West Valley College
14000 Fruitvale Avenue, Saratoga, CA 95070 • Phone (408) 867-2200

Global Citizenship Home

Global Citizenship Description

The term “Global Citizenship” describes an attitude to learning, teaching and being that centers on the effort to recognize that people, cultures and our environment are inextricably woven and interdependent, and that therefore we are all responsible for working toward justice beyond national boundaries.

In The Practices of Global Citizenship (2007) Hans Schattle notes that the following elements fundamentally define and anchor “global citizenship” as concept and enactment.

  • Global citizenship is a voluntary way of “thinking and living within multiple cross-cutting communities—cities, regions, states, nations, and international collectives.”

  • Global citizenship requires active self-awareness and awareness of others.

  • Practicing global citizenship entails

    • engagement in global issues while at home

    • firsthand engagement with different countries, people and cultures

    • practicing cultural empathy, intercultural competence, critical thinking and principled decision-making.

What is global competency?
“A global-ready graduate [is] a person with a grasp of global systems, global issues, the dynamics of how things are interrelated and interconnected in the world, and how society can best address global issues (Ron Moffatt, Director of the San Diego State University International Student Center).


A globally competent learner “is able to understand the interconnectedness of peoples and systems, to have a general knowledge of history and world events, to accept and cope with the existence of different cultural values and attitudes, and indeed, to celebrate the richness and benefits of this diversity” (Educating for the Global Community: A Framework for Community Colleges).

The National Education Association (NEA) defines Global Competency as:

  • Knowledge and understanding of world history, socioeconomic and political systems, and global events

  • Understanding, empathizing and relating to people from other cultures and other points of view

  • Understanding, reading, writing and speaking in more than one language

  • Understanding the interconnectedness of peoples and systems

  • Critically investigating the world, being curious and engaged

  • Communicating and exchanging ideas across cultures with an open and tolerant mind

  • Taking action and responsibility for how individual actions affect the collective and vice versa

  • Being comfortable with dissonance and ambiguity

last published: 4/18/13 • validate xhtml css 508