How to Use the GCLC for Professional Growth

The GCLC is a tool for self-reflection, used by individuals wishing to reflect on their own level of global competence and to learn the characteristics included in higher levels to advance along the continuum. Future iterations of the GCLC will include an interactive self-assessment tool. For now, you can follow these easy steps to navigate the tool or explore our FAQ for helpful tips on how to use the GCLC.

  1. Find your level. For each element, read through the descriptions of Nascent, Beginning, Progressing, Proficient, and Advanced (from left to right). Select the level that best describes you, reflecting on the professional and personal experiences or practices that led you to make that choice.
  2. Identify areas for improvement. Based on your reflection, note the elements where you need the most improvement (i.e., those where you ranked yourself nascent, beginning, or progressing) and those that reflect areas of strength. Choose an element on which to focus your improvement efforts that best fits your individual needs. Read the description for the next-highest level to understand what is required for growth, keeping in mind that each description builds on to the prior levels.
  3. Take action. Navigate through the specific competencies to find the resource library for each element and explore the resources linked to the next highest level to get ideas for how to improve. Read an article or book, implement a new unit, or sign up for a professional development opportunity.
  4. Reevaluate your level. After taking action, reread the descriptions for each level of that element. Reflect on whether you have progressed along the continuum.
  5. Continue your efforts. Repeat these steps for the same element, or choose a different element to explore. Keep in mind that even when you display characteristics of the advanced level, there will always be ways to improve.

Note: The GCLC is intended for self-reflection only. It has not been validated for use as an evaluation of others.

The Globally Competent Learning Continuum (GCLC)


Teacher Dispositions
ELEMENT Nascent Beginning Progressing Proficient Advanced
1. Empathy and valuing multiple perspectives I have not yet explored how my personal beliefs have shaped my worldview. I can identify my personal beliefs and experiences and recognize how they shape my view of the world. I recognize that I might hold stereotypes. I understand that my beliefs and experiences are not universally shared. I can identify the influences that shape how others and I view the world. I am willing to explore the experiences and perspectives of people who challenge my beliefs. I recognize biases and limitations of my own perspective and those of others’ perspectives. I recognize how my personal beliefs influence my decisions as a teacher. I empathize by seeking to understand the perspectives of others. I challenge my personal assumptions to understand viewpoints that differ from my own. I value diverse perspectives, including those that challenge my own.
2. Commitment to promoting equity worldwide I have not yet considered local and global inequities. I care about the well being of others. I recognize that inequities exist locally and globally (e.g., poverty and discrimination). I understand that there are barriers to equity locally and globally. I seek opportunities to contribute to efforts to address inequities. I engage in opportunities that address particular issues of local and/or global inequity (e.g., poverty and discrimination). I take responsibility for helping my students and others in my school to recognize inequities. I actively seek to understand why inequities exist and challenge those underlying causes. I lead students and others in my school to act on issues of equity locally and globally.
Teacher Knowledge
ELEMENT Nascent Beginning Progressing Proficient Advanced
3. Understanding of global conditions and current events

I do not yet have knowledge of world conditions and current events. I have a basic understanding of world geography. I have a basic understanding of current local and/or global events. I can articulate geographical, historical political, economic, social and/or cultural influences on current events. I can access multiple resources that portray current events. I seek out multiple sources to understand contrasting perspectives on an issue. I stay informed on current local and global issues. I regularly seek resourcesfrom varied perspectives and opportunities to stay informed on local and global issues. I think critically about the potential impact of current events on future conditions, both locally and globally.
4. Understanding of the ways that the world is interconnected I have not yet considered the ways the world is interconnected. I recognize that our world is interconnected and interdependent (e.g., economically, socially, culturally, and environmentally). I recognize that the ways in which the world is interconnected are constantly changing.

I understand ways that a global issue impacts my local context (including myself, my students, and my local community). I understand ways that a global issue impacts cultures or nationsaside from my own. I can explain ways that global issues impact my local context and individuals in other nations. I can explain global influences on local issues and local influences on global issues.

I can critically analyze ways that global interconnectedness contributes to inequities within and between nations. I can explain how actions I take at the local, national, or international level address inequities related to our interconnected world.

