Project Raising Global Citizens at Home
The project Raising Global Citizens at Home aims to design and apply educational working methods and manuals to improve virtual group work interactions, critical thinking and intercultural learning. The project takes part of the Comenius programme.
Raising Global Citizens at Home
Inclusiveness and cultural diversity are important themes in the worldwide arena. The ability to successfully deal and work with diversity is essential in our society today. However, unknown makes unloved: Human beings tend to exclude people they do not know through personal biases and stereotyping. As such, these international themes should be embraced in education. Due to COVID-19 crisis, online learning has become a broad and more prevalent alternative within the educational sphere. Online learning offers more bespoke solutions (reflecting student’s intercultural experience at home) and sustainable (access for more students with less financial resources) international opportunities. Online education allows for more students to be better prepared for their future international professional experience. However, online education does not function in the same way as face-to-face education. Specifically, the lack of social interaction may cause procrastination, motivational problems and may lead to superficial knowledge. Hence, how to engage and facilitate students becomes very important in providing them with deeper knowledge, within the context of an international experience.
The focus is on the teamwork dynamics and giving students materials for how to perform well in this type of context, not about the content.
Crossing Borders Without Crossing Borders
Crossing Borders Without Crossing Borders (CBWCB) is the output of the project Raising Global Citizens at Home. CBWCB connects students from around the world through intercultural virtual collaboration, facilitating meaningful cross-cultural interactions and exchange.
This collaborative project with international partner universities aims to design and apply educational working methods and manuals to improve virtual group work interactions, critical thinking and intercultural learning. The focus is on collaborative and reflective soft skills rather than on the content and allows the material to be applied in various educational curricula. The use of such interactive and collaborative material facilitates students in their learning experience by reaping the digital benefits of an intercultural experience, and better prepare them as global citizens.
In the online learning context, the project employs specific strategies to foster critical thinking and intercultural learning. By drawing connections between learning outcomes and the understanding of global citizenship, they utilize business cases, "kennis clips," and reflection tools. Business cases provide opportunities for students to develop meta-skills for understanding the interconnectedness of aspects of our society and environment. Every business case used in CBWCB is linked to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and incorporates examples directly from the professional field.
Students are exposed to relevant literature and encouraged to reflect on how cultural differences impact various aspects, such as problem-solving approaches. Through these activities, students develop critical thinking skills and raise their awareness of global issues.
A Diverse and Passionate Team
The project team came together organically, with individuals who share Dr. Van Rompay-Bartels' passion for education and global citizenship. The team comprises members from various academic backgrounds, each bringing unique qualities to the table. With a shared goal of providing students with the best internationalization experience at home, the team is committed to their mission.
Dr. Van Rompay-Bartels strongly believes in the importance of including students' voices in the project. By actively involving them, she aims to create the best possible experience for students. Through their unique perspectives, students provide valuable insights that drive innovation in education. Ingrid emphasizes the significance of asking for students' opinions to develop a truly student-centred approach.
How can you create the best experience for students if you don’t ask for their opinion?
The project offers a unique opportunity for students to develop diversity and inclusiveness skills without the need for physical travel. This aspect minimizes the carbon footprint while providing an accessible intercultural experience for every student. By participating in the project, students gain a deeper understanding of diversity, inclusiveness, and their own impact as global citizens.
As the project moves forward, the team aims to finalize all the materials they have developed. These resources will be shared during the dissemination phase in March. The project's milestones and objectives are aligned with sharing their outcomes with the broader community interested in the Comenius project.
The project's website, raisingglobalcitizensathome.com serves as a contact point, allowing easy communication with interested individuals. Regular updates and resources are shared on the website and LinkedIn, fostering connections and providing materials for collaborations. At the project's conclusion, visitors will find a comprehensive overview of outcomes and can reach out for materials and further inquiries.