One of my goals as a teacher and a parent has always been to teach kids that they are an important part of our global community. No matter your age, our actions can affect and contribute to the world, and we share a destiny with all humankind. Global citizens fight for sustainability, are culturally aware, understand the importance of communicating across cultures and often speak another language, and take action on injustice around the world. Now more than ever, when our global community is so intricately connected, how can parents and teachers introduce this concept and teach global citizenship at home and school?
This month’s multicultural carnival raises the question of how parents can teach global citizenship at home. Because our world is so much more interconnected than ever before, parents are looking for ways to raise their children to understand the world with empathy. Our wonderful Multicultural Kid Blogs group has members around the globe. Our bloggers (from many countries!) answer how they teach global citizenship to their kids, and offer suggestions and ideas that introduce the topic from a practical standpoint. First, see this video made by children from every corner of our globe (in may languages!) that explains what a global citizen is. Then click through the following links to read global perspectives on teaching global citizenship at home to kids around the world!
Teaching Global Citizenship at Home
I love this post from Olga at The European Mama because her ideas on exposing kids to global cultures are concrete and easy to implement. With these activities, she explains “culture, the (very important) role it plays for us and how we incorporate elements of all the cultures that are crucial to our family into our everyday lives- and how can we learn more about the world.”
Mary Anne of Mama Smiles gives her top 10 tips on raising globally aware children. This post is perfect for parents who want to expose their kids to the world when they unable to travel frequently; she writes “I want my children to grow up with the depth of knowledge that comes only by studying the cultures of the world. Traveling across the world is ideal, but that isn’t currently possible for my family.” She also shares these 3 simple tips on where to start teaching global citizenship at home.
Because I believe all global citizens at home should take action and get engaged in volunteering, we put together a list of service projects for kids. They “will empower kids with responsibility, engage their compassion, and offer them the chance to affect the lives of others.”
Wendy of Pintsize Gourmets says “For us, it’s exposing our children to the world’s different cultures, raising their global awareness in the hope that it expands their minds, and makes them more empathetic to people from all walks of life. After all, even if we don’t speak the same language or hold the same beliefs, we’re still people. We learned a great way for the kids to connect with a foreign culture is through food.” Her post on exposing global citizens at home to a variety of global cuisine is wonderful (be warned that the pictures leave you hungry for more! :).
Rita from Multilingual Parenting writes about the importance of asking questions. “If our children feel confident in asking questions they will learn more and become open-minded to different opinions, people and cultures.” She also discusses the benefits of raising bilingual children, and gives tips to parents on ways to access global languages, even if parents are monolingual. “Knowing another language gives you instant access to another culture and you can much more easily make contact with someone in a different country or even on another continent if you can speak their language.”
Leanna from All Done Monkey wrote an entire series on the ABCs of raising global citizens, “all about raising a child at home in the world, from language learning, books, and geography games, to talking about race and appreciating diversity!”
Elisabeth writes on Spanish Mama of the many benefits of being a bicultural family, and how multicultural families naturally encourage kids to be global citizens at home: “Life is richer, and open to good when we know ours is not the only way.”
This trilingual (French, English, German) post from Eolia at La Cité des Vents explains how a simple trip to the playground encourages patience and communication, two traits of global citizens! Eolia also shared her experience on Interfaith Ramadan of how she is raising her children in the LDS while still learning about world religions such as Islam.
The incredible web site Global Table Adventure has hundreds of recipe ideas for families to “cook the world.” This Diversity Calendar has hundreds of multicultural celebrations and global festivals to help kids become more aware of cultures around the world.
I like the personality traits Hanna discusses in her post on the benefits of multiculturalism, and how it has enriched her 5 year old. Dini also is trying to teach global citizenship at home as she talks about here. She writes “I hope it is not only their passports which make them global citizens to be proud of, but also an approach to life in line with the environment, people and spirituality around them.” Finally, Elaine shares the importance of moving beyond US-centric history.
We would love to hear what your definition of a global citizen is! Please leave us a comment with your thoughts.