“If you are coming to help us, you are wasting your time. If you are coming because you know your liberation is bound up with ours, then let us work together.”
-Lilla Watson, Aborignial Elder, Australia
What is Globalization?
Here we are in the 21st century, living in a more globalized society than the world has ever seen. Economically, geographically, socially, and culturally, people are becoming increasingly interconnected consciously and subconsciously. Human lives both influence and are influenced by others around the globe, be it in recognizing that our t-shirt passed through several different countries in its production process before it rested on our back, or when we fly half way across the world to meet a colleague or old friend.
The complete effects of our global interconnectedness too often go unnoticed. We recognize positive impacts such as increased profit margins for companies and the ability to watch the Olypmics on another continent, but do we also acknowledge the growing wealth disparity around the world or the rapid and unsustainable degradation of the Earth and its resources as results of globalization? Do we consider the power structures and systems of oppression that our global society creates and encourages? We do in the Global Issues course.
The class aims to empower and prepare students to think globally and recognize how their actions and lifestyles affect and are affected by people around the world. We analyze how the status quo of our current world order is not sustainable and use this knowledge to seek alternative solutions. We ask ourselves what it means to be a global citizen and where we see ourselves in today's global society, bringing the broadest of concepts back to the individual. Most importantly, we discover how by altering our own life styles and ways of thinking we can all be active change agents steering our world towards true peace, justice, and sustainability.
Global Issues is a seminar style course with the use of role plays, simulations, and small to large group discussions. Guest speakers and opportunities to attend related lectures and workshops will be employed to give students the opportunity to interact with frontline activists-both local and global. The methods of facilitation are consistent with the principles that it wishes to encourage: holism, dialogue, values formation, seeking multiple perspectives, reflection, deep listening, and participation. A large emphasis is placed on the importance of everyone's knowledge being of equal value, encouraging students to be teachers and teachers to be learners as well. We welcome personal experience as sources of wisdom and empower students to seek out the voices that are not being heard on ideas or situations in order to form well-understood opinions.
Throughout the semester we explore a range of themes from the historical origins of globalization, to global economics, democracy, human rights, environmental sustainability, and international development, while continuously threading current events into our studies in an attempt to ground ourselves in the realities of today. Our resources draw from globally minded authors such as Naomi Klein, Chimamanda Adichi, Annie Leonard, Vandana Shiva, Ivan Ilich, Van Jones, Majora Carter, Howard Zinn, David Korten, Joanna Macy, and many more. Assignments are extremely flexible, allowing students to explore many methods of presenting their learning and choosing whichever is most accommodating to their learning style.
One of the most exciting aspects of the Global Issues Class is the semester-long Global Issues project. We explore life entrepreneurship, examining our skills and passions and empowering students to use those to make changes in their home communities. Throughout the semester each student plans and develops a project for change that they implement when they return home after the semester.
Any questions? Want more info? Feel free to email Amelia Nebenzahl, the Global Issues teacher, at !
CHECK OUT FALL 2012'S FLASH MOB AGAINST THE OVERUSE OF STANDARDIZED TESTING CREATED IN GLOBAL ISSUES