RU Global — Resources for World Leadership

Written by Sara Baron, Dean of the University Library

The University Library carefully acquires resources to support the University’s mission to train Christian leaders to change the world. With the new emphasis on global competency, we are also actively collecting materials to help faculty, staff, and students see, connect, learn, and lead with information from all over the world. In addition, the Center for Teaching and Learning offers a list of faculty development resources, all of which are in the Library (or on the way!). The Library faculty will be featuring a title related to global competency every two weeks in this new column on our blog. If you are aware of a title that should be featured, please let us know!

Educating Global Citizens in Colleges and Universities: Challenges and Opportunities, by Peter N. Stearns

Prioritizing a global perspective in American higher education is one of the biggest challenges facing our country today according to Peter N. Stearns, provost and professor of history at George Mason University. He argues that for both personal and social life, a better understanding of the global context is essential and that higher education has the responsibility to develop this understanding. Innovation, change, collaboration, best practices-all are called for in chapters representing the following topics: definitions, contexts, curriculum, education abroad, international students, leadership, and assessment.

Stearns notes that global education “must involve not only a sensitive study of different cultural traditions and institutional frameworks, with the analytical skills attached, but also an appreciation of the kinds of forces that bear on societies around the world-including the United States, and how these forces have emerged” (p. 15). Within this discussion is also a concern that we have much to learn from our friends around the world-that living in a global context requires humility, openness, and a willingness to learn from others. The author includes a thorough literature review supporting his argument that American colleges and universities have an obligation to teach all students within a global context and worldview.