Tony Culley-Foster for the Sodexo Insights Blog
In 1953, Winston Churchill said: “All the great empires of
the future will be empires of the mind.” Over the years, eminent scholars and
educators have echoed Churchill’s sentiments: If you don’t know history, you
are condemned by ignorance to repeat, rather than learn from, the lessons of
The World Affairs
Council-Washington, DC advocates a liberal arts education approach to help
prepare teachers and students to be ‘global citizens’ in our diverse,
multi-cultural and interconnected world.
International leaders in the STEAM (science,
technology, engineering, arts, and
math) education movement also believe that educators and students in the 21st
century must acquire knowledge of world history, geography, social studies,
civics, arts, humanities, psychology, philosophy and communications to be
successful in work and life, particularly in the international arena.
The WAC-DC is an institution ‘Where Learning Happens’ and it
defines global education as: The ability to understand the interconnectedness
of people and systems, to express cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity, to
empathize with others, to maintain an open-mind, to see different perspectives,
to apply knowledge of global dynamics, to practice effective problem solving
skills, and to communicate and work efficiently in diverse environments.
Our customized programs are focused on empowering educators,
students and citizens through a ‘Knowledge Transfer’ process that is based on ten
core ‘Global Education’ competencies, that can easily be infused into any
existing high school or college curricula: Critical Thinking; Making Connections; Leadership Skills; Cross-Cultural Awareness; Problem-Solving Skills/Decision Making
Skills; Communication Skills; Understanding Others Perspectives; Investigate
the World; Understanding of Major Global Issues; and Media Literacy.
The Council is concluding the evaluation phase of a MasterCard
Foundation-sponsored 2015/16 Global
Education Teachers – International Exchange Program (GET-IEP) between high
school teachers and students in the Washington, DC metro area and their
counterparts in South Africa. What we’ve found is that only 13% of students surveyed in the US and
South Africa said that they are currently getting the global education insights and
knowledge they felt they needed to better understand their own nation, the
global community, and how people and societies can work effectively together to
develop understanding of, and mutual respect for worldwide differences. It’s
through GET-IEP and other global education programs that we provide
opportunities for learning and growth outside the classroom.
As future generations continue to innovate
in the fields of science and technology, we must also empower them with a
well-rounded understanding of our global history. Our world is increasingly
globalized and more interconnected than ever before, so it is vital that our
students learn about the world that surrounds them. A global education enables
students to better identify problems, solutions and the vehicles for change;
constructing modern ‘empires of the mind’.
Our students are inheriting a world that
presents challenges, but it is also a world filled with immense opportunity. The World Affairs Council-Washington, DC
is committed to providing those same kinds of opportunities for learning,
through global education programs for teachers and students worldwide.
Tony Culley-Foster is the President and CEO of the World
Affairs Council-Washington, DC. He is profiled in Who's Who in the World; a
visiting Professor in Communications at the University of Ulster; Board member
of the Illinois Institute of Technology - Stuart School of Business; and is a
recipient of HRH - The Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award; and numerous American
and international commendations for voluntary service, international education,
social responsibility and contribution to peace in Northern Ireland.