Educational Research and Reviews

  • Abbreviation: Educ. Res. Rev.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1990-3839
  • DOI: 10.5897/ERR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2006

Full Length Research Paper

Global learning as general education for the twenty-first century

Jacqueline C. Reich
History and Political Science Department, Chestnut Hill College, 9601 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118, Pennsylvania, USA
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 16 May 2012
  •  Published: 08 August 2012



Global awareness has emerged as a valued learning outcome in higher education. Students need repeated and on-going learning opportunities to develop the global competencies and habits of mind that are necessary to navigate our increasingly interconnected and complex world. This paper argues that situating an introductory global studies course into the general education of all undergraduate students would be advantageous. When taken early as part of the general education curriculum, an introductory global studies course provides all students with the chance to begin making connections across disciplines and to imagine creative solutions to problems in the private and public sectors. An introductory global studies course can jumpstart a process of global learning, where students gain knowledge of world challenges, develop intercultural competencies and learn how to deeply engage complex global issues. Students thus obtain a solid curricular base for going forward in their thinking about global issues and for pulling together insights in a newly integrated way. The experiences of one liberal arts institution are used to illustrate how a required introductory global studies course can support the traditional general education learning outcomes of intentionality, civic engagement, intellectual judgment and integrated learning.


Key words: General education, global learning, internationalization, global studies, higher education, intentionality, integrated learning, civic engagement.