created using Wordle; I googled "Global Awareness," cut and pasted entire documents into Wordle, and used Jing to do a screen capture.

Welcome to the Global Awarness Wiki. Here, we will explore what the phrase "global awareness" means in k-12 education in North Carolina. The creation of this wiki was prompted by the new North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards and Evaluation system that was implemented state wide in the 2010-2011 school year.

Global Awareness Starts Locally
In the 2010-2011 school year, the new North Carolina Teacher Evaluation Process was rolled out statewide. This new system and instrument is radically different from the old Teacher Performance Assessment Instrument (TPAI-R) revised in 2000 in that it is formative rather than summative, it is synced with National Board Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) rather than the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) standards (1992), and it focuses on 21st Century Skills.
According to the North Carolina State Board of Education and the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards Commission (2009), “The different demands on 21st century education dictates new roles for teachers in their classrooms and schools” (p. 5). In addition to fostering problem-solving, making content relevant, teaching students to innovate, collaborate, and create, and fostering information and communications technology (ICT) literacy, teachers need to be able to teach students “the 21st century content (global awareness, civic literacy, financial literacy, and health awareness)…in the core content areas” (p. 5). This language represents a marked shift in the purpose of education in North Carolina.

As a mentor, I have been charged with orienting new teachers to the new teaching standards and evaluation process, helping them to create their Professional Development Plans (PDPs) and to evaluate their progress in this development at mid-year and year’s end, as well as working with them to meet both self-identified teaching and leading goals and goals identified through my informal observations and the formal observations of peers and administrators.

Out of the 32 beginning teachers that I mentor, many identified global awareness as a component of the new teaching standards that they want us to focus on when we meet. Several said that the phrase “global awareness” was an empty one to them, while others felt that it meant making the content relevant to students’ lives and still others felt that it meant connecting their curriculum to the world, namely through current events.

Before I began my current position, although we had analyzed, discussed, and brainstormed artifacts for each standard on the new evaluation instrument in our professional learning communities (PLCs), I had not heard of “global awareness”, nor was I aware of this being a factor in teacher evaluation. However, if there is one thing teachers understand, it is grading and rubrics. When we establish the criteria we are looking for when we evaluate, we put emphasis on the qualities we value in the work. Therefore, teachers zeroed in on the phrase “global awareness” nested in Standard III, “Teachers know the content they teach,” in elements C and D (McRel, 2008, p. 26).

In this project, I interviewed four people, a principal, an assistant principal, and two beginning teachers. I also analyze the interviews and invite your analysis.

This wiki will allow the participants (my mentees and myself) to collaborate in a PLC as we explore the concept of “global awareness” together, and will thus also serve as an artifact of this element for my mentees. I have posted resources for teachers here, including a link to the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, the group from whence this concept of global awareness was written into the language of the new teacher standards and evaluation process. Teachers are encouraged to upload lessons and projects they’ve created that explore global awareness and pictures and videos of students engaged in this learning, as well as other online resources, making this wiki a repository of resources. Just choose your content area from the list in the navigation bar.
There is a page for pictures of visual displays of global awareness, and this page consists of bulletin boards and classroom displays with a global theme.
In an analysis of the teacher evaluation instrument, global awareness is woven throughout several standards, and I will engage teachers in a conversation about what the state values in terms of global awareness as evidenced by the instrument. I will participate in all discussions.
My hope is that this wiki (and the digital story comprised of the interviews) will be a way for me to explore how the global is affecting me locally [via a shift in focus in my profession, fostering conversations I have never before had on the job]. I also want the wiki to become a living resource for teachers, using the very Web 2.0 tools that have contributed to the flattening of the world and globalization (Friedman, 2005).

Friedman, T. (2005). The world is flat: A brief history of the twenty-first century. New York: Picador/ Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.
Steger, M. (2011). Globalization: A very short introduction. New York: Oxford University

Please join the discussion. What does global awareness mean to you?
Subject Author Replies Views Last Message
What does "global awareness" mean to you? b_faulkner b_faulkner 2 1015 Feb 25, 2011 by b_faulkner b_faulkner