Book by Adams, J.M. & Carfagna
Review by Shannon Lynn Burton
Academic Advising Specialist
School of Criminal Justice
Michigan State University
Regardless of our places in world today, those thousands of miles away affect our lives. This is especially true after the events of 9/11 and manifests itself again today in the recent economy downturn. Coming of Age in a Globalized World: The Next Generation serves as a primer for advisors seeking to better understand what globalization is and what it means for us and our students. The authors break down the concept of globalization into clear and manageable concepts using familiar terminology that will aid us in explaining the ramifications of not preparing our students to think globally.
At the outset, Adams and Carfagna discuss the importance of making connections and finding the patterns between unrelated events. They talk about the difficulty of gaining a thorough understanding of the concept of globalization given the rapid rate of change in technology, communication, and world events. However, they also bring to light the importance of understanding our past, and our personal worldviews, in order to develop a global worldview.
In Chapter Two, the authors further expand on this concept of history in relation to the concept of globalization. Globalization isn’t new; it just manifests itself differently than in the past. They expand its definition to encompass events of today and, by doing so, better explain the concept to their readers. They continue with this historical analysis in Chapter Three, but focus solely on the concept of nation-states, their rise and decline, and effects upon them by multinational corporations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and world events.
In “A Foundation for World Citizenship,” Chapter Four, Adams and Carfagna, address what it means to be a world citizen while centering their discussion around globalization, the nation-state, and the general concept of worldview. Chapter Five further narrows the topic of world citizenship by focusing on the historical context of living post-9/11 in the United States. These first five chapters provide the reader with an excellent starting point for examining the issue of working with our students who are now defined as “world citizens.”
Chapter Six provides readers with a definition of what it means to be “educated” in our society and what the concept of “global education” means. Adams and Carfagna provide examples of ways educators can assist students to understand this concept. However, they note that we cannot talk of “global education” without addressing some of the “speed bumps” i.e., family history, the educational environment encountered prior to “global education,” etc. Finally, in their conclusion, Adams and Carfagna look towards the future of educating a globalized citizenry. Here too, they focus on maintaining an eye on the past while looking towards the future.
As Dr. Carl Sagan (1980) stated, “You have to know the past to understand the present.” This is especially true as we look at the timeline of history and its effects on the today’s world and the world of tomorrow. We live along a string of cause and effect. In order to better educate the next generation, educators must be aware of the historical context of “globalization” and that it is not a new trend. While globalization may not have been defined as such, it has always existed and will continue to affect every aspect of our lives. When advisors understand this we can better prepare ourselves and our students for the challenges and opportunities yet to come.
Sagan, C. E. (author and presenter). (1980) Episode 2: One Voice in the Cosmic Fugue [Television series episode]. In Adrian Malone (Producer), Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. Arlington, VA: Public Broadcasting Service.
Coming of Age in a Globalized World: The Next Generation. (2006). Book by Adams, J.M. & Carfagna, A. Review by Shannon Lynn Burton. Sterling, VA: Kumarian Press. 288 pp. $26.00. ISBN 978-1-56549-212-7