ACSI Vol 17.3 : Page 31

more than revenue sources or evangelistic targets. They are God’s provision to help us equip all our students to gain new competencies for the years to come. Global education is not a redirection from patriotism, and it need not be an acceptance of relativism. It pro-motes an increased understanding that in our intercon-nected world, what we do locally has a global impact. It extends our sense of responsibility to be wise stewards of God’s creation and helps us to teach our students that the kingdom of God, of which they are a part, is from every nation, tribe, people, and language. Should our students develop the skills to communicate with and learn from people of other language groups, or is all the knowledge worth knowing, and all the people worth collaborating with, solely from our own nation or language? Global education articulates the goal of equipping the next gen-eration to be cross-culturally competent disciple makers. Can we “get away with” redeeming this educational concept so it is completely consistent with our Christian schools’ mission and vision? The head of an IB world school that is accredited by ACSI and a regional associa-tion responded to that question: We have no problem with WASC including a refer-ence to “global education” or “internationalism,” as the IB likes to call it. We have had robust discus-sion with them as to what they actually mean by it (because it is quite vague), and even at a recent IB professional development day in Jakarta, the session on internationalism was still quite vague. It does have a humanistic foundation to it, but like much of the rest of their program, we reinterpret it to incor-porate a biblical perspective. To live in the current times people cannot expect to live in isolation, and if Christians are going to engage the world they have to know about its dif-ferent cultures, languages, etc. The caution is that understanding multiple perspectives doesn’t have to mean giving them equal value. Tolerance is not approval. Rather, it is respecting someone else’s right to think differently. (Nash 2013) these concepts from a Christian perspective. They all sug-gest this educational priority is consistent with preparing effective followers of Jesus in a rapidly changing world. The work of careful definition of terms cannot be avoided or its importance minimized. Embedded in the perspectives of global citizenship education are mannequin words—words on which one can place whatever clothing of meaning one’s values support. We must clarify phrases such as valuing diversity . Our Christian schools pursing global perspectives speak of diversity as the welcoming of students from many lands and ethnicities, gaining perspectives and insights from them so as to promote critical thinking, and learning to love those different from oneself. It also involves inviting speakers of other faith and nonfaith perspectives. Where does global citizenship education fit into the priorities of Christian school education? While secularists might want the mannequin of global citizenship education to be clothed with a rejection of any truth that claims to be absolute or revealed, strong Chris-tian schools have shown they can continue to pursue their mission of promoting kingdom-minded followers of Jesus Christ without any compromise while incorporating the desired skills and perspectives envisioned in the concept of global citizenship education. Reflecting on the effect of global education from a Christian perspective, one school head wrote, “Our stu-dents increasingly think outside of themselves, with more and more looking for opportunities to serve and partici-pate. They are less fearful and more excited to engage the world than I and my peers were when we were their age.” References Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges. 2013. Focus on learning . International ed., 2014 WASC ed. Burlingame, CA: Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Dill, Jeffrey S. 2013. The longings and limits of global citizen-ship education: The moral pedagogy of schooling in a cosmopolitan age . NewYork: Routledge. Nash, Phillip. 2013. E-mail interview by David Wilcox, October 8, with the head of school at Sekolah Pelita Harapan International. Global citizenship education is not going away. Schools seeking accreditation from secular associations will increasingly see an expectation that these perspectives and skills are incorporated in schoolwide learner results. Some Christian schools have proven themselves to be proactive, and they are contextualizing and incorporating David K. Wilcox, PhD, is assistant vice president for ACSI Global. Global Citizenship Education for Christian Schools . cse Volume 17 Number 3 . 2013/2014 31

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