Who is a Global Citizen?
A global citizen is someone who is at home anywhere in the world. They may hail from a specific region, but the broader awareness of the world and the universal culture offers them a unique understanding of the interconnectedness of different countries. It also allows them to be conscious of their actions about how they affect other regions of the world.
The knowledge of various cultures comes with being a global citizen. It makes us more inclusive and respectful of diverse people and their cultures. NEP 2020 envisions nurturing global citizens. Let us understand how global citizens look in the real world.
Characteristics of a Global Citizen
Students need a certain level of exposure to inculcate the values and approach of a global citizen. The NEP 2020 aimed to raise Indian students to be tolerant, peaceful, and inclusive persons. It was the first initiative that recognized the need to transform the educational ecosystem drastically to nurture global citizens. These global citizens are fit to undertake global roles and responsibilities. Here are a few characteristics typical of a global citizen:
- Global Outlook
- Awareness of Global issues
- Experience Oriented
- Thinking out of the Box
6 Ways to nurture global citizens
Bringing a change in the minds of students is a slow but evident process. Teachers are able to see this change in their students in the way they make their decisions, approach problems, and treat people. While focusing on holistic growth, teachers must also be mindful of the fact that these young minds will grow to become responsible citizens one day, and if they are global citizens, their chances of winning in the world become way higher. So here 6 essential ways in which teachers can nurture global citizens:
Inclusivity: The concept of one community
While helping students become global citizens, one of the primary approaches is to broaden their perspective to view the people of the world as one global community. This approach helps students understand the differences between people and be accepting of them. To explore the concept of oneness in a classroom, educators should talk about different cultures, histories, and societies of the world and how each of us is sharing a common experience of living on a wonderful planet called Earth. Further, they can outline the differences between our climates, languages, and food and explain how even these bring all the countries of the world closer to one another.
Discuss Global Issues
Global issues of the contemporary world are usually not brought to the awareness of students while they remain engaged with academics, but global citizens ought to be aware of global issues. The safest way to expose them to world issues and engage them in constructive dialogue is to hold regular discussions in class about world problems like pollution, global warming, and sustainability, but simplify it for them to understand them better. In such discussions, students get a chance to understand their personal opinions on global matters and learn how to communicate them.
Help Students Explore the Cultures of the World
A general understanding of the cultures of the world helps students adapt to different places and seed the adventurer in them. This curiosity is essential for a global citizen. Delving too deep into each culture might not be the best idea because it can confuse students with an overload of information. Being aware of these issues in small degrees will prepare them for the future. Global citizens are nurtured for leadership. The New Education Policy takes a decisive and comprehensive approach to the role of education in building global citizens, and making students aware of diversity is a positive step towards it.
Nurture Humanity as a Value System
Identity is closely related to concepts like region, language, and culture, but along with all these, a broader universal value system is what sets global citizens apart from others. The understanding that every human being is connected on a universal level creates the foundation for empathy and compassion towards other countries and their challenges. Furthermore, this helps students realize that humanity is the deepest and most primal identity over and above religious, cultural, and linguistic identities. Ways to implement this value system can be activities of team building and welfare that students can participate in.
Practice Critical Thinking to find Real-world Solutions
The NEP 2020 emphasizes the need for critical thinking to solve real-world problems. For a global citizen, critical analysis is an answer to global issues of poverty, illiteracy, hunger, and environmental degradation. To inculcate critical thinking, simulation and hypothetical situations can be chalked out and students can be asked to find the best possible solution for it given a limited set of resources. This way they can apply all their knowledge to find practical solutions.
The age of globalization seeks citizens to collaborate their expertise, knowledge, and skills to find solutions for gigantic problems like climate change. The way forward is spelled out in the NEP 2020 through the nurturance of global citizens. The pandemic has accentuated the need for world leaders from every corner of the globe to unveil themselves from oblivion and stand up to the challenge. Nurturing students to be global citizens is a long process. It will take an entire decade to shift traditional education into a global one. This includes changes in curriculum, instruction, and facilitation. Teachers will have to be trained differently to meet the need of the hour and only from all these massive shifts can a transformed educational ecosystem take shape. An ecosystem that builds global citizens.
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Suggested Read: NEP 2020 - A Comprehensive Guide