GEMS for Global Educators

ASCD’s Educational Leadership magazine recently devoted an issue to “The Global-Ready Student.” I was honored to contribute an article alongside esteemed global educators like Veronica Boix Mansilla, Tony Jackson, Julie Lindsay and Will Richardson. My article, Every Journey Begins With a Step, consisted of a “primer for building global competence in young students.”

Abstract of the article: Events like Britain’s vote to leave the European Union reflect the fear and sense of injustice many people feel in the face of globalization. Such events send a message to K–12 educators: 21st century education must respond to the challenges of the global economy and create opportunities for everyone to find meaningful work in an open, global system. But in the face of fear, we may be giving our students exactly the opposite take-away. U.S. schools should help learners build skills for global competency—international collaboration, empathy, creativity, deep inquiry, and effective communication. And educators have the best chance to develop such global competencies by starting in elementary school. In the article I present four steps any educator can take to help learners of any age (I focus on elementary in this article) build a global mindset, familiarity with foreign cultures and languages, and experience interacting with people in other countries: (1) Shift the school’s culture to one that clearly values global connections; (2) Mine your local community for global resources; (3) Help students use digital tools to make global connections; and (4) Plug global competency into any lesson.

The full article is available through, but here’s a useful summary from some of the quotes out of publication. (Click blog post title to see “Gems for Global Educators” poster.)


global ready gems

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *