Holistic support for students lead to academic success: Insights from Simone Fuller at Korea Glocal Fair 2024

Queensland’s DEi Executive Director highlights the importance of student well-being and global competence

Esther Baek 승인 2024.06.06 14:29 | 최종 수정 2024.06.18 21:05 의견 0

Simone Fuller begins her lecture on Global Citizenship Education

“If you don’t have a happy student, you will not have success in their academics.”

Simone Fuller, the Executive Director of the Department of Education International (DEi) in Queensland, Australia, gave a lecture to Korean educators and local school board members at the Korea Glocal Fair 2024 held at Yeosu on May 29th.

The DEi was created by the Queensland government to offer “a range of immersive global programs and opportunities for students, teachers, education leaders, and Queensland schools each year, delivered online, domestically or via outbound and inbound immersion,” as it states on its website.

Her lecture titled “Global Citizenship Education” discussed how the DEi created the Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration. This Declaration ensures that the Australian education system continues to provide the best opportunities for its students and attempts to meet the needs of all individual learners. She noted that removing barriers for all learners so that students can realize their full potential is paramount. Teaching students to be globally competent in a fast-moving world will “prepare young people for success.”

Currently, the Queensland curriculum has 8 learning areas, 7 general capabilities, and 3 cross-curriculum priorities. The learning areas include subjects such as English, Mathematics, and Languages. The general capabilities discuss qualities of a student such as literacy, ethical understanding, and critical thinking. Cross-curriculum priorities are Australia’s engagement with Asia, Aboriginal histories and cultures, and sustainability.

However, the global competence framework is not proposed to be “a mandatory approach, nor is it a one-size-fits-all,” Fuller explains. All educators must be willing to collaborate across cultures and come up with different educational and organizing elements as needed. It would take a long time and a lot of effort to care for each student to shift the future of society for the better, but it is necessary.

Simone Fuller discusses the Alice Springs Education Declaration

“Teaching for global confidence is about how we embed it and use it as a common language so students can understand it, teachers understand it, and they can engage in multifaceted areas.”

By comparison, the Korean education system does not particularly focus on the whole needs of their students and most schools value merit and test scores more than the students’ wellbeing. When asked about the best way for schools and educators to move away from focusing solely on merit, Fuller stated, “I think there’s always going to be systems where merit is really important… We need to value every different subject area the same because students will have different strengths.”

Fuller emphasizes the need for educators to pay attention to their students' needs to raise them as competent global citizens. “Students will develop at different times in their lives; they will develop different skills and different strengths,” she says, “I think we need to understand individual students’ differences.” By keeping an initiative such as the Alice Springs Education Declaration in mind, perhaps Korean educational authorities will be willing to work on adjusting the focus in schools from test scores to happier students.

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