Global Classroom Manifesto I : Written by Participants of the Praxis Conference 2017 at the University of Washington 

Today more than ever I see the need to further transform the classroom from simply a space of learning into a space where we practice global citizenry. This need is in part a response to constantly changing diverse make-up of students and teachers. It is also a response to changing political climates all around the world. Classrooms can be a space where we can practice how to be active in conversation and debate. 

I started fascilitating workshops and conversations about my work on global classrooms. On January 20 2017, I gave the keynote address at the Praxis Conference at University of Washington where I shared with the participant justifications and models for global classrooms. At the end of the session I asked participants to colloborate with me to create a global classroom manifesto together. This manifesto includes basic rules of this global space that we came up as a collective. This manifesto shows particularly the value of incorporating multiple perspectives and languages, the value of students’ agency and also provides models of how to create open and engaging learning spaces. 

I thank all the participants of the conference for their brilliant contributions and in help creating the first version of this manifesto. I encourage all to read through items and find inspiration to adopt some of these manifesto items as they design/teach classes. The manifesto ends with a statement that the idea of a global classroom is for now an aspiration and not yet a reality. My work moving forward will be to push for ways where these guidelines are understood as some of the core principles of all our classes. 


A global classroom …

  • always encourages interest, awareness, and a deeper understanding of issues that students might or might not be familiar with (curiosity) 
  • incorporates structural analysis: provides and analyzes contexts
  • teaches students to recognize and negotiate discomfort
  • deconstructs normalized forms of learning and teaching, and questions power hierarchies within these forms
  • incorporates technology/media in a way that is critically and socially engaged
  • includes case-studies that are global 
  • meets students where they are in terms of their beliefs/culture
  • does not impose teacher’s ideology 
  • encourages students to write in their native language 
  • has a translingual approach
  • is a space where all languages are valued. In practice, this means allowing students to research, read and interpret in languages other than English
  • has altered participation expectations
  • realizes that every student and every class is at once unique but also subject to similar forces in their lives
  • causes one to question oneself: “Why do I think this way?”
  • chooses kindness, accountability and love 
  • centers knowledge and skills building as the mission and the diverse, contradictory, expansive and fragmented experience of the individuals in the room as ASSET for achieving the mission 
  • provides a space for students to engage themselves and each other in conversations that matter to them
  • is like an airport: a hub for people from all over the world to meet, find their jouirneys and embark on them
  • celebrates and highlights differences in perspective, belief, and culture
  • not only recognizes and acknowledges difference, but actively incorporates it into the curriculum
  • is multilingual – students can communicate with each other in the language of their choice
  • recognizes different definitions of creativity and intellectual/professional engagement
  • values how language structures lived experience, and students should be encouraged to access all of these languages in their work
  • celebrates student agency
  • is one that allows space for different modes of creativity- led by students 
  • moves one from socialized mind to self-authoring mind (read Robert Kegan) 
  • moves one from technical rationality to the reflective practictioner 
  • moves one from adaptation to adaptive capacity
  • is a space where we explicitly acknowledge and engage with the experiences and perspectives of people from diverse, international communities
  • is one in which the teacher models respect for diversity in the way she/he treats the individual students in the class with respect and attention
  • acknowledges the differing values people have to want towards technology (access, training, etc.) -and it is a space where technology is uses as a means to education, not as end
  • makes space for students to assert their voices and experiences 
  • asks students to pick a cause and act on it 
  • moves beyond binary thinking
  • is speculative and interactive 
  • is relevant beyond the classroom 
  • includes colloborative projects with real stakes + shared responsibilities 
  • connects who students are and where they come from to what they are learning and what they hope to do with what they learn
  • scaffolds ways for students to become self-aware so that they can to listen to and learn from each other
  • is one in which comparative cultural insight helps students to contextualize their experiences and assumptions as local 
  • is always changing – it is fluid 
  • is a safe space – for many voices to be heard
  • seeks to respect and share difference in service of difference and commonalities 
  • actively looks for students to recognize their own knowledge and authority. 
  • accepts that we can’t know everyone’s experience 
  • is an open space for different kinds of learning and participating 
  • explicitly connects ideas of “global classroom” to the specific learning goals/intellectual work of the course 
  • is an aspiration , not a reality. 

Pedagogy Teaching and Learning

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