Global Competencies (Revised Feb 2013!)


Global Competencies 

by Craig Perrier (revised February 2013)

The concepts Global Intelligence, Global Education, Global Awareness, and Global Perspectives are often used as synonyms despite their specific nuances. However, “Competencies”, I argue, incorporate these other headings in four main groupings: content, skill,  habits of mind, and pedagogy and assessment. In turn, “Global Competencies” offer obtainable, relevant, and measurable educational goals for students and educators.


Furthermore, the Global Competencies framework complements changes in contemporary pedagogy, assessment, and curriculum design.  It is important to note that educational efforts which engage global competencies are not inherently better suited for the social sciences and humanities. Global Competencies are best utilized when internalized in a school’s culture and identity, across curriculum, and engages communities at the local, regional, national, and global levels.


(It should be noted, that when applied specifically to history/social studies education, “global” assumes a connotation that intentionally seeks alternatives to national history and narratives. This typically manifests as “transnational” and “systems thinking” approaches.)



1.1: Course content has been globalized and focuses on students acquisition of global knowledge, connections, attitudes, and skills regarding geographic, social, political, economic, cultural, technological, and environmental issues.

1.2: The concept of culture is taught/engaged as a network of meanings and systems that are fluid, imagined, complex, and are constructed by groups. Culture is not historicized or essentialized as a packaged, static set of beliefs, values, and customs that are “natural” to a group. The former establishes cultural literacy and limits the process of “othering” and oversimplified, hierarchical categories.

1.3. Global experiences: Students have the opportunities to have direct, online, or through video conferencing, interactions and experiences with students, adults, and places beyond the United States

1.4 Globalization is taught as a distinct course or unit of study and/or engaged across curriculums.

2. Skills

2.1:  Students have the opportunity to develop these skills throughout their education:

a. Understanding the formation, movement, and function of global systems, processes, institutions, and ideas.

b. Foreign language acquisition.

c. Engage with and utilize major concepts and conceptual frameworks including, but not limited to:

  • Culture
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Agency
  • Power
  • Structuralism
  • Context
  • Modernity
  • Objectivity
  • Subjectivity

d Cross-cultural collaborative work and the communication of ideas effectively with audiences beyond their classroom

2.2 Being able to Find, Manage, Relate  & Create information from multiple sources and using a variety of technology.

2.3 Understanding the idea of the “Other” and the process of “Othering”.

3. Habits-of-Mind

3.1 Formation of a cosmopolitan mindset open to and informed of global sensitivities, perspectives, diversity, and insight.

3.2 The development of social action and volunteerism

3.3 Encourage creativity, curiosity, interpersonal relationships, and reflection.

3.4 Develop a mindset that embraces possibility, builds connections, and identifies processes that include setbacks and successes


4. Pedagogy and Assessment

4.1: Students participate in classes that ask them to investigate, comprehend, analyze, relate, and evaluate information in a global context.

4.2:  Students are given options and are encouraged to reflect on their knowledge and thought processes about the causes, challenges, consequences, and solutions of global issues.

4.3: Assessments provide students with project/problem based learning, portfolios, and authentic opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding, and awareness of globalized course content.

4.4 Technology is embraced and integrated into student learning experiences.

4.5 Teachers are facilitators of student learning and utilize a variety of instructional practices.

One thought on “Global Competencies (Revised Feb 2013!)

  1. Hi Craig! It is so funny that you posted this update recently. I have been researching for a paper that I am doing for a leadership class and the topic is “education reforms – boon or bust.” I picked global education and have been researching for two days. I came to your site because I noticed two things: the words “global competence” seem to have replaced “global education” even on asia society’s site, and it is almost impossible to find emperical data in reference to the success of global education! (or competencies). My Professor, what say you? I need an update!

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