Frequently Asked Questions
The following are authentic questions that have been asked about the implementation of the Global Education Achievement Certificate. Questions will be added on a continual basis as they arise.
1) How much of a course needs to be global to count toward the Certificate?
It is next to impossible to quantify the amount of time a class needs to deal with global issues. Instead, teachers should design a course conceptually or thematically with global lead concepts or themes. Requirements for the certificate cannot be checked off as an item on a list. Rather, all issues or inquiries should eventually be discussed within a global framework.
2) I teach a course on Shakespeare. Can that be part of the Certificate program?
Yes. Studying Shakespeare asks students to explore a different period in history as well as a different culture. Shakespeare wrote during the reign of Elizabeth I when England broadened its sphere of influence widely. Studying Shakespeare involves not only a close reading of the text but also an understanding of the world in which his work was created. An additional component of a class on Shakespeare could be research on what other writers were active in other parts of the world at that time. Were there common themes? Was there a world view that was common to all of them?
3) Can the world language requirement be satisfied by two years in two different languages each?
No. The central goal or learning world languages is to achieve meaningful levels of proficiency. We must expect Global Scholars to have good command of the language in order to understand and function in the culture where that language is spoken. That cannot be achieved in two years.
4) Do middle school world language credits count toward the requirements of the Certificate?
No. The Certificate is a high school program and requires four credits on the high school transcript. If a school district counts middle school credit for high school graduation, an exception may be granted. Such exceptions must be approved by the DPI.
5) Can orchestra, band, or choir be included in the coursework for the Certificate? And what about Food?
That depends on how those classes are set up. Assuming that performances include composers from several different world cultures, can we assume that students learn at an appropriate level of depth of knowledge and inquiry about those cultures? The performance alone does not add a global component to the learning process. Similar arguments apply to Foods classes. What do students learn about the production and preparation of food in relation to local cultures, health, sustainability, etc.? Why, for example, is it important to shift consumption of white maize to yellow maize in some cultures? What is the impact of adding Vitamin D to nutrition and health in this particular case? If students research those topics, classes should count for the Certificate. Otherwise, they should not be included.
6) Can we use Rosetta Stone to satisfy the world language requirement for the Global Education Achievement Certificate?
No. An online program cannot be substituted for a regular world language course taught by a licensed teacher. Read an interview conducted by Marty Abbott with Rosetta Stone CEO Steve in the November 2013 issue of The Language Educator. For more information, see the SwadACTFL Position Statement (2012) and this review by Freynik and Nielson (2008).
7) Can students substitute reading a poem for reading books (fictional or non-fictional) in the cultural literacy requirement area?
No. Unless this poem has the length of Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” this is not an option. Students and teachers can be creative, though: Read a thematic collection of poems, for example, and compare and contrast culturally. Read Robert Burns poems and listen to musical interpretations in folk songs. Reflect on this experience. The rationale for all of these decisions is not how little students “can get away with,” but how students actively engage with a topic of significant depth and reflect at an acceptable level of depth of knowledge.