Opinion
International Opinion

The Top 10 Characteristics of Globally Competent Teachers

By Betty Soppelsa & Jennifer Manise — August 19, 2015 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A recent collaborative project aimed to define what a globally competent teacher looks like and then integrate those characteristics into teaching standards. Jennifer Manise, Executive Director, Longview Foundation and Betty Soppelsa, Senior Advisor, Programs for NAFSA: Association of International Education share the results of this work.

We already expect a great deal of new teachers. And now given the increasing interconnectedness of our world, new teachers are being called upon to meet and support the growth of globally-minded students—but are they ready to do so?

Teacher training institutions and the teaching profession have been the focus of many recent conversations in education circles, including numerous discussions around licensure and credentialing. This led us to engage directly with educators and their teachers about what global competence means for them and whether the process for credentialing new teachers is reflective of the realities of today’s classrooms.

What Does Global Competence Look Like in a Teacher?
We began by gathering exemplary examples of knowledge, skills, and dispositions that spell out global competence in educators:


  1. Understanding one’s own cultural identity and its influence on personal dispositions and classroom practice
  2. Knowing and integrating global dimensions within the disciplines one teaches
  3. Engaging students in learning about the world and in exploring their place in it
  4. Using real-life global examples, materials, and resources when considering local, national, and human issues
  5. Valuing the input of culturally and linguistically diverse learners, families, and colleagues, and modeling cultural sensitivity
  6. Creating environments that encourage positive cross-cultural interaction
  7. Modeling social responsibility in local and global contexts
  8. Helping learners find appropriate actions to improve local and global conditions
  9. Assessing learners’ global competence and providing growth opportunities based on their levels of development
  10. Advocating for global education and social responsibility

Definition of Global Competence for Teachers
Together, these and related elements led to the development of this definition of global competence for teachers by NAFSA:

“Global competence in teachers is a set of essential knowledge, critical dispositions, and performances that help foster development of learners’ global competence. A globally competent teacher has knowledge of the world, critical global issues, their local impact, and the cultural backgrounds of learners; manifests intercultural sensitivity and acceptance of difference; incorporates this knowledge and sensitivity into classroom practice; and, develops the skills to foster these dispositions, knowledge, and performances in learners. The teacher models socially responsible action and creates opportunities for learners to engage in socially responsible action.” © NAFSA: Association of International Educators, 2015.

Global Standards and Practices
We wanted to start by defining global competence for educators. The second phase was to embed it into the working definition of new teacher standards and practice. In cooperation with the Council of Chief State School Officers New Teachers Standards project, we anchored these ideas in the 2011 CCSSO InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards: A Resource for State Dialogue.

To do so, we identified the places where global competence intersects with and enriches overall teaching competence. The result is InTASC as a Framework: Viewing the InTASC Standards through a Global Preparation Lens.

Lend Your Voice
Global competence for teachers is no longer for just an elite few, but rather is an essential element of preparation for all teachers. It is time to partner more deeply with colleges of education and alternative training routes to emphasize this reality as they prepare tomorrow’s teachers.

We are eager to gather examples of how teacher educators and teachers are implementing global perspectives in their work, how they define global competence, and how they anticipate using the “Global Preparation Lens.” We invite you to provide your feedback.

Follow Longview, NAFSA, and Asia Society on Twitter.

Photo credit: iStock

The opinions expressed in Global Learning are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Budget & Finance Webinar
Innovative Funding Models: A Deep Dive into Public-Private Partnerships
Discover how innovative funding models drive educational projects forward. Join us for insights into effective PPP implementation.
Content provided by Follett Learning
Budget & Finance Webinar Staffing Schools After ESSER: What School and District Leaders Need to Know
Join our newsroom for insights on investing in critical student support positions as pandemic funds expire.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How can districts build sustainable tutoring models before the money runs out?
District leaders, low on funds, must decide: broad support for all or deep interventions for few? Let's discuss maximizing tutoring resources.
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

International England Pushes for Cellphone Bans in Schools. Could the U.S. Be Next?
England is the latest country seeking to keep cellphones out of class.
3 min read
Tight crop photo of a student looking at their cellphone during class. The background is blurred, but shows students wearing uniforms.
E+
International Photos PHOTOS: Take a Round-the-World Tour of the Return to School
Here's what back to school looks like in classrooms around the globe.
1 min read
A teacher gives a lesson on the first day of school at a cadet lyceum in Kyiv, Ukraine on Sept. 4, 2023.
Young cadets sing the national anthem during a ceremony on the first day of school at a cadet lyceum in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Sept. 4, 2023.
Efrem Lukatsky/AP
International Opinion School Reform Is Tough All Over, Not Just in the U.S.
Even though some reforms produce evidence of student success, that often isn't enough to overcome political hurdles.
6 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
International In Their Own Words What a Teachers' Union Leader Saw in Ukraine
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten was in the country just after widespread air strikes from Russia.
4 min read
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten prepares to cross the border into Ukraine on Oct. 10.
Randi Weingarten visited Ukraine on Oct. 10—the day Russian missiles slammed into Lviv, Kyiv, and other cities.
Courtesy of AFT