Educating students to improve the world
Reimers, Fernando M.
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The shared nature of many of the current concerns and opportunities of humanity, from climate change to trade, pandemics to security, and governance to advancing science, require that people across the world are educated to understand them, care about them, and have the skills to address them collaboratively, from their respective spheres of influence. Global education is the domain of scholarship and of practice which focuses on developing such competencies. This field has a long history, albeit one that comprises more small-scale successes than accounts of large-scale educational transformations of educational institutions that succeed at educating global citizens. A review of the theoretical scholarship, and of the literature on practice, suggests that there have not been sufficiently productive interactions between those two domains. At times when the nature of our global challenges underscores the urgency of more effective skills for global understanding and collaboration, this book is an attempt to bring closer together the worlds of scholarship and practice in global education, proposing a conceptual approach to advancing it that addresses five core dimensions of the process: cultural, psychological, professional, institutional, and political. Relying on this theory, I then discuss an extensive body of research and practice-oriented literature on global education, drawing out the implications to lead global education programs. My own involvement with the field of global education began serendipitously. My early career involved me in carrying out research and policy analysis to advise governments around the world on education policy. This interest in policy reform then took me to the World Bank where I worked in the design of large-scale programs of educational improvement.
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