5. Experiential understanding of multiple cultures I have not yet reflected on my own cultural values and norms. I have not yet considered experiencing other cultures. I am aware of my own cultural practices, values, and norms in relation to other cultures. I am interested in experiencing other cultures. I understand differences in practices, values, and norms across cultures. I understand that multiple perspectives exist within and across cultures. I seek opportunities to experience other cultures. I demonstrate knowledge of various cultures through cultural immersion experiences (e.g., study abroad and local immersion). I reflect upon the immersion experience in relation to my own cultural constructs, perspectives, and educational practices. I critically relate multiple cultural immersion experiences to each other and to my own perspectives and practices. I modify my educational practices and/or advocate for changing educational policies and practices based upon immersion experiences and understanding of multiple perspectives.
6. Understanding of intercultural communication I am not yet familiar with cultural differences in communication. I am aware that different cultures may have different ways of communicating (e.g., differences in language, gestures, and norms for communicating). I can identify strategies that enhance intercultural communication. I can explain the relationship between language, communication, and identity. I can use strategies to effectively navigate intercultural interactions. I understand that learning languages has social, emotional, and cognitive aspects. I critically reflect on how particular languages and modes of communication are valued more than others and the effect that this has on identity. I can help others navigate the social, emotional, and cognitive aspects of intercultural communication.
Teacher Skills
ELEMENT Nascent Beginning Progressing Proficient Advanced
7. Communicate in multiple languages I speak one language and have not yet pursued another. I am pursuing or have pursued a language other than my own. I can have basic conversation in two languages (including my own). I am proficient in at least two languages (including my own). I can effectively communicate with students and families in at least two languages. I am fluent in at least two languages and seek opportunities to use them in schools and communities.
8. Create a classroom environment that values diversity and global engagement I do not yet consider global issues or diverse perspectives and cultures in my classroom. I discuss global engagement and valuing of diverse perspectives and cultures in my classroom. I engage students in learning about other cultures by emphasizing the relevance of global issues to students’ lives. I teach my students to respect diverse perspectives and cultures. My classroom contains resources that represent multiple global perspectives. I teach my students to respect and learn from diverse perspectives and cultures. I provide opportunities for students to collaboratively discuss global issues. I consistently encourage students to use resources in my classroom for global learning. I help my students develop a concern for global issues, an interest in learning more about diverse cultures, and a desire to take action.
9. Integrate learning experiences for students that promote content-aligned explorations of the world I do not yet include global learning experiences aligned with content standards. I can identify global learning experiences that align with content standards. I integrate into my instruction global learning experiences aligned with my students’ interests and content standards. I regularly integrate real-world and challenging global learning experiences aligned with my students’ interests and content standards. I reflect on my students’ global learning experiences and revise my teaching accordingly. I support the school community in integrating global learning experiences.
10. Facilitate intercultural and international conversations that promote active listening, critical thinking, and perspective recognition I do not yet provide opportunities for students to converse with individuals from other cultures or nations. I provide opportunities during the school year for students to converse with individuals from other cultures or nations. I provide opportunities for students to converse with individuals from other cultures or nations, in which students demonstrate active listening, critical thinking, and/or perspective recognition. I provide ongoing opportunities for students to converse with individuals from other cultures or nations, in which students demonstrate active listening, critical thinking, and perspective recognition. My students initiate communication with individuals from across cultures and nations, in which they demonstrate active listening, critical thinking, and perspective recognition.
11. Develop local, national, or international partnerships that provide real world contexts for global learning opportunities I do not yet create opportunities for my students to communicate with local, national, or international organizations or individuals. I present students with an opportunity to participate in a global learning experience with local, national, or international organizations or individuals. I present students with opportunities for short-term collaboration with local, national, or international organizations to learn about the world. I develop local, national, and/or international long-term partnerships that allow my students to learn about the world with diverse communities. I guide my students to develop local, national, and international partnerships, direct their own communication with these partners, and develop their own global learning opportunities.
12. Develop and use appropriate methods of inquiry to assess students’ global competence development I am not yet familiar with how to assess students? global competence development. I am familiar with resources to assess students’ global competence development. I develop and use appropriate assessments of students’ global competence development. I can provide students feedback and analyze students’ global competence development. I develop and use frequent, authentic, and differentiated assessments of students’ global competence development. I can provide students with constructive feedback and analyze students’ performance to inform subsequent instruction. I guide students to evaluate their own global competence development.

Source: The Globally Competent Teaching Continuum was originally developed in 2014 by J. M. Cain, J. Glazier, H. Parkhouse, and A. Tichnor-Wagner at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.