Friday, November 5, 2010

Rubric - More info on preparing students for the 21st century.



Global awareness is the recognition and understanding of interrelationships among international organizations, nation states, public and private economic entities, socio-cultural groups, and individuals across the globe.


“… the world's corporate and political leadership is undertaking a restructuring of global politics and economics that may prove as historically significant as any event since the Industrial Revolution. This restructuring is happening at tremendous speed...”

-International Forum on Globalization (  Accessed 11-27-01

Importance in the Digital Age:

According to Thomas Friedman, author of the Lexus and the Olive Tree, globalization has replaced the Cold War in defining international relationships. Access to telecommunications and technology has caused shifts in power from nation states to multinational corporations, public and private economic entities, socio-cultural groups, and even individuals. 

Today, international commerce accounts for nearly a quarter of the American economy. A third of recent U.S. economic growth and a quarter of new job creation are due to exports. The world marketplace is even more important to particular sectors of the economy. One out of every two acres of wheat grown by American farmers is exported. More than two-fifths of the production of the domestic computer industry – including computer systems, hardware, and peripherals – is exported, and nearly three-fifths of the computer equipment Americans rely on is imported (Citizen’s Guide to U.S. Foreign Policy, 2000, pgs. 7-16).

But as U.N. Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, reminds us: “Unless the basic principles of equity and liberty are defended in the political arena and advanced as critical conditions for economic growth,” the rewards reaped from a global economy will be limited (speech at Harvard University, September 17th, 1998). Indeed, informed citizens worldwide are beginning to articulate wider principles, policies, and politics of “global awareness.” Central to these efforts is the belief that trade, investment, and technology are not ends in themselves; they are tools for promoting the ideals of equality, democracy, good jobs, a clean environment, and healthy communities.

The fair treatment of workers, the possible depletion of environmental resources, higher international health and safety standards, consumer protections, and issues of overpopulation, illiteracy, poverty, racism, hunger, aging, justice, immigration transcend national boundaries; they have become a growing part of our 21st century consciousness. Multinational flows of ideas, information, capital, labor, and even identity are concerns of the present that are not likely to diminish in an increasingly interconnected global future.

Communications technology, of course, is a tremendously important component of global awareness; the use of such technologies invariably informs our response to issues of globalization. According to John Naisbitt, “With the activities of the world being replayed for us in our living rooms each night, none of us can feign ignorance about affronts to society’s ethical standards. We have all become our brother’s keepers – at least in this sense. Communications technology has empowered individuals and communities through instant access to information of all kinds. With that access comes responsibility. Are we up to the task?” (Global Paradox, 1994, p.193).

Profile of a Globally Aware Student:

Globally aware students consider themselves global citizens. As such they use digital-age technologies to learn, think, participate in, and communicate about global issues. Globally aware students:

·       are aware of how technology links nations and individuals, as well as how it enables the global economy.
·       understand the interconnectedness of the global economy.
·       are aware of how the global economy impacts political decision-making – including the formal and informal pacts nations enter into.
·       are aware of the social, environmental, and micro-economic impacts of global decisions made by both national and international (e.g. the U.N., the I.M.F.) organizations.
·       understand how cultural differences (e.g. beliefs, traditions, religions) impact personal and national participation at the global level.
·       understand the impact of ideology and culture on national decisions about access to and use of technology.
·       participate in the global society through interactions with persons in another country or culture.

Continuum of Progress:

