Global citizenship — it’s more than just a buzzword. It’s a key quality that modern students and professionals should have in order to succeed and help make the world a better place. We’ll explain what makes someone a global citizen and how to help your child develop a sense of global citizenship during their school years.
What Is Global Citizenship?
Your child likely considers themselves a citizen of their local community and country, but what about a citizen of the world? The concept of global citizenship is based on the reality of our shared humanity with people from all walks of life.
Global citizens do not exclusively identify with people from their hometown or people who were raised like they were. They identify with people more broadly and are aware of and appreciate global perspectives, including ones that differ from their own. They also feel a sense of responsibility to better the world as a whole, starting with their own community.
For students to become global citizens, they need to be exposed to global perspectives and experience guided connections with students of other countries and cultures.
The Importance of Teaching Global Citizenship
Young people don’t necessarily develop a sense of global citizenship innately — they need to learn the importance of global citizenship with the help of parents, teachers, and peers. Teaching children global citizenship can help them succeed in a number of ways.
According to the World Literacy Foundation, guiding learners to see themselves as global citizens can help them develop empathy, understanding, and a commitment to human rights. It can also prepare them to succeed in an increasingly globalized world. If students attend college or enter the professional world in the future, they can feel more confident and be better equipped to have positive interactions with other students or employees of different backgrounds.
Beyond the benefits to individuals, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) points out that a move toward global citizenship overall will likely also bring progress in accomplishing the world’s Sustainable Development Goals. Teaching global citizenship can help students develop responsibility skills so they contribute to the world around them more effectively.
Core Competencies of Global Citizenship
To unlock the benefits of global citizenship education, CCA focuses on developing certain core student competencies, including:
- Curiosity: Global citizenship for kids starts with curiosity. Encourage your child’s natural sense of curiosity as they learn about other cultures or problems facing other parts of the world.
- Intercultural knowledge: Global citizens learn about other cultures. This may include, for example, reading about a different religious tradition, trying a foreign cuisine, or even visiting another country.
- Self-awareness: Part of helping students develop cultural awareness is helping them understand themselves. Talk about the things that influence their worldview and sense of self, including factors like family and religion, as well as national, cultural, and ethnic heritage.
- Respect for diversity: Global citizens respect and appreciate others’ differences, viewing diversity as a source of strength rather than seeing these differences as a hindrance.
- Interconnectedness: While global citizens are aware of differences, they also feel a deep sense of connection with others across the world. This interconnectedness helps people with different backgrounds and perspectives relate to one another.
- Flexibility: Global citizens are not “set in their ways” — they are willing to change their perspective or their behaviors as they learn from others around them.
- Cross-cultural communication: Beyond language differences, culture can also have a major impact on communication styles. Global citizens have enough cultural awareness to effectively navigate differences and engage positively with others.
- Critical thinking: Being entrenched in a single perspective can cause people to accept assumptions. In contrast, global citizens put their thoughts and opinions to the test through critical thinking.
- Empathy: Empathy is an important trait in general and is key to global citizenship. For example, children should feel a sense of compassion when they learn of problems affecting others they’ve never met and should feel vested in finding solutions.
- Understanding of global issues: Global citizens broaden their attention to include global issues and news rather than just events and issues that affect them locally.
Technology for Teaching Global Citizenship
What teaching resources can you use to help your young learners become global citizens? Today, technology is one of the most effective ways to teach global citizenship. In fact, technology has been a major driver of globalization, as social and professional networks have gone digital. The world is experiencing an unprecedented level of interconnectedness thanks to technology, and that same technology can be leveraged to equip students to become global citizens.
You can learn all about the world without ever leaving your home. Guide your child to online resources where they can learn about other cultures and about civic responsibility. This might include educational videos, global news reports, or charitable organizations’ websites. You can also find programs that facilitate correspondence between children from different countries. Be sure to work with a reputable program and to monitor your child’s involvement to ensure it’s a positive and safe experience.
As one author points out, global citizenship should also involve a focus on citizenship at the local and national levels, so it’s a great idea to help your child learn more about their local community and their own heritage. You can use the internet to find local volunteering opportunities to get involved in, such as a neighborhood cleanup program, to help your child learn civic responsibility.
CCA’s Socialization Opportunities for Better Global Citizenship
Learners in the Commonwealth Charter Academy (CCA) community engage in virtual learning, but they also get to participate in a variety of socialization opportunities throughout the school year. CCA hosts over 700 field trips each year, along with many other opportunities for students to interact with peers from across the commonwealth. This includes clubs, internships, special events, and more.
We prioritize these experiences because we know real-life learning occurs as students are exposed to new ideas, activities, and ways of life. As students form bonds with other students — even ones from their local area — they can learn to appreciate differences. Learning more about the world and developing connections with others can help learners become global citizens.
Experience Socialization Opportunities for Better Global Citizenship at CCA
You may worry that cyber school would limit your child’s interactions with others and make it more difficult for them to become global citizens. In reality, CCA learners enjoy a wealth of social interactions and extracurricular learning opportunities. Plus, virtual learning allows teachers to leverage technology to help students learn about the world.
As a CCA student, your child can enjoy the best of online and in-person learning. With your help, they will be well-equipped to become a responsible and empathetic citizen of their local community, country, and the world. Contact us today to learn more about CCA’s socialization opportunities.