Globalizing the Standards

The Common Core State Standards for ELA and Ed Steps' Global Competency Matrix are incredibly compatible. "What's Global About the Common Core Standards?" is a fantastic starting point.  In this article, Margaret Reed Millar illustrates the clear intersection between the Common Core and investigating the world, recognizing perspectives, communicating ideas, and taking action. 

Below, I've also included the EdSteps Global Competency Matrix as well as some "globalized" Common Core State Standards for ELA from my own classroom:

CCSS ELA-Literacy RL9-10.3: Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.
One of the things that I love the most about the Common Core State Standards for English is that it is very easy to integrate global competency into the standards and curriculum. Additionally, standards often either specifically refer to literature from around the world or are easily "globalized." In this particular standard, it would be quite simple to integrate global education: “Analyze how complex characters from diverse cultural identities…develop over the course of a text.” However, it may be interesting to overhaul this standard and ask students to reflect on the ways in which characters reflect both human universals as well as their own cultural perspectives. For example, for a novel such as Persepolis, students can be asked to identify the ways that Marjane is like them, as well as the ways she reflects her views and experiences during the Iranian Revolution.

CCSS ELA-Literacy RL9-10.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).

This standard is definitely applicable to all kinds of literature, including literature from around the world. I think it would definitely reflect Asia Society’s vision of global competency if it included something about how an author’s word choice reflects one’s sense of identity, cultural perspective, as well as how an author’s word choice evokes the universal themes that are shared by all of humanity. The first example that comes to mind is analyzing the poetry of Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai and Palestinian poet Taha Muhammad Ali to identify the use of language to convey a mutual desire for peace (specifically in Amichai’s “Jerusalem” in comparison to Ali’s “Revenge”). This could be assessed in a short comparative literary analysis essay.

CCSS ELA-Literacy W9-10.1 D: Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.
This standard could be globalized by changing it to “Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while writing about an issue of global political significance or global conflict while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.” Student could work on this standard while writing an expository essay about a particular global conflict in ways that maintain objectivity, being mindful of their word choice and the connotations that words evoke, without oversimplifying the complexity of global issues. 

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1:  Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

This standard is already global in that it requires students to engage in collaborative discussions with diverse partners. This is a perfect opportunity to bring in some cross-cultural blogging or virtual collaboration with peers abroad.  Students in my Sophomore Global Studies English class blog regularly with peers in Tangier, Morocco.  Here is a more extensive discussion on the topic along with great resources to connect your classroom to classrooms around the globe!

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