As our world becomes increasingly complex and interconnected, there is a pressing need for youth to develop global competence. Project Zero researcher Veronica Boix Mansilla, in collaboration with Anthony Jackson of Asia Society and the U.S. Council of Chief State School Officers, developed a widely recognized definition for global competence: “The capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance” (2011). While it is possible to teach the relevant dispositions through traditional means in the classroom, this new PD Collaborative project called Museums Go Global seeks to show how, by leveraging the vast holdings of museums, we can engage students in novel ways and thereby deepen their learning.
From February-December 2019, ten DC-area teachers–from a mix of traditional public, public charter, and independent schools–will gather monthly for seminars on teaching for global competence and museum-based learning. They will have opportunities to work closely with local museum curators and educators to design lessons for their classrooms that will employ Global Thinking Routines (GTRs) with museum collections. They will also learn about sharing with a wider community through the Learning Lab, an initiative of the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, so that they can publish their finished lessons on this digital platform for use by teachers from all over the world.
The project has four main objectives:
(1) to build skills and confidence in the cohort of classroom teachers and museum educators to educate for global competence using museum collections, (2) to foster deeper collaboration between classroom teachers and museum educators, (3) to create exemplary lessons and then circulate them widely by publishing them on the Learning Lab platform, and (4) to model the use of GTRs within the Learning Lab platform.
Museums Go Global is a continuation of a project from the 2016-17 academic year titled Engaging the Arts and Museums with the World in Mind. Co-led by Veronica Boix Mansilla of Project Zero and Jim Reese of the PD Collaborative and funded by the Longview Foundation, it involved eight local classroom teachers and ten museum educators working collaboratively to develop lessons using artworks paired with GTRs. Now, in partnership with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, the PD Collaborative will expand the earlier project to include museum collections not specifically focused on artwork and to reach a broader audience. The project retains the focus on global competence but will use the Learning Lab, a robust online platform, to host the lessons that will be created.
This project is being funded by a generous grant from the Longview Foundation.