Fall 2010 Provost’s Seminars on Teaching: Educating Globally Competent Students

Educating Globally Competent Students

The Provost's Seminars, held twice a year, promote lively and substantive dialogues about a wide range of teaching and learning issues that are relevant campus wide. The Fall 2010 Provost's Seminar on Teaching focused on how we can educate globally competent students. Through the seminar faculty explored what it means to be globally competent and what teaching for global competence might look like on the curricular and on the course levels. The keynote speaker, Professor of History Juan Cole, offered his insight into the art of teaching global competence. The seminar's concurrent sessions included topics such as globalizing the curriculum, using technology for global learning, engaging students in global learning locally, and leveraging a global student body to maximize learning in the classroom.

Working Definitions

There is no commonly accepted definition of the term “global competence” but definitions entail concepts such as “intercultural competence” and “cultural intelligence.” The following working definitions are meant to supply a shared frame of reference and to explore the meanings invested in the term “global competence.”

Intercultural Competence

  • A cultural learning process in which one builds authentic relationships by “observing, listening, and asking those who are from different backgrounds to teach, to share, to enter into dialogue together about relevant needs and issues.” (Deardorf, 2009, p.xiii)

  • Effective and appropriate communication and behavior in intercultural situations. (Deardorf, 2009)

  • Complex abilities that allow effective and appropriate interaction with others who are linguistically and culturally different. (Deardorf, 2009, p. 458)

  • “The ability to engage in a set of behaviors that uses skills…and qualities…that are tuned appropriately to the culture-based values and attitudes of the people with whom one interacts.” (Peterson, 2004, p. 89) Peterson prefers the term “cultural intelligence” to “(inter)cultural competence” as intelligence suggests a higher goal that “might imply some savvier insights and wiser actions” (p. 88).

Global Competence

  • Students’ capacity to become globally competent is more than a sum of their study abroad experiences. Language learning and travel abroad are not necessarily at the core of what it takes to be globally competent. (Hunter, 2006)

  • Having an open mind while actively seeking to understand cultural norms and expectations of others, leveraging this gained knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively outside one’s environment” (Hunter, 2006, p. 277).

  • A globally competent person must be able to identify cultural differences to compete globally, collaborate across cultures, and effectively participate in both social and business settings in other countries” (Hunter, 2006, p. 283).

  • An important first step in becoming globally competent is to develop an in-depth understanding of one’s own cultural norms and expectations. Once a person has established this self-awareness, the next step is to explore social, cultural, and linguistic diversity and to develop a nonjudgmental and open attitude towards difference. Further, to become globally competent, one must develop a firm understanding of the concept of globalization and world history. (Hunter, 2006)

  • Kevin Hovland (AAC&U, 2009) proposes the careful and intentional alignment of global learning goals with the essential learning outcomes of a liberal education. (Kevin Hovland’s article is included in the plenary packet.)

  • Global learning” encompasses both everyday intercultural interaction on campus and the formal study of global cultures and issues across the curriculum…Institutions are defining global learning as a vehicle for integrating multiple disciplinary perspectives and weaving together existing commitments to explore diversity, build capacity for civic engagement, and prepare students to take responsibility for common global problems. (Hovland, AAC&U, 2009)

Selected Annotated Bibliography

Intercultural Competence

  • Bennett, M. J. (Ed.). (1998). Basic concepts of intercultural communication. Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press.
    • A collection of interdisciplinary essays that fall under the ‘theory-into-practice’ school of thought, which is motivated to increase and improve intercultural communication skills through education and training.

  • Deardorff, D. (2006). Identification and assessment of intercultural competence as a student outcome of internationalization. Journal of Studies in International Education, 10 (3), 241-266. doi: 10.1177/1028315306287002.
    • This article details the procedures and findings of a study that used a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods to assess intercultural competence.

  • Deardorff, D. (Ed.). (2009). The SAGE handbook of intercultural competence. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
    • A collection of essays, written by scholars from around the world, which includes a variety of disciplinary approaches to intercultural competence. The essays are divided into three areas: conceptualizing intercultural competence, applying intercultural competence, and research and assessment in intercultural competence.

