International-mindedness(IM) or Cosmopolitanism?
My name is Tesia Shoko, currently living in Beijing, China and teaching grade 4 & 5 English language arts and social studies in a bilingual school. I am a part of the Hong Kong 5 cohort.
To start off I will first begin by defining or giving an outline of the two terms in comparison of the aspects being the international-mindedness (IM) and cosmopolitanism.
Haywood, in his article argues that IM is more practical and can be institutionalized within a school, community or culture with a set curriculum in various aspects. However, clear learning objectives and outcomes must be predefines and clearly stated in order for there to be a multicultural tolerance of other cultures and to a certain degree a compromise in order to work with each other.
On the other hand, Gunesch(—–) states that Cosmopolitanism is more of an individual and idealistic approach where one is more of a global citizen who is able, out of their own curiosity and interest is able to delve and immerse oneself into other cultures for a much deeper understanding to an extend of embracing them. As in Brennan’s 1997′ book states that ‘feeling at home in the world’ allows one to straddle both the global and local cultures without the fear or attachment to their own culture to the point of losing themselves wherever they find themselves in the world.
The video we watched by Williams, R. (no date) points out a very important reality which is that we as teacher ( mostly from some other part of the world) must preparing our students for cosmopolitism, for the reality that we are now living, having come from different countries and having placed ourselves in different cultures and countries.
It struck home to me what Haywood said , ‘We must not be limited by our current cultural conditions but neither must we promote any single model for international learning as universal in relevance or as superior to other forms.’ (Haywood, 2007, p88)
I do not think that one concept needs to replace the other, nor does one hold higher importance than the other. With that being said, In an ideal school both international-mindedness and cosmopolitanism are necessary in order for individuals to live according to both principles in order to know, acknowledge, respect, accept and even embrace other people and their cultures globally as we do ourselves and ours. We need to operate on a level where international-mindedness incorporates cosmopolitanism, where we equip learners with a stable traditional curriculum which will allow, incite and encourage curiosity in our students and teachers alike to go out into the world and experience other cultures as part of their self-growth process on a much bigger platform, a global platform.