We live in an interconnected world made real by technology. You can meet and interact with people in other countries without leaving the comfort of your home or office. With the use of social media – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube, you get to connect with people from different cultures, languages, backgrounds from all over the world.
We are not just citizens of our own country but the world. Whatever affects one country affects the other.
Global citizenship is simply that everyone, no matter where they live, what they eat, how they live, are part of a worldwide community and recognize that there are no boundaries to our shared humanity, cultures, communities, and interaction with other countries.
As we bring up the 21st Century children, how do we make them global citizens?
Here are 5 practical ways to incorporate global mindset:
1. Explore other viewpoints: Facilitating debates within a classroom setting teaches students how to appreciate and respect opposing viewpoints from different cultures. Have them assume the role of being from another culture, eating their food, making use of their clothing, etc.
2. Teach culture through music: Music and dance are great ways to engage students in other cultures. Every week, you can have a “theme song,” when you play music and watch dances of cultures around the world.
3. Incorporate global stories in your curriculum: Use lesson plans to introduce global perspectives through your chosen topic to teach children the importance of experiencing other traditions, celebrating diversity, and opening their minds to new possibilities.
4. Create opportunities for cultural exchange: Provide opportunities for students to engage with students and peers from other cultures. Pen-pal programs, email exchanges, FaceTime or Skype conversations give students a chance to speak about and learn from one another.
5. Ask questions about other countries: Create more opportunities for students to be curious and want to know more about beliefs, culture, way of life, people, etc of other countries. Prompt them to use their critical thinking skills to go beyond the basics of the who, what, where, why, and how to dig deeper.
One of the key pillars of global citizenship is for everyone to accept their uniqueness and appreciate who they are. It is therefore important that as we raise our children, we encourage them to embrace their heritage and culture.
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