OECD: Preparing Our Yuth for an Inclusive and Sustainable World

Introduction: The importance of an international global competence assessment

Twenty-first century students live in an interconnected, diverse and rapidly changing world. Emerging economic, digital,  cultural, demographic and environmental forces are shaping young people’s lives around the planet, and increasing their intercultural encounters on a daily basis. This complex environment presents an opportunity and a challenge. Young people today must not only learn to participate in a more interconnected world but also appreciate and benefit from cultural differences. Developing a global and intercultural outlook is a process – a lifelong process – that education can shape (Barrett et al., 2014; Boix Mansilla and Jackson, 2011; Deardorff, 2009; UNESCO, 2013, 2014a, 2016).

What is global competence?

Global competence is a multidimensional capacity. Globally competent individuals can examine local, global and intercultural issues, understand and appreciate different perspectives and world views, interact successfully and respectfully with others, and take responsible action toward sustainability and collective well-being.

Can schools promote global competence?

Schools play a crucial role in helping young people to develop global competence. They can provide opportunities for young people t ocritically examine global developments that are significant to both the world at large and to their own lives. They can teach students how
to critically, effectively and responsibly use digital information and social media platforms. Schools can encourage intercultural sensitivity and respect by allowing students to engage in experiences that foster an appreciation for diverse peoples, languages and cultures (Bennett, 1993; Sinicrope, Norris and Watanabe, 2007). Schools are also uniquely positioned to enhance young people’s ability to understand their place in the community and the world, and improve their ability to make judgements and take action (Hanvey, 1975).

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