Globalized Standards

Adding Global Perspectives and Competences to the CA School Library Standards

California Model School Library Standards – Grades Seven and Eight

Standard 1. Students access information

1.2 Formulate appropriate questions:

a. Establish a hypothesis, a position statement, or both.
b. Identify topics and subtopics; ask and evaluate research question for relevancy.
c. Create a plan of action for research by defining the topic and identifying key questions, key words, and possible resources.

This particular standard is almost perfectly aligned with the global competence of investigating the world, particularly where it calls for students to: “Identify an issue, generate a question, and explain the significance of locally, regionally, or globally focused researchable questions.” What the California standard is missing is the expansion of focus to regional and global issues, and the emphasis on researching issues of significance rather than just issues of personal relevance. By changing item b) to read: “identify topics and subtopics; ask and evaluate research questions for relevancy and local, regional, or global significance,” you could easily incorporate global education into the standard.

This change would require that the lesson be modified, especially the first time it is taught, to include discussion of the idea of local, regional, and globally significant questions, and what that might look like for the particular subject area or project the student is researching. In the case of school library lessons in particular, this might need to be front loaded with the teacher before the student ever even come to the library to begin their research.

An informal outcome assessment could include a student reflection at the end of the topic/research question brainstorming session, or perhaps a checklist of local, regional, and global significance that they could apply to the research question(s) they came up with.


California Model School Library Standards – Grades Seven and Eight

Standard 1. Students access information

1.3 Identify and locate a variety of resources online and in other formats by using effective search strategies:

a. Conduct multistep information searches by using various search strategies to locate digital information that supports research and writing tasks.

b. Identify scholarly, accurate, and current sources of information in a variety of formats.

c. Prioritize sources of information for efficient and effective use.

d. Develop and use successful search strategies to locate information sources, including primary and secondary sources.

e. Understand and demonstrate appropriate use of “tags” for online resources.

f. Use an automated library catalog to locate a variety of reference and other library resources that support a research question.

g. Use digital resources to access information beyond the school library collection.

h. Demonstrate knowledge of the types of resources needed to best answer a question.

i. Identify the authority of URL Internet extensions and the potential for bias (e.g., .com, .org, .edu, .gov, .us, .net).

J. Use a variety of encyclopedias and other references to gather information.

k. Use indexes online and in print.

l. Use print and/or digital indexes or the search engines of subscription periodical databases to locate information in periodicals and save to an electronic file.

m. Use print and online bibliographies and references to identify and locate additional resources.

n. Understand the difference between search engines and metasearch engines and hierarchical directories.

As you can see, this standard is pretty exhaustive in terms of specifying skills students need to have in order to choose good research sources. What could be added in order to incorporate global education in this case would be both specific reference to recognizing perspectives in sources as well as specific skills relevant to finding sources beyond those of your home country or culture. An additional substandard could be added in fact: “o. Use a variety of languages to conduct research in both domestic and international sources.”

In order to incorporate that global ed skill, existing lessons on internet search strategies, for instance, would have to include specific instruction on how to use advanced search settings to specify country of origin and language, and how to find major news and other periodical publications from other countries online and then use translation tools such as google translate to gain access to the content.

Assessment of this could be as simple as including the use of sources from other geographic regions and in other languages in the rubric. It could also, however, include asking students to explicitly address the differences in perspective they discovered in their research into their final project in some way, either as an additional paragraph or section, or as part of a project.


California Model School Library Standards – Grades Seven and Eight

Standard 3. Students use information.

The student will organize, synthesize, create, and communicate information.

3.2 Draw conclusions and make informed decisions:

a. Evaluate evidence to support a proposition or proposal.

b. Present a report visually, orally, or in writing, that conveys a clear point of view with evidence supporting that perspective.

This standard could be easily tweaked to include much more in the realm of recognizing perspectives, including both their own and that of others. I would change point a to be: “Evalute evidence to support a proposition or proposal, taking into account multiple perspectives.” I would also change point b to be: “Present a report… that conveys a clear understanding of how your point of view is informed by your perspective, and how it may relate to/conflict with that of others.”

Once again, this would require that explicit instruction be offered as part of the lesson on recognizing perspectives, including a pre-lesson activity that would allow students to explore their own perspective on the issue, and what factors have influenced it. This would allow them to be better prepared to conduct research that would include the perspectives of others in a respectful, thoughtful way.

If students are successful at drawing conclusions and evaluating evidence through the lens of recognizing perspectives, they will be able to clearly articulate in their final product the factors that influenced their point of view, as well as why they chose the evidence that they chose to support that point of view. Again, this should be written into the project rubric.


California Model School Library Standards – Grades Seven and Eight

Standard 3. Students use information

3.3 Use information and technology creatively to answer a question, solve a problem, or enrich understanding:

a. Use a variety of media (e.g. audio, video, print) to impart information, share opinions, or persuade an audience, or to achieve all those purposes.

b. Create presentations using presentation software or multimedia online applications.

c. Create presenations and documents that demonstrate proper citation and attribution of written, audio, and visual resources used.

d. Utilize online bibliography generation and tracking tools for research projects.

This standard addresses use of technology to enrich understanding and communicate findings, which is a perfect tie in to global education, as one of the best ways to bring the world into the classroom, especially for students who cannot afford to travel, is using technology, and it can definitely “enrich understanding” of global issues, as well as offering students the opportunity to communicate and interact with students all over the globe.

When lessons are taught on uses of technology to solve problems, find information, and enrich understanding, explicit instruction in the use of technology to solve global problems, and to enrich understanding of global issues and cultures, should be included. In fact use of tools such as skype, google hangouts, and edmodo to connect with classes around the world as part of these lessons should be the norm. This is also a golden opportunity to get students thinking about how they are communicating their ideas to others using technology, and how that might change depending on their audience. A video project, for instance, could include a lesson on whether or not to use voiceover, depending on the language of the target audience, or whether translated titles or simply visuals might be more effective. A discussion of frame of reference for visual meaning could also be included, such as symbols of different ideas or statuses, and how they might differ for an audience from a different culture.

The best assessment of this would be to share the project product with an actual target audience from a different culture, and then get feedback.


California Model School Library Standards – Grades Seven and Eight

Standard 4. Students integrate information literacy skills into all areas of learning.

The student will independently pursue information to become a lifelong learner.

4.1 Read widely and use various media for information, personal interest, and lifelong learning:

a. Read a good representation of grade-level-appropriate text, making progress toward the goal of reading one million words annually by grade eight (e.g., classic and contemporary literature, magazines, newspapers, online information).

b. Choose reading from a variety of genres (e.g. drama, fable, fairy tale, fantasy, folklore, essay, speech).

What needs to be added to this standard to make it globally focused is mention both of reading in other languages, as well as reading widely to become a globally conscious learner. In addition to reading for information, personal interest, and lifelong learning, students need to be explicitly instructed in reading to be globally competent, including choosing books that represent other cultures, ways of viewing the world, and information about life in other geographic and cultural areas of the world.

Required reading lists could be modified to include global literature. Encouraged outside reading could include suggestions of global/international literature, essays, etc. Class examination and comparison of different cultures could go beyond what is traditionally done in lower level classes with just comparing folklore and fairy tales to include reading and comparing literature, speeches, essays, etc. from other cultures as well.

This could be assessed as a requirement for reading logs, SSR, and other reading assignments as a number of books/texts from other cultures and geographic areas that must be met to satisfy the requirement.

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