Saturday, 30 July 2016

Global Education: From the ONE to the MANY!

By: Marie Lardino

B.A. B.Ed. M.Ed. Ed. Admin (P1)
Voice Integrative School
Distillery District
Toronto, Canada

Global Education, suddenly awakened again around the world, seems to be a model that is sadly becoming misinterpreted and over simplified. Global Ed. is a layered, interconnected philosophy of learning and teaching; and within the context of practice, Global Education's holistic approach remains difficult to describe. It entails the theoretical as well the experiential articulation and ongoing evaluation of a (not so new) future-driven educational philosophy. 

Its spatial relationships and interrelated concepts/approaches must be viewed as interdependent and practiced through the same lens. I am not speaking about any of the following ideas in isolation; i.e., "student voice, international education, anti-bullying lessons, student centred learning, or multicultural education", etc. In general, these are worthy ideas that inherently apply to Global Education; however, in isolation they remain add-on's. No one can (or should) describe Global Ed. as being any of the above ideas on their own. 

My work with Global Ed. began at OISE/UT in the 1990's as a Master of Ed. student (and collaborator with 
Dr. Selby and Dr. Pike); and later, despite academic skepticism about the theory's practical viability, this philosophy became a successful school-wide model in 2000 at Voice Integrative School in Toronto. To this day, there is no other school that was founded in the spirit, principles, hopes and in collaboration with global ed's innovators. 

What I can say today, is that after seventeen years of practice building VIS through a firm belief in its vision, Global Education works! It fosters critical thinkers. It creates academics. It enables kids to envision probable and preferred futures. Global Ed. transforms students into change-makers. And as is our school's motto, I see our alumni becoming "global citizens" in a world that requires transformation through action, intellect, vision, critical thinking and compassion.  

So I say this to you now, Dr. David Selby and Dr. Graham Pike, despite skepticism during a time when education sought to regress to traditional values - during a time when global education seemed to be dismissed - I see now that it just might have been the type of education with a real potential to make change the world.

In this (2014) photo: with Dr. Graham Pike who is now Dean of International Studies at VIU. He, along with Dr. David Selby, were the theory behind Global Education philosophy in the 1980's. Voice Integrative School's mandate could never have come into practice today without the work of Dr. Pike and Dr. Selby who gave me a voice to articulate my story as an educator and my vision of education. Thank you Dr. Selby and Dr. Pike for mentoring and inspiring me so many years ago!