World-mindedness of International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB-DP) students. Does geography education make a difference? A survey at international schools in the Netherlands.
Dis, J.B. van
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Subjects that teach about the globe (global education), such as world geography or world history, have an effect on the world-mindedness (worldview) of students because knowledge about the world (global awareness) and skills (global concern) can eventually grow into world-mindedness. Five elements in global education that are the scaffolds of building world-mindedness are: (1) knowledge of global interconnectedness, (2) inquiry into global issues, (3) skills in perspective consciousness, (4) open-mindedness, recognition of bias, stereotyping and exotica and (5) cross-cultural experience (Merryfield et al., 2008). Geography education is one of the most important subjects for the development of global awareness and global understanding. This study looks at the world-mindedness of 245 students in the Diploma Programme (a two year IB programme that prepares students (16-19) for college) at six international schools in the Netherlands. These IB-DP students are from over 50 different nationalities and in literature also described as Third Culture Kids (TCK). Results show that IB-DP students are more world-minded than Dutch students at national schools. Maybe this is due to their experience of living abroad and contacts abroad. In this research geography education does not have too much effect on the total world-mindedness of IB-DP students, but differences between the subjects geography, history and economics can be seen.