Educator Toolkit: Becoming Global Citizens

by Kara Dunn

Why This Matters Now

To be a global citizen means adopting a global perspective toward your understanding of current events and making a commitment to be informed, curious and engaged with issues of international importance. Reports on climate change, refugees and immigrants, trade, and so much more make the headlines each and every day. Wharton management professor Mauro Guillen, an expert on world economies, says, “The world is no longer revolving around Europe and the U.S. Now, the opportunities and the threats lie in many different places. Thus, understanding those global interconnections is critical.” As the Internet breaks down borders and makes it easier for all of us to experience different cultures, global awareness, sensitivity and engagement become necessary skills in business and in life.


China, the World Stage, and Your Role as a Global Citizen
Kick off your conversation around global citizenship with this short and thought-provoking article about what it means to be a global citizen. Students will read about other teens who are debating the global economic power shift and the rise of China, and then consider why such global issues might influence their own lives and decisions. Encourage students to explore global issues through the story sidebar of related resources, such as related Internet links, related KWHS articles and conversation starters, and then have them report back to the class and lead a discussion on their topic of choice. For example, do they see themselves living and working in a global city? This conversation starter found with the article will get them thinking and talking: “What is a global city? Using the “Related Links” tab, research this concept and identify some of the world’s global cities. How might global cities impact the way we view the global economy?”

Lesson Plan
Borderless Innovation
Multinational corporations have a global presence that often involves importing and exporting goods and services, making big investments in foreign countries, and opening new facilities in different countries. As students build their identities as global citizens, these types of companies might enter into their career paths. This lesson introduces students to multinational corporations and the unique ways they develop and sell their products in markets all over the world. It explores multiple business-related concepts and activities. Through reading and group learning, students are able to identify multinationals and also think about the different types of innovation models that these companies adopt in order to stay competitive. After exploring various innovation models, students break into four groups to discuss one of the four business models a company might adopt to reflect their innovation needs. Students in each group present that model to the class and offer an idea based on that model and information on a particular developing market (Brazil, China, India, Russia).

Hands-on Learning
Why save all the fun for debate club when the headlines impact all of us? PwC, a global consulting firm, recently published a report on five global megatrends that are changing the way we live and do business. They are: rapid urbanization, climate change and resource scarcity, a shift in global economic power, demographic and social change, and technological breakthroughs. Divide students into five teams and designate a leader for each team. Students should research PwC’s Megatrends and identify opportunities and challenges for each. Set up a debate in which teams help to educate each other on these trends, as well as discuss key issues influencing their development. For example, climate change has become a hot-button issue. Not everyone is likely to embrace this as a popular megatrend. Debate may come from within teams or across teams, but the idea is to clarify key points and think critically about their impact on the world, whether good or bad. Encourage students to express their opinions, and most importantly to listen to the perspectives of their classmates in order to understand all sides of the issues. Educators can take this as far as they would like, even requiring students to research and take on specific job titles related to their megatrends and formulate their arguments based on their leadership and decision-making roles.

Video Glossary
Provide an extra layer of learning for your students with our video glossary. Here, Wharton professors define terms: Developed Country, Developing Country, Euro, G8, Globalization, International Trade, Third World and United Nations

KWHS Quote of the Month
“It is important for my generation to learn about the rise of China. It will not only affect us in our adult lives, but the world is becoming more and more globally interconnected. Issues that affect one country can affect the entire world. Because of technological advancements, individual societies can no longer exist in isolation. We must learn how to coexist and prosper as a global community.” – Amanda Henry, The Shipley School, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania

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