Skip to main content

New Report Provides Educators a Roadmap for Successfully Teaching Global Competency to Students

Global Cities’ New ‘Codebook for Global Student Learning Outcomes’ Provides Guidance for Designing, Evaluating and Implementing Curricula to Teach Students Life Skills

Boston – Global Cities today released its newest report to guide evaluators and teachers interested in determining how well students are demonstrating global competency learning in any program or classroom. The new report, the Codebook for Global Student Learning Outcomes, assists teachers in understanding how students are learning and what aspects of their curricula are sparking student learning of global competency skills.

The Codebook will be released today at a Global Cities launch event at the Boston Museum of Science featuring global educators alongside Geoffrey Canada, President, Harlem Children’s Zone and Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The Codebook is based on research into the results of Global Cities’ innovative Global Scholars virtual exchange program. Through Global Scholars, students ages 10-13 engage virtually with peers around the world as they learn to solve global problems such as climate change. Global Cities is a program of Bloomberg Philanthropies.

“Recent global challenges, whether the Covid-19 pandemic or the acceleration of climate change, have made the need for global competency education clear and urgent,” said Marjorie B. Tiven, President and Founder of Global Cities, Inc. “This Codebook for Global Student Learning Outcomes was originally developed to identify global student learning outcomes in discussion boards and measure the extent to which that learning was taking place. It is the first tested tool for examining student writing to understand and measure to what extent and how students are demonstrating global learning over the course of a curriculum in any program or classroom.”

“In business, government, and philanthropy, innovation requires finding new ways to solve real world problems and then evaluating those efforts to determine if they are working,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the 108th Mayor of New York City. “That’s what Global Cities has done with the Global Scholars program. Its mission of teaching kids from around the world to appreciate each other’s culture, and solve global problems together, couldn’t be more important. This codebook is a critical next step in global education, providing teachers with a roadmap for determining whether students are learning the skills to be globally competent adults.”

“This codebook created by Global Cities gives educators a new set of tools to measure students’ progress and identify areas for improvement, to help students build the kind of critical thinking and communication skills that will benefit them in whatever field they pursue,” he said.

Students today are growing up in an age of borderless challenges, where the quality of their lives will be affected by decisions made by governments, businesses, and individuals around the world. Upon graduation, they will be expected to compete and collaborate in a global marketplace and will need to work together across cultures and borders to address the shared issues our world faces.

Global competency education prepares students to solve global problems, equipping them for a successful future in an increasingly complex and diverse world. The Codebook for Global Student Learning Outcomes is a unique tool for defining, teaching, observing, and assessing progress toward global competency.

“Global Cities provides the tools to make global competency education scalable and is putting the Codebook into the hands of the people who can actually educate students in a globally minded way,” said Andreas Schleicher of the OECD. “We should not make education less of an art. We need to make it more of a science so that good practice can become replicable, scalable, and visible.”

“I know, from my own work, how important it is to not only teach students that they have the power to change their communities, but also to show them how to develop the skills they need to do the work,” said Geoffrey Canada of Harlem Children’s Zone. “This means not only investing in our students, but also supporting our teachers with the latest technology and pedagogy.

“It is clear that Global Cities shares our vision for educating young people. Global Cities, Inc. has taken on the challenging task of defining, teaching, and measuring progress in global learning and shown that it is achievable. We need this kind of innovative and data-driven work to ensure all students have the tools they need to thrive in an increasingly complex and diverse world,” Canada said.

Denise Mazurik, Waiākea Intermediate Global Exchange Director and Teacher in Hawai’i used the Codebook after finding it on the Global Cities website, said: “Students were taking something away from the course I was teaching before, but I didn’t have a way to monitor their progress over the course of a semester to see that growth and really be able to say, ‘Look, this is the evidence. I know that this is where they started, and this is where they are now.’ The framework and codebook have given me the tools to change what I’m doing in a way that is evidence-based, research-based, and in a way that I can measure.”

Watch this video to see how Mazurik uses the Codebook to teach her students global competency skills. “Everything I need to design and assess the program is here,” she says. 

Rebecca Cherot, Assistant Head, Chipstead Valley Primary School (PACE Academy Trust) in London who has participated in the Global Scholars program, said: “I use the codebook as a teaching tool to show the difference between a basic idea, a more developed answer, and then a really high-quality answer. The children will observe, for example, that the high-quality post uses a real-life example or gives a source of evidence in their explanation. I then try to get the children to emulate those posts as much as they can in their own writing.”

“From my experience in teacher-training programs, I can assure you that what teachers value most is having indicators that give them evidence that learning is taking place applied to authentic student work examples,” said Monica Pereña Pérez, Adviser at the Superior Council for the Evaluation of Education in Catalonia and former Director of Multilingualism at the Catalan Ministry of Education. “This codebook is filled with rich and varied examples, organized to identify different levels of achievement. It will be really useful and helpful.”

“The Global Cities Codebook is an unprecedented addition to the literature about virtual exchange evaluation. It is rare for an evaluation tool to hold so much potential to be applied across varied contexts while also making room for young people’s diverse perspectives to shine,” said Henry Shepherd, Assistant Director, Stevens Initiative, a program of The Aspen Institute. 

Global Cities conducted the research featured in the Codebook with Out of Eden Learn (OOEL), a digital exchange provider and active research project at Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero. It is co-published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The Codebook makes it possible to identify when students demonstrate the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors that define global competency—and use these insights for effective instruction. It is grounded in Global Cities, Inc.’s work to advance global competency education through its student learning outcomes framework, tested instructional approach, and creation of tools needed to assess student progress.

Download the Codebook here, and learn more about Global Cities here.

# # #

About Global Cities, Inc.:
Global Cities, Inc. has developed an innovative, data-driven approach to teaching, learning, and assessing global competency for K–12 students. We have identified and defined the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors that students need to be successful in today’s interconnected world. Through our innovative Global Scholars model of curriculum-guided virtual exchange, we have made global competency both teachable and measurable. Critical to the success of our Global Scholars model are the connections students make with peers around the world in e-classrooms, learning together how to solve global problems. Our research shows that our project-based curriculum, teacher professional development, and these peer-to-peer interactions produce significant growth in students’ appreciation for diversity, cultural understanding, global knowledge, and global engagement. We have tested strategies that drive growth in global learning and produced empirical evidence that students can demonstrate these global learning outcomes from a young age. Our Codebook for Global Student Learning Outcomes (2023) is a research-proven tool for researchers and educators to understand and measure to what extent students are demonstrating global learning in any program or classroom.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies:
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 700 cities and 150 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2022, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed US$ 1.7 billion. For more information, please visit, sign up for our newsletter,  or follow us on  Facebook,  Instagram,  YouTube,  Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Media Contact: 
Jody Kaplan