Globalization is a broad term which essentially describes the spread of technology, trade, and democracy across the globe. As such, it has had a long reaching effect on world development in both developed and underdeveloped countries. In the field of education, technology has had a particularly strong impact as it brings new teaching and learning resources to different parts of the world. Globalization has also broken down barriers to education like poverty and discrimination. In the classroom, students are increasingly encouraged to adopt a global mindset so that they will be better prepared to live and work in an interconnected world.
Keywords Cultural Identity; Development; Global Citizenship; Globalization; International Education; Nation-State; Nationalist Education; Primary Education; Western Education System; World Bank
International Perspectives: Globalization
The word "globalization" is significantly broad and encompasses a multitude of different ideas. Schaeffer (2003) stated that most global analysts define globalization as the spread of technology, democracy, and trade across the globe (p. 1). Yet much of globalization has to do with money; Zhao (2007) defined globalization as "the increasing integration of world economies through trade and financial transactions, involving movements of goods, people, and money across national and geographical borders" (p. 8). This process has been made possible by technological advances which allow for greater communication and dissemination of knowledge and ideas between nations. Through this global exchange of work forces, goods, and profit, great changes have been brought about in education, human rights movements, health and prosperity issues, and governmental systems (Carnegie Endowment, n.d.) Schaeffer (2007) states that although globalization scholars disagree on the precise definition of globalization, virtually all agree that there are a minimum of five key components of globalization:
• Production (p. 2-3)
Additionally, globalization has to do with removing boundaries and barriers so that people see themselves not just as belonging to a particular country or region but instead view themselves as taking part in a global citizenship. This mindset, as Eckersley (2007) argues, brings virtually all aspects of what humans do, all "key domains of human activity" into focus (p. 10). Eckersley has called globalization "the mother of all social studies topics" (p. 18). This is perhaps the best way people can view globalization, as the most complex and interconnected social studies topic available for scrutiny.
Globalization actually began centuries ago, when people started trading goods with different countries, making use of travel routes such as the Silk Road (Carnegie Endowment, n.d.). However, Schaeffer (2003) stated that there are several different globalization theories: some people argue that globalization is an old idea, some argue it is a new phenomena, and others argue that present-day globalization is rooted in older concepts but has taken on a new form today (p. 9). Perhaps Appadurai (2006) stated it best: "Historians and sociolinguistics…have long been aware that the world has been a congeries of large-scale interactions for many centuries. Yet today's world involves interactions of a new order and intensity" (p. 179).
The Globalization of Education
A major area that globalization has directly impacted is education, and this impact is multi-faceted. Technology has brought new teaching and learning resources to many parts of the world. International charities send teachers to other countries, sponsor international students, and provide financial assistance to help the education cause. Additionally, globalization helps break down barriers to education such as poverty or gender discrimination. Globalization not only helps disadvantaged people in remote parts of the world, it also influences students in developed countries by teaching them to have a global mindset and see the connection between themselves and the rest of humanity. Globalization links teachers, students, and scholars around the world so that they can pass on new ideas, further the spread of knowledge, and donate resources, all which creates a global community of learners.
Influence of the World Bank
To demonstrate why education is a crucial part of globalization, Spring (2004) devoted a chapter of his book How Educational Ideologies Are Shaping Global Society to examining the World Bank, the world's largest education funds provider. The World Bank provides developing countries with grants, low-interest loans, and credit to fund various educational, public health, and development projects (The World Bank, 2007). In providing financial assistance to countries in need, the World Bank is seeking to build a global society and help the poor and disadvantaged improve their places in life, primarily through education and vocational development. Spring (2004) stated that the World Bank upholds the vision of a world in which goods and profits are produced through factories, corporate farms, and mass production instead of independent farms and private businesses (p. 40).
This means that in order for workers to be able to function successfully in the global workplace as envisioned by the World Bank, they must have at least a basic education and be able to learn new vocational skills. Often this learning process is lifelong, because new business innovations and philosophies are constantly being discovered and transmitted, and workers must be continually taking in new information and training. The difficulty is, as Spring (2004) stated, that "many countries have not reached a high enough level of economic development to participate in this mass consumer society. The role of education is to help them make this leap" (p. 41).
Globalization has made the issue of education crucial. In a globalized world, education is necessary for workers to find adequate employment, but education also has many other benefits. Educating the citizen of the world helps reduce poverty and unemployment, and also helps eliminate epidemics, child mortality, gender discrimination, population growth problems, and environmental problems. While globalization is undergirded by economics, trade, and commerce, its effects overshadow the whole scope of human existence. Education, necessary for vocational success in a globalized world, is also necessary for removing most of the barriers people face.