  • Ippolito, K. (2007). Promoting intercultural learning in a multicultural university: ideals and realities. Teaching in Higher Education, 12 (5), 749-763. doi: 10.1080/13562510701596356. (Abstract available at: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a783031108~frm=titlelink)
    • This article assesses the effectiveness of a module designed to facilitate intercultural learning within an international, multicultural student group.
  • Lustig, M.W. & Koester, J. (1993). Intercultural Competence: Interpersonal Communication Across Cultures. New York, NY: Harper Collins.
    • This book is a seminal text on intercultural competence, which blends theory and practice.
  • Peterson, B. (2004). Cultural Intelligence: A Guide to Working with People from Other Cultures. Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press. (Available online through the U-M Libraries. Authentication required.)
    • This book is written to help professionals understand the nuances of cultural diversity among those they work with. It provides a framework for understanding international culture (“a relatively stable set of inner values and beliefs…and the noticeable impact those values and beliefs have on the peoples’ outward behaviors and environment”) (p. 17), and enumerates practical ways to increase and apply cultural intelligence.
  • Thomas, D. C. (2009). Cultural intelligence: living and working globally. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler.
    • Provides a useful set of principles for increasing cultural intelligence, which Thomas argues is necessary for functioning in a world experiencing the effects of globalization.

Global Competence

  • Braskamp, L., Braskamp, D., & Merrill, K. (2009). Assessing progress in global learning and development of students with education abroad experiences. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 18, 101-118. Retrieved from http://www.frontiersjournal.com
    • This study a pretest-posttest design was used to measure changes in students' global perspective over the length of the education abroad experiences (one semester).

  • Brustein, W. (2010). Paths to global competence: preparing American college students to meet the world. Institute of International Education. Retrieved from http://www.iienetwork.org/page/84657/
    • This short article argues that preparing college graduates to be globally competent is a pressing issue that requires the design and implementation of curriculums that reflect an increasingly globalized world.

  • Downey, G.L., Lucena, J.C., Moskal, B.M., Parkhurst, R., Bigley, T., Hays, C., Jesiek, B.K., Kelly, L., Miller, J., Ruff, S., Lehr, J.L., & Nichols-Belo, A. The Globally Competent Engineer: Working Effectively with People Who Define Problems Differently. Journal of Engineering Education, 96, 1-16. Retrieved fromhttps://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/j.2168-9830.2006.tb00883.x
    • This article presents tests and approaches to interpreting the global competence of engineers by calling attention to practices of problem definition in collaboration with others.

  • Hart, P.D. (2006). How Should Colleges Prepare Students to Succeed in Today’s Global Economy? Based on Surveys Among Employers and Recent College Graduates (research report conducted on behalf of the Association of American Colleges and Universities). Retrieved from https://www.aacu.org/sites/default/files/files/LEAP/2007_full_report_leap.pdf
    • Those who participated in this study endorsed a balanced approach to a college education that incorporates knowledge and skills from a variety of fields as opposed to one specific area of focus.

  • Hovland, K. (2009). Global learning: what is it? Who is responsible for it? PeerReview: Study Abroad and Global Learning: Exploring Connections, 11 (4). Washington, D.C.: American Association of Colleges and Universities. Retrieved from http://www.aacu.org/peerreview/pr-fa09/pr-fa09_index.cfm
    • This article provides a working definition of global learning: “a vehicle for integrating multiple disciplinary perspectives and weaving together existing commitments to explore diversity, build capacity for civic engagement, and prepare students to take responsibility for common global problems.”

  • Hunter, B., White, G.P., & Godbey, G.C. (2006). What does it mean to be globally competent? Journal of Studies in International Education, 10, 267-284. doi: 10.1177/1028315306286930.
    • This study provides working definitions for global citizenship and global competency, which were developed through the use of a Delphi Technique involving human resource managers at top transnational corporations, senior international educators, United Nations officials, intercultural trainers, and foreign government officers.

