Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Globalization of the World

In his book, The World Is Flat A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Friedman discusses the notion that we are living in one world that is interdependent. He discusses globalization and how this is changing how business is conducted. He identifies world flatteners including work flow software, supply chaining, open-out- and in-sourcing, and how essential it is for Americans to get on board. When we look at 21st Century Workplace skills, (Daniel Pink is one of the leading experts) we find four identified skill clusters that young people will need in this flattened world:

Digital-age literacy, which includes the various competencies expected in a 21st century workplace.

· Basic literacy

· Scientific literacy

· Technological literacy

· Economic literacy

· Visual literacy

· Information literacy

· Cultural literacy

· Global awareness (an understanding of how nations, individuals, groups, and economies are interconnected and how they relate to each other

Inventive thinking, which includes the ability to think outside the box

· Adaptability and managing complexity

· Self-direction

· Curiosity

· Creativity

· Risk Taking

· Higher-order thinking and sound reasoning

· Adaptability and managing complexity

· Self-direction

Effective communication, which is the ability to clearly communicate with a wide range of audiences

· Teaming and collaboration

· Interpersonal skills

· Personal responsibility

· Social and civic responsibility

· Interactive communication

High productivity, which will be a requirement of success in the 21st Century

· Prioritizing, planning, and managing for results

· Effective use of real-world tools

· Ability to produce relevant, high-quality products[1]

After-school must work with young people to help them develop an understanding of both globalization and 21st Century Workplace skills, and develop the ability to incorporate this understanding and set of skills into a successful future.

Not so usual celebrations…

July 14th is Bastille Day. Bastille Day is a French holiday which commemorates the storming of the Bastille in 1789. The Bastille, a medieval fortress, was a Paris prison in which political and other prisoners were often times unjustly held. Following the storming of the Bastille by the citizens and the Declaration of the Right of Man, the French Revolution had begun. The storming of the Bastille symbolizes the overthrow of the monarchy and the beginning of the French republic. The Bastille was a symbol of the absolute power of the old regime and when the people stormed this prison and freed the prisoners, it was seen as a victory for liberty.

Bastille Day in France is much like Independence Day in the United States. You could expect that similar emotions can be found in both celebrations. It is interesting that July, beginning with Canada Day on the first, followed by the Independence Day in the United States on the 4th, and then Bastille Day on the 14th, is a month so full of national celebrations of triumph and rebirth.

Activities for Youth

Have young people work in small groups to brainstorm all of the facts that they can think of surrounding Independence Day in the United States. If you have access to the Internet, have them gather facts in this way as well.

Then have young people continue in these small groups and discuss and record the facts they have about Bastille Day. Again, if students have Internet access, this will be even more meaningful.

When facts for each have been gathered, have students create a Venn Diagram. In the right side orb, students should list those facts that only pertain to Bastille Day. In the left side orb, students should list those facts that only pertain to the 4th of July. Where the orbs overlap, students should list those facts that these two days have in common.

Venn Diagram

[1] 21st Century Workplace: Skills for Success.

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