The Spread of Western Educational Models
How education is delivered is important to note. In particular, Spring (2004) stated that Western education models are becoming increasingly more common throughout the world: "For better or worse, Western models of the nation-state and schooling now dominate global discussions of education" (p. 2). Western education involves separating large masses of young students from their surrounding community and placing them in a government-controlled environment where they can be taught a standardized form of education; the curriculum is designed to form people who can build and serve their society as a whole (Spring, 2004, p. 2). In doing so, students are exposed to Western mindsets and ways of thinking which may be quite different from the culture in which they were raised.
One of the reasons why Western education models are becoming more popular around the world is that Western education embraces the concept of educating as many people as possible in a free, government-sponsored setting. This can be a dramatic change for many cultures and areas of the world where traditionally, girls have been barred from education, and education was reserved for a select few, usually boys of higher class families. Poverty has also been a major barrier to education, and access to free education dramatically improves one's chances of being educated. Globalization requires that all workers receive an education, and the process of globalization brings with it a focus on human rights and opportunity. Because of these factors, it is understandable that Western models of education are spreading.
A key component of Western education that is also an important factor in globalization is the ability to develop new ideas to meet rising challenges. In the changing world of today, creative and innovative skills are particularly important, and education needs to foster these abilities. Zhao (2007) said that the American style of education has done an excellent job in teaching its students to be free, innovative thinkers and function as autonomous beings, in contrast to other cultures (Asian for example) that emphasize the collective and do not encourage free thinking as much.
Inspirational Pro and Anti-Globalization Quotes from Economy Experts
Positive and Negative Global Economic Expansion Ideas in Quotable Quotations
In the 21st century globalization is an irreversible trend that brings with it a level of economic expansion, growth, and accessibility that is unprecedented in the history of mankind. While the positive aspects of economic globalization might seem irrefutable, the debate between pro and anti-globalization experts is intense, and from that debate emerges inspiring quotable quotes that fuel further thought-provoking discussions about the risks and rewards of globalization.
The U.S. retail industry has seemingly always embraced the idea of globalization, as the acquisition and transport of goods from different parts of the world was a primary motivation behind the most famous explorers in history. The F.W. Woolworth Company had retail stores in Canada in 1905. Chevrolet was selling automobiles in Canada in 1915. Abercrombie & Fitch was selling Mahjong game sets imported from China in the 1920's. Retail expansion has been both the leader and the catalyst for economic globalization throughout modern business history.
Related: Oldest U.S. Retailing Companies Still in Business Today >>
Even though the evolution of technology makes a global economy practical, logical, and seemingly inevitable, an interdependent global economy is not a concept that everyone embraces wholeheartedly, and it's not a reality that is easily achieved. The pro and anti-globalization thought leaders from the fields of business, politics, and economics will continue to define the appropriate boundaries of economic globalization by examining its positive and negative aspects and encapsulate their insights in bite-sized ideas that can be consumed and shared in the form of quotes.
The quotations that follow examine, define, and challenge economic globalization as it is today and as it could become in the future. Read and share these pro and anti-globalization quotes according to our own viewpoint, and then click the links to get more quotable quotes on a variety of business topics.
