Opinion
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion

Jaime Casap Explains Why Global Competence Matters: It’s Not Really a Small World

By Jaime Casap — May 18, 2015 4 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Jaime Casap, Chief Education Evangelist at Google, Inc. shares why global competence is critical for students. Join him this Thursday, May 21st at 8pm ET/5pm PT for a special #globaledchat on Twitter. (Just search for #globaledchat to join the conversation).

With all due respect to the dancing dolls in Anaheim, it really isn’t a small world. It is a complex, multifaceted, diverse, and complicated world. Most of us hardly understand it yet the growing availability of the Internet and low-cost devices to connect to all the world’s information brings the complexity of this world to your fingertips. In 1995, just 1% of the world was online. Today, more than 40% of the world is. It took just 20 years to get three billion people online. This global achievement calls for all of us to understand what is happening around the world, why it is happening, and how it impacts us more than ever.

Local Companies, Global Competition
From a commerce perspective, gone are most organizations that do not compete on a global scale. In fact, there is a good chance our students will work for a global organization at some point in their careers. Even Paul Bond Boots, a small rural cowboy boot store in Nogales, Arizona, has a global customer base! With companies like Google, Facebook, Netflix, and others, most companies who are U.S.-based operate 24 hours a day on a global scale. In education, we often talk about how it’s critical it is to teach our students the “Four C’s": communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. While I agree these are critical competencies our students should master, what we miss in this discussion is an emphasis on another very important C, global competency.

Even if a graduate never works abroad or in a global organization, we still need to make sure our students are exposed to learning global competency skills. Since its inception, the United States has been comprised of people from all over the world. Whether you just arrived in the U.S. or are fifteenth generation, all of us have one common characteristic: we all have a First Generation story. And it doesn’t look like this trend is slowing. The U.S. continues to become more linguistically and culturally diverse. For example, in the next few years, one in four students in our public school system will be Latino. By the year 2045, the U.S. will be a “minority majority” country, meaning there will be more Americans who identify as minorities as a group than whites.

Organizations who will thrive in this global, diverse economy will understand how not only having a diverse workforce will be a competitive advantage, but having a workforce that understands and appreciates people from other cultures and one that can identify and acknowledge different points of view will stay relevant. Companies who focus on awareness and understanding of cultural issues at home and around the world will continue to expand and remain competitive. Having this awareness and understanding will help organizations to design products and services that appeal to a culturally diverse, global audience.

The Imperative of Global Competency
So what does a globally competent student look like? Globally competent students can see and understand the interconnectivity and interdependence between what we do here in the United States and the rest of the world. This means they will understand how problems facing the rest of the world impact us here at home and vice versa. Students who are globally competent have in-depth knowledge and understanding of international issues, an appreciation of people from culturally diverse backgrounds, and the knowledge, skills, and experiences to call themselves global citizens. Most American students, and especially low-income minority students, are behind their peers in other countries in their knowledge and understanding of world issues, world geography, and cultural understanding and experiences.

We often ask our students, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I do not believe that is the right question. First, all the labor forecasts predict that most jobs of the future haven’t been defined yet. Second, we already have jobs most students wouldn’t recognize, like “Bio-Medical Engineer” or “Sustainable Materials Architect.” Instead of asking our students what they want to be when they grow up, we should ask them what problem they want to solve. We should ask them to think about what knowledge, skills, and abilities they need to solve that problem. We should ask them to think about where they can get the knowledge, skills, and abilities they will need. We should ask them to think about how the problem they want to solve fits into the context of the world.

We need to create a generation of critically-thinking, collaborative problem solvers. Students who know and understand world issues. Students who understand political and socioeconomic systems on a global scale. Students who recognize and appreciate cultural diversity. If we really want to face and solve the problems of this complex, multifaceted, diverse, and complicated world, we need a generation of students who are strong in all the C’s: communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and global competency.

“There is just one moon and one golden sun,
And a smile means friendship to everyone,
Though the mountains divide,
And the oceans are wide,
It’s a small world after all...”
- Walt Disney


In addition to his role at Google, Jaime serves on the Board of Directors of New Global Citizens, a global competency non-profit helping teachers integrate global education into the classroom. Jaime is also an adjunct professor at Arizona State University.

You can reach and follow Jaime on Google+ and Twitter. Follow Heather on Twitter.

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
Professional Development Webinar
Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes with Teacher-Student Relationships
Explore strategies for strengthening teacher-student relationships and hear how districts are putting these methods into practice to support positive student outcomes.
Content provided by Panorama Education
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
Classroom Technology Webinar
Transform Teaching and Learning with AI
Increase productivity and support innovative teaching with AI in the classroom.
Content provided by Promethean
Curriculum Webinar Computer Science Education Movement Gathers Momentum. How Should Schools React?
Discover how schools can expand opportunities for students to study computer science education.

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

College & Workforce Readiness Teenager Balances Family Care, Work, and Credit Recovery on a Path to Graduation
Remote learning didn't start Gerilyn Rodriguez's academic problems, but it accelerated them.
3 min read
Gerilyn Rodriguez, 18, poses at Miami Carol City Park in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Aug. 19, 2022. After struggling with remote learning during the pandemic and dropping out of school, Rodriguez is now a student at Miami-Dade Acceleration Academies.
Gerilyn Rodriguez, 18, struggled with remote learning during the pandemic and dropped out of high school. A "graduation advocate" persuaded her to enroll in Miami-Dade Acceleration Academies in Miami, Fla.
Josh Ritchie for Education Week
College & Workforce Readiness What It Took to Get This Teenager Back on Track to Graduate
Nakaya Domina had been disengaging from school for years before she left Cimarron-Memorial High School in Las Vegas in 2019.
3 min read
Nakaya Domina pictured at her home in Las Vegas, Nev., on Aug. 12, 2022. After dropping out of school during the pandemic, she returned to a credit recovery program, where her "graduation candidate advocate" has helped her stay engaged. She expects to graduate this summer, and will then enter a postsecondary program in digital marketing.
Nakaya Domina dropped out of her public high school in Las Vegas in 2019 but managed to graduate this year with the help of a "graduation advocate" and a dropout recovery program.
Bridget Bennett for Education Week
College & Workforce Readiness Anxiety and Isolation Kept Him Out of School. How an Alternative Program Helped
After years of worsening anxiety that kept him from school, Blaine Franzel’s prospects for high school graduation are looking up.
3 min read
Blaine Franzel, 17, and his mother, Angel Franzel, pictured at their home in Stuart, Fla., on Aug. 15, 2022. After struggling during remote learning and dropping out of public school, Franzel is now thriving at an alternative school where he is learning about aviation.
Blaine Franzel, 17, and his mother, Angel Franzel, live in Stuart, Fla. After struggling during remote learning and dropping out of public school, Franzel is now thriving at an alternative school where he is learning about aviation.
Josh Ritchie for Education Week
College & Workforce Readiness 'Graduation Counselors' Go Door-to Door to Find Missing Students
On tree-lined streets and trailer parks, workers knock on doors to offer students a second chance at graduation.
6 min read
LaTosha Walker knocks on the door of a home where a student lives that has dropped out of school due to attendance records to talk to them about enrollment in Lowcountry Acceleration Academy in North Charleston on Tuesday, August 9, 2022.
LaTosha Walker, an enrollment coach for Lowcountry Acceleration Academy, knocks on the door of the home of a student who dropped out of school in Charleston, S.C.
Henry Taylor for Education Week