MLO3: Global Competence Summary Essay

By: Jacob Taylor

OUTCOME: Global competence is an "appreciation of other cultures and the ability to interact with people from foreign lands. It is the ability to become familiar with an environment, not causing a rift while experiencing something new, and reflection upon the experience at its completion." A globally competent person understands the interconnectedness of today's world and the importance of responsible decision making.

Are you more reflexive, skilled and effective in cultures and social contexts different from your own?

Within my service learning course we focused on an activist education of children, utilizing the cultural knowledge even small children can bring into the classroom. The outcome of that is a grant application to support parent training courses to increase their involvement in their child's education in ways they can help their child be more successful in school. To build up to that, we read Paulo Freire and several other authors, as well as additional materials on many aspects of education. Education both as a system and as a practice in modern society. This is crucial to understanding how others inculcate children with their culture, which is a great way to understand how that culture expresses itself in adulthood. This is part of the key to being globally competent – development of a practice of empathy and understanding towards other cultures so that even in the cases where you strongly disagree with some idea or practice or other, you can empathize and understand where they're at and where they are coming from.

At some level, a global competency is really rather more than just knowing what to do or what not to do within other cultures – It's a practice of understanding the logic of other cultures such that you need never ask what (not) to do, you come into a situation with a foundational understanding of a culture's logic and can articulate that as such. In many cases this logic is grounded, fundamentally, in the space in which it was generated. This can be physical space, of course – the actual land where some people do or have lived – but it can also be cultural space, be that memory, practices, celebrations, or many other things. It's one of the reasons to study ecologies, and not just a "culture". If you, when making decisions in many situations, are not taking into account all of these factors and more, you may not be making optimal decisions. This outcome section built that capacity in students.