Cultivating International Mindedness

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“If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships – the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

We are living in an agile world that is becoming smaller each day, where cultivating and nurturing international mindedness in children is of unprecedented importance. It is about bringing the young minds together and empowering them to share core values like empathy, kindness, compassion, and collaboration which know no borders. It is about looking for things that we share in common with everyone on the planet, which brings us together. As educators, it is important for us to realize that these children are future leaders and we need to give them opportunities that require thinking, brainstorming, and coming up with innovative solutions to real-world problems from a global perspective.

In a fast-paced world, where we live in multicultural societies, while there is room for confusion, bias, lack of understanding, and belongingness, there is a greater potential for nurturing an understanding of different cultures, and celebrations, valuing others’ opinions, and respecting multiple perspectives. This lays a strong foundation for empathetic, resilient, and understanding global citizens who will lead the world tomorrow. International mindedness helps students in many ways, let us contemplate on few reasons as to why is it so important and how it can be done-

  • International mindedness helps students to know others and themselves in a better way. In schools, students are motivated to know and learn about themselves as they observe and know about others. When they learn about the traditions and cultures of others, they also bring forward an understanding of where they are coming from. It makes them take pride in who they are and where they are coming from. Giving opportunities to students to engage with each other in interactions, activities, and sharing about their culture and history helps students on a Journey to self while reaching to others.
  • Students learn that differences can be celebrated. International mindedness helps students to look at differences as opportunities for celebrations and bringing people together rather than drifting them apart. Students learn a lot during collaboration with each other, like, being mindful of the opinions of others and taking a pause and thinking before acting. Celebrating international day and a variety of festivals helps school community members to come closer and create an environment where everyone feels belonged.
  • Students become aware that how they live is not the only way. There is a much wider world beyond their immediate world. They learn to adjust, accommodate and cherish people who are from different backgrounds and whose lifestyle is other than their own. 
Values that come with international mindedness like kindness, empathy, respecting others, and being compassionate is the way forward in this VUCA world. After all, the beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people.  

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