Awareness of technology’s impact on interconnections between nations/ individuals, global economy
Student is unaware of the role that technology plays in enabling a global economy.  He/she knows at a very superficial level that technology links individuals from different nations.
Student is aware that technology plays an important role in linking nations/individuals and in enabling the global economy.  However, this knowledge is general, limited (e.g., student may define technology too narrowly), or includes significant misconceptions. 
Student has some understanding of the ways in which technology has been an essential part of the global economy.  He/she understands some of the effects technology has had in linking nations /individuals and enabling exchange of goods, services, and information.
Student understands - beyond grade-level expectations -how technology links nations/individuals, how it enables the global economy, and how it changes the nature of the resources (e.g. information vs. goods) that can be traded.
Understanding of the interconnected-ness of the global economy
Student does not understand that economies of nations impact one another.
Student is aware that national economies impact one another, but this knowledge is general and sparse.  
Student is aware that economic conditions of one nation can impact those of other nations, but he/she is not aware of political/social/ environmental issues raised by economic interdependence.
Student understands – beyond grade-level expectations – how economies impact each other; he/she can think critically about political/ social/ environmental issues raised by economic interdependence.
Understanding of the impact of global economy on political decision-making
Student is unaware of the impact of economic considerations on political decision-making.  He/she may be largely unaware of political events and international economic conditions.
Student is generally aware that political decisions are shaped by economic considerations; however, he/she has little knowledge of specific considerations and national/ international policies.
Student is aware of some of the economic considerations that drive political decisions.   However, this knowledge is somewhat limited or tends to cast issues in black and white terms.
Student possesses knowledge – beyond grade level expectations – of economic considerations that drive specific national policies and decisions.  He/she can critically evaluate the gains and losses that result from these policies.
Understanding the impact of decisions made by national, international organizations on societies, environment, economies

Student has no knowledge of the impacts of decisions made by national/international organizations.  He/she has little knowledge of these organizations or their functions.
Student understands very generally that national and international organizations impact societal, environmental, and micro-economic conditions, but is unaware of specific policies/decisions that impact his/her world.
Student understands how some specific decisions made by national/international organization impact many facets of his/her day-to-day world; however, knowledge is limited or tends to cast issues in black and white.
Student has an excellent understanding of the way specific decisions made by national/international organizations impact his/her day-to-day world.  He/she is able to evaluate these issues critically and thoroughly.
Understanding of the impact of culture on political relationships
Student is unaware of the ways in which culture impacts national/personal political decision-making.
Student understands that culture impacts national/personal political decision-making, but his/her view tends to cast these issues in black and white.  Knowledge is either sparse or includes significant misconceptions.
Student understands some specific ways in which culture impacts national/personal political decision-making. 
Student has an excellent understanding of the ways in which culture impacts decision-making of specific nations/groups.  This understanding is fair and takes into account multiple cultural perspectives.
Understanding of the impact of ideology, culture on decisions related to technology and access
Student is unaware of differences in societies’ access to technology and information; he/she is unaware that political ideologies and culture impact individuals’ access to these resources.
Student understands at a general level that nations differ in the degree to which they allow citizens access to technology/ information.  However, this knowledge is sparse.
Student understands some of the ideological and cultural issues that drive national decisions about access to technology and information.
Student has specific and well-developed knowledge of ways in which access to technology/information is impacted by culture and political ideology.  He/she is able to transfer this knowledge when learning about similar issues with which he/she is unfamiliar.
Participation in the global society

In many cases it has not occurred to the student that persons in other nations directly influence his/her life socially, politically, and economically.

The student has a growing awareness of the global nature of the world.  He/she is interested in the study of international policy and affairs—but action is limited to learning and reflection.

The student recognizes his/her own role as an individual in a global society.  As such he/she - when guided -participates locally through economic, political, or social means (e.g., donations to relief efforts, contributions to international social, health, or environmental concerns). 
The student is aware of how his/her actions and the actions of his/her country exert influence globally.  He/she   seeks to understand the global impact of personal actions (e.g., consumerism based on company policies, consumption of energy, or recycling), and acts accordingly.

References and Links:

Anderson, Sarah, John Cavanagh, Thea Lee, and the Institute for Policy Studies. Field Guide to the Global Economy. New York, NY: The New Press, 2000.

Annan, Kofi. Speech to Harvard University, September 17, 1998.

Castells, Manuel. The Rise of the Network Society. Oxford, U.K.: Blackwell, 1996.

Drucker, Peter (2001, November 3). The Next Society. The Economist, Special Supplement, pgs. 3-20

The Economist (2001). Pocket World in Figures, 2001 ed. London, U.K.: Profile Books

Foreign Policy Association (2000). Citizen’s Guide to U.S. Foreign Policy: The Critical Issues. NY: Foreign Policy Association

Friedman, Thomas L. (1999). The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization. NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Friedman, Thomas L. (2001)Presentation to the Indiana Humanities Council.

Naisbitt, John (1994). Global Paradox. New York: Avon

Sassen, Saskia (1988). The Mobility of Labor and Capital. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press

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