Academic journal article Peer Review

When Will Global Learning Cease to Exist?

Academic journal article Peer Review

When Will Global Learning Cease to Exist?

Article excerpt

A half century ago, the concept of global learning did not exist in American higher education. Little attention was given to what we now understand as internalization and globalization. University and college faculty in the United States regarded scholarship that originated here as being more advanced and rigorous. The academy referred to anything relating to other countries as "foreign," including "foreign students." Study abroad was to be done in the major, and that experience was the only pathway for American students to become "globally educated,"

Now, the definition of global learning has evolved. "Study away," which stresses experiential learning and can be located domestically as well as internationally, is considered an effective pedagogical strategy to educate students to be global citizens. Intercultural competence as a developmental concept centers on accepting and communicating with others from different cultures. These recent definitions are more holistic and inclusive, stressing encounters with difference that promote equity and complexity. I have advocated for a holistic developmental approach to learning and development that includes the head, heart, and hands, which I call "global perspective,"

But how is global learning relevant for the future of this world? Neal Sobania (2015) argues that global learning is simply good learning (after all, we don't talk about "American learning"). Good learning for the future of our global society is lifelong, with no one country, nation, or culture having all the answers. Learning is enhanced if the learner is engaged in encounters with differences among ideas and people in an environment that is challenging and supportive and fosters a sense of belonging.

I have wrestled with employing a global perspective in my volunteer work at Opportunity International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to alleviating global poverty by helping reduce, by 2030, the extreme poverty rate of 767 million people that the World Bank calculates now live on US $1. …

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