IIE Network - Spring 2014 - (Page 41)

FEATURE: THE IMPACT OF GLOBALIZATION ON INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION Two Models of Global Learning By Jason A. Scorza NOW MORE THAN ever before, advocates of global learning as an important component of undergraduate education enjoy broad and deep institutional support. Nonetheless, in this era of economic challenges and hard choices, disagreements about what exactly global learning is, and how best to promote it, continue to be widespread, and this lack of consensus often serves as an obstacle to meaningful curricular action. Much of the confusion can be traced to the fact that two very different models of global learning are evident today, both within and beyond the United States. The first seeks to prepare graduates for success in the global marketplace, where individuals can reasonably expect to change professions several times during a working lifetime. From this perspective, economic globalization and rapidly evolving technologies require students to develop capacities and competencies that will help them throughout their careers, rather than simply preparing for their first job. However, this "economic" model remains controversial, particularly among those who decry any demand for professional relevance in the university curriculum as a stain on the ivory tower and sign that our institutions are becoming "trade schools." The second popularly conceived model of global learning seeks to prepare graduates for globalization in a civic, rather than economic, sense. As people and places grow increasingly interdependent, and the causes and solutions to global problems grow increasingly opaque, this perspective asserts that individuals must possess the capacities and competencies needed to enjoy the rights and fulfill the responsibilities of membership in the global community. This "civic" model will be familiar to students of cosmopolitanism in its many varieties, and those committed to liberal education will probably find themselves drawn, more naturally, to it. However, it too is controversial, particularly among those who value academic neutrality toward values. Yet, as with most binary dichotomies, more meaningful understanding lies within a synthesis (or "mash-up") of these two models. Dr. J. Michael Adams, past president of Fairleigh Dickinson University, discusses the tension between economic and civic aspirations of education as a false choice in his book, Coming of Age in a Globalized World. Adams and his co-author Angelo Carfagna write, "The values of a liberal education and professional training are undeniable. There is nothing wrong with aiming for professional success and desiring greater wealth and income through education. On the other hand, a good liberal education that imparts a broad understanding of the human experience is fundamental to all human pursuits." Adams suggests a "truce" between these contending models of global learning-a truce predicated upon our recognition of genuine urgency of both civic and professional learning for students growing up in an increasingly globalized world (Adams and Carfegna 2006, 156). Fortunately, for those of us tasked with implementing such a truce on the ground, many of the learning objectives-and concrete competencies-for these two models of global learning are actually quite similar. Indeed, many common general education learning goals are useful both to the responsible member of the global community and the successful participant in the global marketplace. Consider, for example, these common elements of competency-based general education: Written and Oral Communication * Successful people convey information and ideas efficiently and effectively through written and oral communication. * Responsible people use writing and speech to persuade others to address shared global concerns. Scientific Analysis * Successful people use basic scientific principles to solve complex technical problems related to business enterprises. * Responsible people use basic scientific principles to understand global issues ranging from climate change to the spread of infectious disease. Ethical Analysis * Successful people possess personal ethics as well as the ability to recognize and analyze ethical problems within an organization. * Responsible people use ethical analysis to understand their personal role in, and responsibility for, shared global concerns. Information Literacy * Successful people learn from diverse sources of information and differentiate between reliable and unreliable information to enhance an enterprise. * Responsible people learn from diverse sources of information, and differentiate between reliable and unreliable sources, to understand shared global concerns. This list could easily be extended to include foreign languages, critical thinking, intercultural understanding, technological literacy, quantitative literacy, and more. What matters most is their application and context, not their essence. A strong global education, therefore, must make both economic and civic contexts and applications clear to students, ideally through authentic assessments that engage, or at least model, real-life conditions or situations. However, most degree programs-including both professionally oriented ones and traditional liberal arts fields like history and philosophy-are under great pressure to favor the economic model of global learning, as institutions increasingly tout the professional benefits university education, measured in job placements, salaries, and employment rates. This is completely understandable given that these institutions compete among themselves for student enrollment, and a competitive edge is what most of our students, and their families, are looking for. It may make relatively little sense to them that they should strive to become better "world citizens," in the purely civic sense, when globalization, as they understand it, confronts them with diminishing career prospects, corporate downsizing and outsourcing, and wage deflation, to say nothing of unprecedented student loan debt. Regardless of such pressure, some institutions have sought to navigate a course between these two concepts of global learning. At Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU), both the civic and the economic approaches to global learning are much in evidence. Indeed, 41

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Network - Spring 2014

A Message from Allan E. Goodman
News
2014 IIE Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education
An Interview with Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, Minister of Education and Research, Government of Norway
Introduction to the Globalization of International Education
Internationalization as Acquisitions, Mergers, and Synergy: A Value-Based Framework of Internationalization
Globalized Internationalization: Implications for Policy and Practice
Advocating the Value of Experiential Learning in the Age of Globalization
The Translocal Urban Nexus in International Education: Trinity College in China and Southeast Asia
Mission Apt: Evolving Strategies for Global Student Recruitment
Global Research Networks: Experiments in Internationalization
Two Models of Global Learning
Advertisers Index
Final Thought: Fostering Global Research Capacity Through Multilateral Partnerships: The Global Innovation Initiative

IIE Network - Spring 2014

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