Inspirational Pro and Anti-Globalization Quotes from Economic, Political, and Business Experts:
- “No generation has had the opportunity, as we now have, to build a global economy that leaves no-one behind. It is a wonderful opportunity, but also a profound responsibility.” - Former U.S. President Bill Clinton
- "Our view is that economic isolationism is the wrong way to go. Vibrant, successful growing economies that advance the interests of their citizens engage the global economy. And, we're committed to engaging the global economy." - John W. Snow, Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury
- "Our global economy is out of control and performing contrary to basic principles of market economics." - David Korten, Economist and Former Professor at the Harvard School of Business
- "We can't speak day after day about globalization without at the same time having in mind that...we need multilateral solutions." - Dominique Strauss-Kahn, IMF Managing Director
- "I find that because of modern technological evolution and our global economy, and as a result of the great increase in population, our world has greatly changed: it has become much smaller. However, our perceptions have not evolved at the same pace; we continue to cling to old national demarcations and the old feelings of 'us' and 'them'.” - Dalai Lama
- "Much of what Tea Party candidates claimed about the world and the global economy during the 2010 elections would have earned their adherents a well-deserved F in any freshman economics (or earth science) class." - Eric Alterman, Author, Columnist & Graduate Professor
- “The whole of the global economy is based on supplying the cravings of two per cent of the world's population.” - Bill Bryson, Best-selling Author
- "We have to remember we're in a global economy. The purpose of fiscal stimulus is not simply to sustain activity in our national economies, but to help the global economy as well, and that's why it's so critical that measures in those packages avoid anything that smacks of protectionism." - Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada
- "I think there's a lot of merit in an international economy and global markets, but they're not sufficient because markets don't look after social needs." - George Soros, Chairman, Soros Fund Management
- “We are moving toward a global economy. One way of approaching that is to pull the covers over your head. Another is to say: It may be more complicated - but that's the world I am going to live in, I might as well be good at it.” - Phil Condit, Former Chairman and CEO of Boeing
- "We saw the entire global economy at one time acting totally in sync. The real truth is the world is even flatter than I thought. Our mortgage crisis is killing Deutsche Bank. You still don't think the world is flat?" - Thomas Friedman, Pulitzer Prize-winning and Best-selling Author of "The World Is Flat"
- "The lack of monetary discipline has become a hallmark of unfettered globalization. Central banks have failed to provide a stable underpinning to world financial markets and to an increasingly asset-dependent global economy." - Stephen Roach, Former Chairman for Asia and Chief Economist for Morgan Stanley
- “Henry Ford was right. A prosperous economy requires that workers be able to buy the products that they produce. This is as true in a global economy as a national one.” - John J. Sweeney, Former President of the AFL-CIO
- "A successful economic development strategy must focus on improving the skills of the area's workforce, reducing the cost of doing business and making available the resources business needs to compete and thrive in today's global economy." - Rod Blagojevich, Former Illinois Governor and Convicted Felon
- "To compete in a global economy, our students must continue their education beyond high school. To make this expectation a reality, we must give students the tools they need to succeed, including the opportunity to take a college entrance exam." - Jennifer Granholm, Former Governor of Michigan, Author & TV Personality
- "We must retool our nation to prepare for the challenge we already face to maintain our position in the global economy. And this much is certain: America will not have national security without economic security." - John Kerry, Massachusetts Senator
- "But let no one be under any doubt that the scale of the challenge that Europe faces in this emerging global economy is immense and the practical pace of our collective action to meet these challenge to date has just been too slow." - John Hutton, British Politician
- "There's two globalizations... The elite globalization represents minority forces. The elite globalization is about making money... The people's globalization, the democratic mass globalization is about life values." - Kevin Danaher, Author and Anti-globalization Activist
- "Our system of private health insurance that fails to provide coverage to so many of our citizens also contributes to the double-digit health care inflation that is making America less competitive in the global economy." - John Conyers, Michigan Congressional Representative
- "In this global economy, no jobs are safe. High-speed Internet connections and low-cost, skilled labor overseas are an explosive combination." - Bob Taft, Former Governor of Ohio
- "Globalization has rendered the world increasingly interdependent, but international politics is still based on the sovereignty of states." - George Soros
- "Instead of saying that globalization is a fact, that it's inevitable, we've also got to demonstrate that while the growing interdependence of the world economy is indeed a fact, it's not uncontrollable." - Peter Mandelson, British Labour Party Politician
- "This present window of opportunity, during which a truly peaceful and interdependent world order might be built, will not be open for too long — We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order." - David Rockefeller
- "We have a global economy that is not structured around democratizing and including people in the decision-making. It's operated in secret."
- Kevin Danaher
- "What's going on in this country? Unions stand against those trends. We've got to somehow insulate the robust American economy from this global economy that seems to want to devour our standard of living." - James P. Hoffa, General President of the Teamsters Union
- "In today's global economy, however, it is important to raise the bar of excellence even higher. Today's students must be prepared to compete effectively on an international level." - Kenny Marchant, Congressional Representative from Texas
- "For globalization to work for America, it must work for working people. We should measure the success of our economy by the breadth of our middle class, and the scope of opportunity offered to the poorest child to climb into that middle class." - John J. SweeneyFormer President of the AFL-CIO
- "The global economy works for about twenty percent of the world, for about eighty percent it doesn't."
- Kevin Danaher
- "Not exclusively, but the bulk of our local economy should be covered by local currencies, which is more efficient than having global currencies which lose connection with reality in the markets, shops, and communities of the people." - David Korten
- "A global economy is characterized not only by the free movement of goods and services but, more important, by the free movement of ideas and of capital." - George Soros
- "My guiding principle is that prosperity can be shared. We can create wealth together. The global economy is not a zero-sum game." - Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia