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Living and Learning Globally through Humility

Living and Learning Globally through Humility – A personal statement as an educator striving to educate Reginians as global citizens

By Vyrna Hendarto


Lately, I have been made aware of the urgent need for nurturing students’ global competencies, such as critical thinking, reflection, creativity, and decision-making. Teachers and students must evolve continuously, becoming the agents of positive social change. It means that classroom interactions shall be changed to recreate the reality and the notion of living and learning globally. As a result, teachers need to approach instructional designs that promote learning more actively, more respectfully, and more humility (Fullan, 1993). Teachers need to embrace humility in the classroom since it is one strong attribute of the characteristics of change-adept teachers/educational leaders to meet global demand.

Humility in the classroom is an important practice for teachers and educational leaders because it helps them understand how they reflect on their realities and identities in relational ways and how they can develop more collaborative and responsive ways of educating learners. The desire for teachers to become reflective learners is the seed of the characteristics of change-adept teachers/educational leaders before they can plan the strategies to stimulate critically reflexive practice to help learners think about the socially constructed reality. Glisson (2014) shares that sharing responsibilities and power using Collaborative Inquiry (CI) is an effective knowledge-making process. This article is based on the findings of a group of instructors at Northeast Community College who study the concept of Collaborative Inquiry (CI). It is how students learn to be more strategic, conceptual, and creative in their thinking. It is not about teaching them the how-to, but more of how the students experience relationships with teachers and peers in social action events. “Strategic thinking is what happens between us” (p. 5). Active learning will take place as soon as teachers can share classroom autonomy with the students, allowing them to take ownership of their learning process. Therefore, teachers with humble hearts share the opportunity with students to become the source of information, the source of active learning, and the source of cooperative learning.  

            Nevertheless, teaching has become more and more challenging. Classrooms are moving from teacher-centered to student-centered, from students as passive recipients of knowledge to active and autonomous learning. Teachers are becoming facilitators of learning. They are not the only source of knowledge in the classroom. The role of a teacher is to ensure that the students not only meet the expected learning objectives but also showcase the global citizen’s attributes: critical thinkers, reflective decision-makers, creative problem-solvers, and agents of positive social change. As teachers who live and learn globally, we also need to prepare ourselves to respond to the continually evolving needs of a diverse community, cultivating the global citizen’s attributes. Thus, Reginianteachers have to constantly remind themselves to give ample time and enough opportunity for the students to participate in strategic, conceptual, and creative thinking and finding solutions. Stop telling students what to do. Give them freedom and trust to experience inquiry learning and find ways to contribute to the local communities (Glisson et al, 2014).

According to Edwards (2001), giving students individual ‘choices’ and ‘consumer power’ helps promote lifelong learning. Freedom and power in classroom activities give assurance for students to acquire and showcase the attributes of global learners. At the same time, they learn how to collaborate so they can train themselves to work together to create sustainable living locally and globally (Walker, 2003). As the goal of Maria Regina School is to prepare educational leaders to become critical thinkers, reflective decision-makers, creative problem-solvers, and agents of positive social change, it is a blessing to participate in responding to the needs of a diverse, democratic society.


Edwards, R. (2001). Lifelong learning, lifelong learning, lifelong learning. In J. Field and M. Leicester (Eds.). Lifelong learning. London: Routledge. URL:

Fullan M. (1993). Why teachers must become change agents. Educational Leadership, 50(6). pp. 12-17. Retrieved from

Glisson, L., McConnell, S., Palit, M., Schneiderman, J., Wiseman, C., & Yorks, L. (2014). Looking in the mirror of inquiry: Knowledge in our students and in ourselves. Teaching & Learning Inquiry: The ISSOTL Journal, 2(1), 7-20.  Retrieved from:

Walker, S. E. (2003). Active learning strategies to promote critical thinking. Journal of Athletic Training, 38(3): 263-267.

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