Knowing who you are and where you have come from is important for students, especially during adolescence. In our dynamic, ever-evolving globalised world and economy, today’s generation need to learn about others, just as much as about themselves. Global citizenship usually involves three dimensions – awareness of self and others, responsibility and participation. Teaching students about global issues and encouraging them to see the world through the eyes of others is essential for future global citizens.
Here’s why it’s important for students to become global citizens in our globalised economy:
Respect and value diversity
Learning about diversity in the classroom teaches students that different viewpoints and cultures are to be cherished and appreciated rather than judged or feared. Recent studies have shown that minority students can sometimes feel pressured to dispose of their cultural norms, behaviours and traditions in order to fit in with the prevalent social order. Classroom activities such as marking the countries on a world map where their families were born or displaying classroom signs in different languages are great activities that encourage students to become global citizens.
Awareness of global issues
A carefree childhood is a happy one. However, we must not shelter our children from global issues. Teaching students about conflicts in the world is necessary for raising globally minded and empathetic individuals. Author, Patricia Ramsey, believes that understanding diverse cultures and global issues at a young age can help us overcome and prevent racial and ethnic divisions for the future.
Research suggests that learning about other cultures by means of global citizenship is the most effective way to build bridges between what happens locally and globally. Ultimately, the more we learn about other cultures, the more obvious it is that we are all human beings and deserve to be treated as such. Cultural empathy can be achieved in the classroom by exposure to different religions, beliefs, dance, music and foods.
Participating in subjects such as political science, sociology and ethics are great ways to develop this important skill. Encourage your son to consider participating in extra-curricular activities such as public speaking, debating or drama. Critical thinking enables students to differentiate between fact and fiction, respectfully challenge information in the media, and debate complex cultural topics with confidence.
There are many ways in which you can help your son to become a global citizen. Continuously encourage him to participate in new opportunities, read new books, learn a different language, or experience the incredible benefits of completing an exchange program.
Learn how Christ Church Grammar School immerses boys with cultural experiences and encourages inclusivity to develop global citizens and build good men.