Let’s create learning cultures


Shamim Suryavanshi
Teacher Educator

What is “Global Education?” How does it fit in our Indian system of education? What will be the outcomes? Let’s find more.

Global education, according to me, is looking at the world as a whole. Having said that, global education should begin with first developing an understanding of one’s own self. It should develop an ability to reflect and questions one’s own beliefs and prejudices. Global education should then go on to open up the heart and mind of the learner to the beauty of commonalities and differences around us. It should liberate individuals from the man-made boundaries of regions, religions, castes, communities, religions and nation states to embracing humanity as a whole.

Ultimately, global education should enable learners to live and work harmoniously with people across the globe for common good and prosperity.

The impact…

As ‘global education’ brings with it a number of thought ingredients which are aligned and not concurrent to local cultures, it will have a positive impact on local and native thoughts and cultures. It will make learners see the possibilities of learning, working and developing beyond their local contexts.

But, there is a flip side too… they may find resistance from within their communities. They have to work against forces, which want to confine them to pre-existing norms and ways.

How institutes can shoulder the responsibility?

Apart from working with their learners, institutions will have to shoulder the responsibility of spreading awareness amongst various other stakeholders of the school eco-system. It will have to educate its support staff, management, parents and the larger community at large as what is meant by global education and what is its relevant in today’s time and age. Schools will have to create spaces for doubts and dialogues.

Where learners are concerned, ‘respect for self and respect for others’ should be one of the fundamental pillars of global education. Institutions promoting global education should work towards instilling this value in all learners. With the foundation laid strong, learners will be able to confidently and respectfully engage in conversations with differing parties and find way ahead.

Native education systems vs. global standards…

Shamim SuryavanshiNative systems are good enough so long as there is willingness to learn and adapt. With knowledge freely available at the touch of a finger, native systems need to now ask within whether they want to think beyond and rise up. With all the recent newspaper reports of local schools shutting down, soon there will be a case of act or perish. If complacency sets in, native systems will soon find themselves redundant.

Global systems have already begun valuing their two most critical resources: their school heads and their school teachers. I foresee that just as a CEO in a corporate has his/her own Coach, provision will be made for school heads to work in collaboration with professionals who will work with them one on one. These school coaches will partner with school leadership team in their journey as they spearhead changes. Schools with global education on agenda will create learning cultures rather than invest in traditional workshops and trainings. Each individual will be seen for what they are and what they are capable of; teachers and students alike. In an environment where more schools begin to walk their talk of global education, native systems will also be eventually being engulfed in it!

With more than 2 decades of experience in the field of Education, Shamim Suryavanshi has a solid grounding in classroom teaching as well as education management & leadership. Her career in Education came full circle in her role as Teacher Educator where she trained future teachers to be the best they can be. Over the years, Shamim has been highly successful in fostering strong partnership with all stakeholders – students, teachers, school leaders, parents and the wider community. She contributes to the field as a researcher, consultant & facilitator offering need based support to schools, teacher training institutes and NGOs. As a coach from the field of education, she lends support to educational organizations that are interested in exploring the benefits of the wonderful field of coaching for their students, staff and parents. Having lived in world’s two mega cities- Hong Kong & Mumbai, further adds to Shamim’s repertoire of skills as well as understanding of cultures.