* What is global thinking?
Global thinking is about learning how to live in a complex world as an active and engaged
citizen. It is about considering the bigger picture and appreciating the nature and depth of our
When we encourage global thinking in students we help them recognize, examine and express
their own and others’ perspectives. We need to scaffold students’ thinking to enable them to
engage on cognitive, social and emotional levels, and construct their understanding of the world
to be able to participate fully in its future.
We as teachers can help students develop routines and habits of mind to enable them to move
beyond the familiar, discern that which is of local and global significance, make comparisons,
take a cultural perspective and challenge stereotypes. We can encourage them to learn about
contexts and traditions, and provide opportunities for them to reflect on their own and others’
Why adopt a global thinking approach?
Global thinking is particularly relevant in an interconnected, digitized world where ideas,
opinions and trends are rapidly and relentlessly circulated. Students learn to pause and
evaluate. They study why a topic is important on a personal, local and global scale, and they will
be motivated to understand the world and their significance in it. Students gain a deeper
understanding of why different viewpoints and ideas are held across the world.
Global thinking is something we can nurture both within and across disciplines. We can invite
students to learn how to use different lenses from each discipline to see and interpret the world.
They also learn how best to apply and communicate key concepts within and across disciplines.
We can help our students select the appropriate media and technology to communicate and
create their own personal synthesis of the information they have gathered.
Global thinking enables students to become more rounded individuals who perceive themselves
as actors in a global context and who value diversity. It encourages them to become more
aware, curious mad interested in learning about the world and how it works. It helps students to
challenge assumptions and stereotypes, to be better informed and more respectful. Global
thinking takes the focus beyond exams and grades, or even checklists of skills and attributes. It
develops students who are more ready to compete in the global marketplace and more able to
participate effectively in an interconnected world.
* What are the challenges of incorporating global thinking?
The pressures and the demands of exam preparation may make it seem challenging to find time
to incorporate global thinking into lessons and programmes of study. Nevertheless, GISU has
whole-school approach for global thinking to be incorporated in subject plans for teaching and
We need to give all students the opportunity to find their voice and participate actively and
confidently, regardless of their background and world experiences, when exploring issues of
global significance. We need to design suitable activities that are clear, ongoing and varying.
Teachers ensure that students are able to connect with materials, and extend and challenge
their thinking. We also need to devise and use new forms of assessment that incorporate
flexible and cooperative thinking.