Maintaining Global Consciousness


Maintaining global consciousness is an encompassing practice that helps us develop in each of the previously discussed competencies. The global location we grow up and live in has a substantial role in shaping our worldview. As a university with international reach in a community of students, faculty and staff from around the world, we have a vested interest in examining the global dimensions of our practices. One way to imagine global consciousness is to imagine locating our university as an ecosystem in the larger biosphere. Ecologists conceptualize life at multiple levels. Individuals live in populations, which rest in communities, which constitute ecosystems. Further, ecosystems populate biomes, which make up the larger biosphere. Each ecological level shapes and supports life. However, what works for one ecosystem does not necessarily sustain life in another biome. Similarly, what supports learning and success in one institution or culture does not always equitably translate to another.

At Oregon State, maintaining global consciousness may look like an instructor reflecting on how their global location has shaped their perspective as an educator and their teaching and curriculum choices. It may also look like a member of our community welcoming and engaging the many opportunities for innovation that exist within a globally engaged university.

Individually, learning in this dimension may look like increased cultural self-awareness and knowledge of diverse worldviews. We may improve our ability to critically examine the nature of our thoughts and actions and integrate new insights into our professional practice. We may also become more open and responsive to the needs of students and colleagues from around the world. As a community, when we learn together we may improve our ability to collaborate on more complex and pressing problems facing our globe.

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