Globalization has profoundly impacted the way we live and work. It is also changing our academic institutions and the way we teach and learn.
As educators, we grapple with the challenges of teaching diverse, multicultural groups of students. We strive to teach inclusively, and we seek out creative ways to internationalize our courses and our curricula.
The good news is that there has never been a better time to design (or redesign) our courses in order to infuse them with a global perspective. For instance, innovations in instructional technology, access to cloud-based, asynchronous communication tools, streaming video, and virtual reality have helped make this possible.
The challenge is that we, as teachers, often get stuck in the overwhelm of our day-to-day grind. As a result, we fail to implement our ideas for activities and learning experiences that would make our courses more internationalized.
A simple remedy for our inertia is to scale back on some of our plans (at least initially until we get some momentum going) and begin by taking small but significant steps that will yield some global spice to our courses.
Here are 3 easy steps you can take right now to internationalize your classes.
Step #1 – Seek out readings that offer an intercultural perspective versus (or in addition to) a Eurocentric perspective to your course subject matter.
Step #2 – Invite a guest speaker who can address a topic or theme covered in your course from a global point of view.
Step #3 – Explore the diversity within your classroom by having students work in groups or pairs so that they can learn about one another’s native language and/or culture. Dialog journals are a great way to encourage this type of exploration.
How do you internationalize your courses? Post a comment below.
If you need some ideas for globally engaging teaching activities, be sure to check out the activities listed on this page of our site. If you implement any of these activities, please tell us how it went.
We’d also love to hear from you if you’ve got globally engaging activities to share.