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Updated standards for Glob. Ed.

For a good video where Tony Jackson explains his definitions for four fundamental global competencies, see here.

Because my state will be moving to the Common Core State Standards in 2014, I decided to look at the CCSS English-Language Arts standards for this assignment. (The district where I work has a pretty good online resource for CCSS–check it out here.)

It’s been very interesting looking at CCSS through the lens of global education. Common Core does provide some discussion of global education in its preamble and in an appendix:

Students in grades 6–12 apply the Reading standards to the following range of text types, with texts selected from a broad range of cultures and periods” (Common core state standards for English language arts & literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects, 2010, p. 57).

Students Who are College and Career Ready in Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, and Language

The descriptions that follow are not standards themselves but instead offer a portrait of students who meet the standards set out in this document. As students advance through the grades and master the standards in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language, they are able to exhibit with increasing fullness and regularity these capacities of the literate individual.

They come to understand other perspectives and cultures.

Students appreciate that the twenty-first-century classroom and workplace are settings in which people from often widely divergent cultures and who represent diverse experiences and perspectives must learn and work together. Students actively seek to understand other perspectives and cultures through reading and listening, and they are able to communicate effectively with people of varied backgrounds. They evaluate other points of view critically and constructively. Through reading great classic and contemporary works of literature representative of a variety of periods, cultures, and worldviews, students can vicariously inhabit worlds and have experiences much different than their own.” (Common core state standards for English language arts & literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects, 2010, p. 7)

But … in the actual standards for 11th and 12th grade, there is no mention of other cultures besides the United States. There is one mention for 9th and 10th graders:

RL.9-10.6. Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature.

The corresponding standard for 11th and 12th grade focuses on technique, not perspective:

RL.11-12.6. Analyze a case in which grasping point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement).

It seems in 11th and 12th grade, students’ focus is directed inward toward national culture rather than outward toward global culture.

RL.11-12.9. Demonstrate knowledge of eighteenth-, nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century foundational works of American literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics.

Not that I have much pull on these matters, but it would be great if our state (or even just our district) would consider rewriting a couple of the CCSS to make sure the global education promised by the document’s foreword is carried out through the standards.

End of kvetching: The assignment here is to take five standards and globalize them. Voila …

The standard How you can integrate global education into it Specific lesson plan modifications that demonstrate (indicated) global competencies  Informal outcome assessment
RL.11-12.2. Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text. Choose texts from different cultures, perhaps one Anglo-American and one from elsewhere, with similar themes. Two examples are Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Achebe’s Things Fall Apart; and Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea. Comparing and contrasting paired works would hit especially the first two global competencies: Investigate the world and recognize perspectives. Assign students a comparison-contrast chart (e.g., a Venn diagram or a three-column chart). More formally, students could write a comparison-contrast essay.
RL.11-12.7. Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text. (Include at least one play by Shakespeare and one play by an American dramatist.) Use foreign films based on Shakespeare’s plays: Omkara by Vishal Bhardwaj, or Ran by Akira Kurosawa. Again, comparing and contrasting would support investigating the world and recognizing perspectives. Same as above: Assign students a comparison-contrast chart (e.g., a Venn diagram or a three-column chart). More formally, students could write a comparison-contrast essay.
W.11-12.7. Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. Require that the question/problem involve some global issue. When assigning research projects, require students to turn in a working bibliography of at least a certain number of international sources. This lesson would tie neatly into the first global competency, investigating the world. Check the working bibliography to make sure it lists international sources.
W.11-12.8. Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the strengths and limitations of each source in terms of the task, purpose, and audience; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and overreliance on any one source and following a standard format for citation. Have students publish their research electronically so that international audiences could access it. Have students select an intended international audience for their publication. They could investigate effective ways for communicating with such an audience and then send someone an electronic copy of their research. This would fit the third competency: communicate ideas effectively with diverse audiences. It could also address the fourth competency: taking action. Have students write an explanatory paragraph about who a student picked for an audience for his/her assignment and why.
L.11-12.3. Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make elective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening. Investigate different conventions of American and British English, as well as distinguishing features of other versions of English (e.g., Jamaica, Canada, India, Australia, Ireland). While reading a story from another English-speaking culture, have students “translate” simple statements from one dialect into another. This would address investigating the world and communicating ideas effectively with diverse audience. This could be assessed in class orally or submitted in writing.
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