Dissecting Global Citizenship: A Journey into Unfamiliar Cultures

Throughout the three weeks of Global Citizenship: A Primer, I have learned and relearned many aspects of what it means to be a global citizen. This class broadened my horizons about the issues taking place around the globe. Gaining global competency is one of the main goals highlighted in this course. Investigating the world, recognizing perspectives, communicating ideas, and taking action combine to form the definition of global competence. By being global competent, one understands the world and interprets issues by understanding both sides of the story and using this information to communicate and can execute tasks that help the world become closer to unity.

Understanding the definition global competence was the key to the class.  Utilizing this knowledge, our class explored some of the many issues of the world. First, our class chose to research the views on homosexuality in the countries of our favorite food (in my case sushi). When I researched, I identified the perspectives of the Japanese society and their views on gays. I found that the outlooks are somewhat relaxed and accepted, similar to the United States. Next, I learned about blue zones and the key to being healthy and living longer. In a blue zone, a population has a significantly higher life expectancy due to healthy habits. Other pieces of research included, ikigai, the drive for a person to get up in the morning in Japan, and civil discourse in the United States.

After finding our research, we logged our information in Word Press. Word Press is a blog site where groups, in this case our class, could blog our ideas and we could all comment on each other’s. I feel that Word Press was an effective tool in helping me understand global competence. Not only could I show my own feelings, but I could see what everybody else was thinking and could get feedback about my post from them.

For the first thirty minutes in each of the class periods, we would partake in listening and learning. We heard beautiful songs of foreign artists who sang with their hearts. Interpreting these songs was a main part of these sessions. Along with the songs, our class watched the movie Chak De! India. This fast paced and dramatic movie about India’s disrespected team was not only entertaining but informative as well. I had no idea that women in India were treated with less equality than in the United States and that field hockey was treated with such enthusiasm in their culture.

As far as the course goes, I have come to learn and relearn many things. Specifics like the treatment of gays in India or the problem of the lack of civil discourse in the United States. I thought that India’s would be accepting to gays, but in fact they are not. These are only small examples from the huge issues that I might be unaware about. I feel that everyone is our country should strive to be more globally competent. There is no specific person that needs it more than the other. Many people in the United States may have false beliefs towards certain issues and need to be enlightened. To allow the population to become more globally competent, I would say that classes in schools need to include more about the other parts of the world and their perspectives rather than those of the United States themselves. This is just a small suggestion to the many possibilities.

Global Citizenship: A Primer, was by far the best class I took this semester. Do not think that I am trying to suck up. Everyday in the class was a mystery. I looked forward to discovering facts from other cultures that I had no idea about. The usage of songs, videos, and the blogs, kept me engaged throughout the whole class.  If I had to make any suggestions I would say to stay on topic more. I do like how free it is to choose the topics you want to research it keeps you more interested in your topic.

Overall it was a great class and I wish I could take it again next year.

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One thought on “Dissecting Global Citizenship: A Journey into Unfamiliar Cultures

  1. Very thorough and informative final blog post, Harris. Thank you for going into depth about the learning you experienced. I like how you characterized the class as a “mystery” that unfolded with each periods’ activities. Also, I appreciate the suggestions for improvement. Like you, I agree that we need to think more globally within the educational system. I hope to do this myself, and I hope that you are inspired to bring more international cultures into your own learning experience, perhaps through the topics you choose for research/independent study. Consider study abroad programs, too. These are fantastic ways to expand your global competency and skill.

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