The second area of global competency identified by the Asia Society is recognizing perspectives. Asia Society's rubric for Global Competency lists four indicators as students learn how to "recognize their own and others' perspectives."
To support the first indicator, "recognize and articulate one's own perspective on situations, events, issues or phenomena and identify the influences on that perspective," students need to be metacognitive. They need to understand what they think about an issue and why they think that way. Specifically, what in their background experience and exposure to that type of situation has influenced how they think about it and respond to it. This can be a struggle for students and even some adults. Help students explain their thinking using sentence stems:
"I think ________, because___________ (i.e. I read, I heard, My mom said, I listened to, My family always, My friends)."
"I see this differently because ______________."
"I believe __________, because __________."
If a student stops at simply sharing what they think/believe/understand, prompt them to go deeper by explaining why they think that way. Lead with curiosity: "Thank you sharing. Why do you think that?" Or, "What helped you come to that understanding?"
By modeling curiosity about what students think and why they think the way they do, we are showing them how to care about what others think, laying the foundation for understanding the perspectives of others. Once we can articulate our own perspectives, we can then start to step outside our own understanding and realize that the experiences and backgrounds of others might cause them to think differently about issues. Understanding ourselves is key to understanding others.
To support the second indicator, "articulate and explain perspectives of other people, groups or schools of thought and identify the influences on those perspectives," try sharing and discussing books with different perspectives.
Getting Started with Perspectives
Literature-based lessons for practice recognizing perspectives
Seven Blind Mice - book by Ed Young
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs - book by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
Multiple Perspectives Lesson Plans
Perspective Lesson Plan from BrainPop Educators
Finding Another Perspective - lesson plan from Tools for Thought
Multiple Perspectives: Building Critical Thinking Skills - lesson plan from Read, Write, Think
11 Activities to Help Students Understand Different Perspective - from Institute for Humane Education
Through Others' Eyes: The Power of New Perspectives - a collection of ideas
Regional Dialects - Google Form where students are researching dialects
Try optical illusions and discuss how students see things differently
To support the third indicator, "Explain how the interaction of ideas across cultures influences the development of knowledge and situations, events, issues or phenomena, "guide students in news analysis from around the world. A great way to help students see perspectives is to read how those with different views write about the same news story.
Find a range of news stories that are covering the same topic. Compare.
Geography and Current Events
Newspaper Map - interactive map to view newspapers from around the world
The Logistics of Creating a Current News Event Google Maps from Langwitches
Time for Kids - news stories written for kids
The Global Read Aloud: One Book to Connect the World - participate by
reading a designated book and discussing with another classroom in the world
Traveling Tales: Writing Around the World - digital storytelling project to support global collaboration
Big History Project - helps middle school and high school students look at the world from multiple perspectives. The website is free, open, and online for users.
To support the fourth indicator, "Articulate how the consequences of differential access to knowledge, technology, and resources affect the quality of life and influences perspectives," try the website Dollar Street. Photographers took photographs of families in 50 countries to show how income affects access to resources.
These photographs were taken in a rural village in India. They show different types of beds. Students can use Dollar Street to view types of beds around the world.
Dollar Street - view how families live in 50 countries by income, homes, pets, food, and many more topics
Global Oneness Project - stories and lesson plans to help kids understand the world
Google Street View - let kids explore the world virtually
Beds in a rural village in northern India.