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Developing global citizens through Gardner's "Five minds for the future"
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Paper presented at the Asia-Pacific Education Research Association (APERA) Conference, Singapore, 26-28 November 2008.
There is a number of definitions to the term "global citizenship". To the young and trendy, it means international exposure through extensive travelling and having an overseas education. But a philosophical and sociological review of the term in a global and multiracial society like Singapore indicates that matters like knowledge of other cultures, races, religions, economic issues, health issues, unemployment, critical review of information from a wide range of media, justice and integrity should be of concern to a global citizen. Compassion, respect and social responsibility transcend beyond geographical borders, race, language , gender and religious barriers Developing Singaporean students into global citizens may not be easy as many aim single mindedly for good grades, a well-paid job and speedy promotion.

Howard Gardner published Five Minds for the Future in 2006. In his book, he
stresses that for people to move forward in the 21st Century, they need to have a:
1) Disciplined Mind for lifelong learning;
2) Synthesized Mind to critically select and integrate relevant information;
3) Creative Mind to develop new products and new approaches to problem solving;
4) Respectful Mind to appreciate diversity; and
5) Ethical Mind to ensure integrity and justice.
Conscious attempts to develop the Five Minds in students may help to promote global
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