Global Cultural Competence

Developing a position on an intercultural issue by exploring multiple cultural perspectives, then acting to support this position in a meaningful way.
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About this Micro-credential

Key Method

Students develop an evidence-supported position on an intercultural or international issue using a four-part framework: investigate the issue, recognize differing perspectives, communicate a position and get diverse feedback, and take action by applying findings to the real world.

Method Components

As students undertake an activity, the educator guides them through the four phases of intercultural or international understanding. This process can be conducted individually, in small groups, or in whole-group instruction. These strategies can be deployed as stand-alone activities or as a part of a lesson.

Phases of global cultural competence (intercultural or international understanding)

  • Investigate the issue: Research a cross-cultural or international issue (see the Productive Researching micro-credential). Suggested activities include:
    • Take time to share and capture what each team member already knows about the issue.
    • Discuss the kinds of facts or evidence that would be useful in understanding the issue and come up with something that could be done about the issue. (Having team members from a culture involved in the issue and who can read that culture's language is very helpful.)
    • Brainstorm some creative approaches to developing a strong position on the issue (see the Idea Generating micro-credential).
    • Collectively identify the Need To Learns to develop a firm position on the issue and identify where to research these (see the Productive Researching micro-credential).
  • Recognize differing perspectives: Develop an understanding your own and others' cultural perspectives on the issue. Suggested activities include:
    • Each team member writes a brief, my own culture profile and shares it with the other team members.
    • Each team discusses the similarities and differences in cultural backgrounds and perspectives and how open-minded to other cultural perspectives each person is and why.
    • Survey how other students with differing backgrounds think about the issue.
    • Distribute the Need To Learns research tasks among the team members.
    • Put all of the research findings into one shared online document that everyone has access to.
    • Weigh all the evidence and come up with the strongest evidence-supported position on the issue and what can be done about it, recognizing different cultural perspectives.
  • Communicate a position: Discuss the position with diverse audiences and get feedback. Suggested activities include:
    • Recognize how different audiences with different cultural backgrounds may understand and react to your team's position.
    • Modify parts of your position presentation to respect different audiences.
    • Incorporate audience feedback to improve how you communicate your position.
  • Take action: Apply findings to help improve intercultural or international understanding (see related micro-credentials Collaborative Problem Solving and Productive Teamwork). Suggested activities include:
    • Identify a list of doable actions that could address the issue and your team's position and list the benefits and drawbacks of each action, then choose the best option, considering its impacts and consequences.
    • Implement the action and record the results.

Suggested preparation

  • In teams of three to five, students choose an intercultural or global issue to develop an evidence-based position on and follow the process guidelines.
  • Students think of a past experience in which they interacted with someone from another culture or country or read about a cross-cultural interaction that led to some misunderstanding, confusion, or tension.
  • Students share this experience in small groups, then have each group come up with a list of what they could do to better understand, communicate, and work with people with different cultural backgrounds or from different parts of the world, then share the group lists.

Suggested review

  • Team members reflect on their success in advocating for and contributing to improving the issue locally, regionally, or even globally.
  • Team members write and say what they liked best and learned the most during the global cultural competence activities and what could be done better next time.

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

In an increasingly globally connected world, educating a new generation of globally competent and culturally proficient students is an imperative; research on effective methods to raise students' cultural and global competence supports using a clear framework for increasing students' global understanding, intercultural communication skills, and diversity-embracing mindsets.


Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

Following are the items you must submit to earn this micro-credential and the criteria by which they will be evaluated. To earn this micro-credential, you must receive a passing evaluation for Parts 1, 3, and 4 and a “Yes” for Part 2.

Part 1. Overview questions

(200-word limit for each response)

  • Activity Description: What kind of project activities did you and your students engage in to become more proficient in global cultural competency? Please describe the learning activities and strategies you used.
  • Activity Evaluation: How do you know your students increased their proficiency by engaging in the global cultural competence activities and what evidence did you collect that demonstrates these learning gains?

Part 2. Evidence/artifacts

Please submit work examples from two students (such as writing, audio, images, video, or other media) that demonstrate progress toward the global cultural competency, including items such as student’s cultural Need to Learns lists, their “my own culture” profiles, their culture action plans, examples of presentations on the results of their research and actions, and other relevant items.

Part 3. Student reflections

For the two students whose work examples were included above, submit student-created reflections on their experience of the global cultural competence activities. Use the following questions as a guide (200-word limit for each reflection):

  • How did the global cultural competency activities help you and your team come up with better thought-out, better supported, and culturally sensitive positions on the issue?
  • How did the global cultural competency strategies change your view of the importance of incorporating differing cultural perspectives in trying to address an intercultural or international issue?

Part 4. Teacher reflection

Provide a reflection on what you learned, using the following questions as a guide (200-word limit):

  • What was the impact of engaging your students in the global cultural competence activity?
  • How will experiencing these project activities shape your daily teaching practice in the future?

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Download to access the requirements and scoring guide for this micro-credential.
How to prepare for and earn this micro-credential - in a downloadable PDF document

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