International mindedness needs time to develop. It is not a lesson that can just ‘be taught’ but instead an outlook which you can choose to adopt and build on.
Much like I already thought, this blog post confirms that there are different degrees of international mindedness, and that when you’re thirty-years-old, you’ll most likely look at it very differently from when you were six. At such a young age, it can be tricky to comprehend why countries work together for a mutual benefit, or to appreciate a foreign film or TV show. It is therefore important that us as teachers give them the opportunity to adopt this mindset in a different way. This could be through a class discussion about their home countries or even through looking at the nationalities of famous people, for example. It is then important that they use this information to build on each other and create a sense of togetherness.
Once children get a bit older, teachers can begin to explore more complex ideas such as trade, similarities and differences between countries, and of course modern languages. This is an easy concept to embed in lessons, or even explore through the viewing of newsround in the morning. Watching something similar to this will more-often-than-not spark conversation which encourages inquiry-based learning whilst simultaneously delving into the idea of being internationally minded.
The local as well as the global. Whilst exploring content about other areas of the world, it is vital that teachers don’t forget what is right there on their doorstop. To develop international thinking, it is helpful to begin with information about the host country and their culture. We need to give our children the opportunity to immerse themselves into their own culture, and develop their knowledge and awareness of the things directly around them.
In my opinion, being internationally minded comes with many benefits. Children (and adults alike) will have ease finding friends from different backgrounds, they’ll be able to see themselves as responsible and global citizens and above all will increase their self-awareness and empathy. Language skills are becoming ever more important in the world, and many employers seek those with an additional language. I really can’t find any disadvantages and I am fully confident that by encouraging our children to adopt this mindset, we are contributing to creating an interconnected world.
It’s about doing everything on their level. By doing this we should successfully achieve an international education which gives our pupils the best chance in the interconnected and globalised world in which we live.