  • Kuh, G. D. (2008). High-Impact Educational Practices: What They Are, Who Has Access to Them, and Why They Matter. Washington, D.C.: Association of American Colleges and Universities.
    • This publication defines a set of educational practices that research has demonstrated have a significant impact on student success.

  • McTighe Musil, K. (2006). Assessing global learning: matching good intentions with good practice. Washington, D.C.: Association of American Colleges and Universities.
    • Provides practical suggestions for establishing global learning goals and modes of assessment. Includes an assessment planning matrix for global learning outcomes and sample quantitative surveys.

Places to Start: Global Learning at the University of Michigan

  • Center for Global and Intercultural Study (CGIS) (http://www.lsa.umich.edu/cgis/) is an all-inclusive portal for global and intercultural opportunities at U-M and beyond.

  • Internationalization Self-Study for the 2010 Accreditation (http://accreditation.umich.edu/history/) includes a list of international programs and opportunities at U-M schools and colleges.

  • University of Michigan Center for Global Health. (2010). Student Handbook for Global Engagement. 
    • Provides recommendations and resources on: Ethics of Research Abroad, Project development and International Partners, Guidelines for Professional Behavior Abroad, Global Citizenship and Advocacy, and Logistics of Research and Service Abroad.

  • University of Michigan Division of Student Affairs. (2010). 2009 International Center Statistical Report on International Students, Scholars, Faculty, Staff, and Education Abroad. Retried from http://internationalcenter.umich.edu/
    • Provides statistical data on international students, faculty, and staff at the University of Michigan, as well as data on U-M students’ education abroad experiences, including study abroad for course credit, co-curricular or post-graduate work.

Online Resources & Publications

  • The Center for Global Education (http://globaled.us/index.asp) is a resource center that offers information for enhancing study abroad experiences.

  • The Intercultural Communication Institute offers bibliographies as well as training and assessment tools.

  • The Institute of International Education Reports on International Education Exchange (http://www.opendoors.iienetwork.org/) offers quantitative data on international students studying in the United States and students from the United States studying abroad.  

  • The Global Competence Matrix and Content Area-Specific Matrices is a tool for assessing a student’s knowledge, skill, and disposition to understand and act creatively and innovatively on issues of global significance. 

  • US Global Competence for the 21st Century (The Higher Education Act (HEA) –Title VI and Fulbright-Hays Programs) (http://www.usglobalcompetence.org/resources/index.html) is a website that provides information on grants, resources, conferences, and reports.

Assessing Intercultural and Global Competence:
Survey and Measurement Tools

  • The Global Perspectives Inventory offers a self-reported way to measure an individual’s global perspective in regards to the cognitive, intrapersonal, and interpersonal dimensions of global learning and development. It also captures a person’s views on the community and level of involvement in selected curricular and co-curricular activities.

  • The Intercultural Development Inventory (http://www.idiinventory.com/) is a statistically reliable, cross-culturally valid measure of intercultural competence adapted from the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity. This instrument can generate an in-depth graphic profile of an individual's or groups' predominant level of intercultural competence along with a detailed textual interpretation of that level of intercultural development and associated transitional issues.

  • The Global Competencies Inventory (www.intercultural.org) is designed to assess competencies critical to interacting and working effectively with people who are from different cultures. The inventory measures 17 competencies in three categories of intercultural adaptability, including perception management, relationship management, and self-management.

  • The Global Competence Aptitude Assessment measures all the components of global competence, as published in refereed journals worldwide. The questions are based on regions around the world, with particular emphasis placed on those countries that make significant contributions to the world’s population and economy.

  • The Intercultural Communication Institute offers a comprehensive list of intercultural training and assessment tools at (www.intercultural.org).

  • Rubric for Intercultural Knowledge and Competence (PDF)
    Developed by AAC&U, 2010.


Source URL: https://crlt.umich.edu/programs/psot/global