2015 Global Learning in College
Defining, Developing, and Assessing Institutional Roadmaps
The real system is interconnected. No part of the human race is separate either from other human beings or from the global ecosystem. It will not be possible in this integrated world for your heart to succeed if your lungs fail, or for your company to succeed if your workers fail, or for the rich in Los Angeles to succeed if the poor in Los Angeles fail, or for Europe to succeed if Africa fails, or for the global economy to succeed if the global environment fails.
Donella Meadows, Thinking in Systems, December 2008
The foods we eat, the products we buy, the medicines and medical procedures we use, the energy resources and technologies that guard our health and safety and bring us comfort, are artifacts of the interconnected systems that link people, places, and things around the globe. The new understandings that we gain from living and learning with those who are unlike us are essential for flourishing in this interconnected environment. But embedded in these same systems are deep and enduring risks—conflicts that resist resolution, public health issues that defy containment, and environmental degradation that affects our quality of life at home, at work, and in local, national, and international arenas.
As diverse peoples, cultures, religions, and ideas move around the world,
- How are colleges and universities preparing students to meaningfully and constructively understand and engage difference?
- How can new educational research foster greater appreciation for the profound nature and complexities of identity—including how deeply rooted in culture, religion, power, privilege, and place one’s sense of identity can be?
- How can systems thinking help us better understand global interdependencies and more effectively navigate a complex world?
- How are educators collaborating across disciplines, campuses, and communities to seize global learning—to investigate the world from multiple perspectives and to share knowledge—in ways that more effectively prepare students to address real-world issues and make the world a better place for all?
The AAC&U Network for Academic Renewal conference Global Learning in College: Defining, Developing, and Assessing Institutional Roadmaps will help educators place real-world problem solving at the center of the undergraduate curriculum. It will provide opportunities to discuss how global learning can be grounded in an equity-minded conceptual framework and in inclusive institutional roadmaps that chart a new course for curricular change that is aligned with twenty-first-century goals for learning.
Participants will examine the latest findings on how students learn and on how to advance students’ ownership of their learning through Signature Work and assessments that help students develop capacities for reflection, perspective-taking, personal and social responsibility, and applying knowledge to address the world’s most pressing issues collaboratively and equitably.
Finally, participants will consider how liberal learning goals, systems thinking, and attention to global issues such as public health can come together—individually and synergistically—to define, develop, and assess global learning in college.