Today we live in an interconnected, diverse, and rapidly changing world. Whether they be economical, digital, cultural, demographic, or environmental, emerging forces continue to reshape our lives like never before. However, these collective changes will be felt most by our youth as they will experience increased intercultural encounters that will form part of their daily lives.
The complexity of this new environment presents opportunities and challenges for educators, students, and facilitators alike. Preparing the youth for a more inclusive and sustainable future is paramount to guaranteeing their participation in a more interconnected world, one where they can appreciate and benefit from cultural differences. Developing a global and intercultural outlook is a long-term process that only education has the power to shape.
What is global competence?
Global competence is the multidimensional capacity to empathize. Globally competent individuals possess the cultural leadership to examine local, international, and cross-cultural issues while understanding and appreciating different perspectives and world views. They can also interact successfully and respectfully with others, taking responsible action toward sustainability and collective well-being. Sounds too good to be true? It’s not, and it’s already in practice and being adopted by the leaders of tomorrow.
Global Education is the Path to Global Competence
Reinforcing global competence is essential for young people to thrive in a hastily developing world. This paradigm shift needs to be embraced by teachers to create the brightest future for all. Educators and facilitators are the custodians of knowledge and guidance. Their wisdom, therefore, builds the next generation to inhabit our planet. WSLA believes that re-imagined schools are the perfect platform to produce next-generation leaders who will hugely impact our world. We help schools transform learning programs by taking students out into the world and coaching teachers to bring real-world learning connection back into the classroom. WLSA schools are unlike any other as they form part of a movement to see learning as feeling, thinking, and doing that empowers students to explore their unique purpose. There is a lot to gain from growing openness and connectivity, with far more to lose from rising inequalities and radicalism.
Schools are an effective catalyst for change as they play an integral role in helping young people to develop global competence. When introduced into a curriculum, global competence challenges students to investigate the world, foster an appreciation for diverse perspectives, communicate ideas and take meaningful action while practicing intercultural sensitivity and respect.
A globally focused curriculum can be as empowering for teachers as it can be inspiring for students. Unlock a student’s curiosity and reveal their genuine thirst for knowledge. In a digitized age, this represents an opportunity to teach students how to use digital information and social media platforms appropriately and responsibly.
Transformative Learning Rather Than Tourist-Level Empathy
Resolving conflict, climate change, health epidemics, terrorism, trade, economic disputes, and human rights issues will require global competency.
Transformative learning can equip young people with empathy for engagement, the knowledge to act, and the skills to collaborate. Simply put, it is no longer sufficient for schools to send out students who know only how to do what they were taught. Instead, the modern world requires citizens who can go beyond what they were taught, and our reality should reflect this.
Create Future Humanitarians Through Global Education
Education systems based on teaching in a global manner can promote cultural awareness and respectful interactions in increasingly diverse communities. The World Leading Schools Association was founded in 2011 at the 5th World Leading Schools’ Forum, later becoming the WLSA Global Educators Conference.
Before the launch of WLSA, the conferences were designed to serve as a platform to help world-leading headteachers increase international communication and cooperation between China and the West. WLSA now connects world-leading schools through a network of scholarships, online learning, admission programs, webinars, student research conferences, and events.
WLSA has a rich history of uniting world-leading experts in education through student conferences and events. These interactive forums promote collaboration and academic exchange while stimulating research and discussion of innovative and educational topics. School heads, senior faculty, admissions officials, college counselors, students, and others working in the academic arena from secondary schools through to universities have all come together at our conferences. Thus, creating an intercultural leadership institute to support global competence development and encourage meaningful, long-term cooperative synergy across continents.
Our association shares a vision for humanity that provides the missing piece to the globalization puzzle. However, the extent to which this vision is realized will depend on today’s classrooms. Schools are uniquely positioned to enhance young people’s ability to understand their place in society and refine their ability to make judgments and take diligent action.