The Globally Competent Learning Continuum

The Globally Competent Learning Continuum provides a tool for teachers to assess their own global competence. If a teacher were to use the tool in order to reflect upon and evaluate their own global competence, they might well be in for a round of agonizing reappraisal, as I was. The Continuum contains twelve elements, with responses arranged in columns, moving from "nascent" to "advanced" levels of competence. Teachers can also use the Globally Competent Learning Continuum to evaluate their department or school's overall global competence, or a university education department might search for ways to develop competence in student teachers, as the linked version of the GCLC illustrates.

Here's the first of the twelve Dispositions, "Empathy and Valuing Multiple Perspectives." Besides using the Continuum to measure my own global competence, I've used the scale for this first disposition in a lesson on developing empathy in the classroom and building a school culture that champions Brave Spaces where ideas can be freely exchanged--and critiqued.

What disposition do we value more in ourselves and in our students than empathy and appreciating challenging perspectives?

Empathy and Valuing Multiple Perspectives

  • Nascent: I have not yet explored how my personal beliefs have shaped my worldview.

  • Beginning: I can identify my personal beliefs and experiences and recognize how they shape my view of the world. I recognize that I might hold stereotypes.

  • Progressing: I understand that my beliefs and experiences are not universally shared. I can identify the influences that shape how others and I view the world. I am willing to explore the experiences and perspectives of people who challenge my beliefs.

  • Proficient: I recognize biases and limitations of my own perspective and those of others’ perspectives. I recognize how my personal beliefs influence my decisions as a teacher. I empathize by seeking to understand the perspectives of others.

  • Advanced: I challenge my personal assumptions to understand viewpoints that differ from my own. I value diverse perspectives, including those that challenge my own.

The Globally Competent Teaching Continuum was originally developed in 2014 by J. M. Cain, J. Glazier, H. Parkhouse, and A. Tichnor-Wagner at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (thus the LEARN NC connection in the linked GCLC above). If you seek a more thorough exploration of global competence, you can link to a 58-page sample from Cain, Glazier, Parkhouse and Tichnor-Wagner's textbook, Becoming a Globally Competent Teacher.