Jennifer D. Klein

Diving beneath the cultural surface

Moving Beyond Visible Culture: Diving Beneath the Surface in Global Learning

Categories: Instruction

“People are tied together and yet isolated from each other by invisible threads of rhythm and hidden walls of time.” —Edward T. Hall

Most global educators have a challenging relationship with the “Fs of Global Education.” The Fs, which include cultural facets such as food, festivals, flags, and fashion, are those elements of culture we can see most easily. There’s nothing wrong with exploring the observable aspects of culture, of course, but staying there can create superficial learning experiences, even leading to cultural misrepresentation and stereotypical assumptions about other cultures. Read more

Collaboration with global partners should encourage equitable learning.

One Classroom, One World: Lowering the Schoolhouse Walls through Global Partnerships

Categories: 21st Century Skills

Educated in schools designed as “open schools” for their floor plans and progressive philosophies, I found the concept of a “classroom without walls” easy to embrace when I became a teacher. For my peers and me growing up, the walls of the building were only there to support the roof—most learning took place outside the schoolhouse entirely, whether through local wilderness and city immersion experiences or domestic and global travel. I don’t remember ever feeling disconnected from the world, honestly, even when I felt powerless to do anything about the human conflict and poverty I saw, and this was long before we had the Internet. Later, as a teacher, I used every means I could find to connect my students to real people willing to share their experiences and perspectives, and the arrival of connective technologies just shifted the form of engagement, not the intent. Read more