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edu180atl: rachel hovington 8.7.12

As an international educator, I have read and written long papers on the human characteristic of International Mindedness–its definition, evolution as a concept, and how we might foster it in our community of learners as a school.

After years of work and multiple paradigm shifts, I turn to the words of others like UNESCO to articulate international mindedness:

…as a sense of universal values, valuing freedom, intercultural understanding, non-violent conflict resolution.

I love Gardner’s,

The whole course of human development can be viewed as a continuing decline in egocentrism.

Boyd Roberts explains that

one might speak multiple languages, move money across borders, and seamlessly integrate oneself into multiple cultures… but that might just make a you a drug dealer, not a global citizen…

Although these quotes have been particularly helpful, it’s still difficult to communicate what International Mindedness means to me when I have limited time to share what I believe in.

Then today I had a moment of clarity and evolved an elevator speech to There’s a lot you don’t know about everything you think you know when I saw a quote from Steven Hawking,

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.

I don’t want to make any assumptions, but I learned that I might have been on the right lines… but then… what do I know?!

About the author: Rachel Hovington (@rhovington) Administrator at Atlanta international School, Biologist, Geologist. Mother of twins and fresh air fanatic.

image purchased from, with all rights pertaining.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. I love the thought of thinking about human history in long arcs like this, and how you relate Stehpen Hawking’s quote to developing a true internationalist mindset. To me, there does seem to be a big moment of positive realization in learning where you see just how much you don’t understand/know. This is totally different from that moment that haunts many of our students when they see how many questions they got wrong on the test, or begin to freak out in the hours before preparing for an exam about all the things they haven’t learned. This leaves me wondering, how do we help students to recognize and embrace the unknown further?

    August 7, 2012
  2. Thank you. This post reminds me of a sentence in Wendell Berry’s essay, “Poetry and Place”: “The longer the radius of vision, the wider the circumference of mystery.” The essay appears in his collection called STANDING BY WORDS.

    August 8, 2012

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