. I will now proofread every word.
This week we are looking at our local community and/or nation to better understand the term "Glocal." One of our readings was fascinating and very enlightening. Here is the link if you would like to check it out.
The following is my discussion post response to that article.
I am repeatedly drawn back to the global competencies of being able to effectively communicate thoughts and ideas and having the ability to recognize, appreciate and understand multiple perspectives. Yes, a globally competent person explores and investigates the world and takes action to make the world a better place. But if we first cannot communicate our ideas or grasp multiple perspectives our investigations and desire to take action we'll fall short and be ill-informed.
I was moved, in many ways, by this week’s readings, especially the segment from, In My Father’s House: the African Philosophy of Culture, and Cosmopolitan Patriots by Kuwame Appiah. His father's sentiments to remember that we are all citizens of the world and that we should “be a great lover of mankind, to have an abiding desire to see mankind, under God, and fulfill its highest destiny” in me a sense of hope, as all profound statements should do.
As I moved along in the readings, my understanding of the United States grew. I recognize that so many of the, let's call them European descendent Americans, react to immigration and the influx and multitude of different cultural ideas, religious ideologies, etc., that they don't understand and have no desire to understand, comes from a place of fear. Fear of losing their majority, fear of the unknown, fear of losing control, fear of change, and from a place of isolationist desires and ignorance. This group of Americans does indeed want an American culture, a fantasy tribe, defined by them, that every American must abide by, accept, and profess, of shared values, beliefs and ideals. They fail and have no interest in appreciating or understanding any other perspectives, much less multiple perspectives. They feel threatened by change and have cemented their ideas of what America should be on a foundation of fear. This resistance to even recognize other perspectives limits their ability to communicate effectively, thereby creating walls of resistance.
Appiah’s explanation that, “our democratic traditions require us to engage respectfully with our fellow citizens who disagree with us,” supports his assertion that America's political values should have a weight of their own. By focusing our attention, not on my fantasy culture, but on our political values we can then accept and abide by its laws, debate our differences and come to a better understanding of our country as a whole embracing its uniqueness and upholding the political values on which we can all agree.