7 Shocking Statistics Illustrating the Importance of Global Education

Participate Learning
Global Perspectives (Archive)
3 min readFeb 22, 2016


Technology has changed the world’s landscape.

“In a 21st century world where jobs can be shipped wherever there’s an Internet connection … a child born in Dallas is now competing with a child in New Delhi.” — President Barack Obama

As teachers, educators and mentors, we need to prepare students for a world where borders between continents are blurred, where companies will be formed over the Internet and where learning about other cultures in classrooms will be as ubiquitous as learning to read.

To illustrate the urgency of teaching global education in your classroom, we have gathered seven statistics that just might surprise you:

  1. Sixty percent of secondary students ranked understanding different cultures the most important subject area, ahead of writing skills and math skills. As technology makes our world more accessible, and because classrooms are increasingly diverse, students recognize the need to understand the cultures of others, as well as their own.
  2. Nearly all (98 percent) of students in a recent survey agreed that a strong understanding of world history and events is critical to developing solutions to a global problem. Students are interested in being better global citizens. Learning about world events in the classroom allows them to study the past in order to change the future.
  3. Research shows that students who learn about global issues are more than twice as likely to see the importance of personally taking social action. Global learning encourages awareness and critical thinking about issues such as poverty, climate change, religious and cultural differences, world trade and politics.
  4. Nine out of 10 students, teachers and industry leaders recognize that jobs are becoming increasingly international. There is broad understanding that globalization results in companies that are more diverse than ever before.
  5. The number of multinational corporations rose from 7,000 in the 1990s to 65,000 in 2013. Students are correct in recognizing that jobs are becoming increasingly international — because it’s true. The number of multinational corporations continues to rise as developments in technology and transportation revolutionize the work force.
  6. There are more than 1 billion people who speak Chinese, and only 508 million people who speak English. English is no longer the dominant world language. For students becoming global citizens, knowing a second language will be critical.
  7. Only one-half of students in the U.S. study a world language compared to Europe where 90 percent of students study at least one foreign language. European schools are creating bilingual students who will be seen as much more valuable to multinational companies. In the future, people will be expected to speak more than one language in order to successfully compete in the workplace.

Let’s Change These Statistics Together

“I think engaging students with the world around them is oftentimes left out of the classroom,” said Participate Senior Research Associate Julie Keane, Ph.D. Keane illustrates that global education should no longer be seen as an add-on to school curriculums. Instead, it should be easily integrated into core curriculums by creating interdisciplinary programs.

For more ideas on how to incorporate more global education in to your classroom you might be interested in these other resources:



Participate Learning
Global Perspectives (Archive)

We partner with schools to provide global learning and dual language opportunities. Check out the blog on our website: https://www.participatelearning.com/blog