We are living in a complex yet interconnected world. Our planet several challenges that affect all of us, like climate change, poverty and terrorism. To engage with this century’s problems, we need to find solutions using relevant skills, knowledge and values.
This is where young people come in. The younger generation has more opportunities to be creative, flexible and proactive. With global citizenship education, they can think critically and work well toward solving problems that work for everyone.
What is Global Citizenship?
Oxfam Education defines a global citizen as someone aware of the diversity of cultures and human rights, as well as their place in it. They actively participate in their community and work with others to create a world that is equal, fair and sustainable.
For international schools around the globe, from Singapore to Milan, global citizenship is about developing the knowledge, skills and values of their students.
Why There’s a Need for Education for Global Citizenship
Education for global citizenship is not an additional subject. Schools can integrate it into their existing curriculum or through new activities and initiatives.
By learning global citizenship, students can:
- Apply their learning into real-life activities
- Challenge ignorance and intolerance
- Determine the values that are important to them
- Develop their understanding of global events
- Participate in activities by local, national and global communities
- See that they can act to influence the world around them
How Can Schools Develop Global Citizens?
Developing global citizens involves improving the quality and relevance of education. Instead of focusing on memorisation and passive learning, global citizenship education (GCED) hones attitudes, skills and values that promote peaceful coexistence and mutual respect.
Here’s how international schools incorporate GCED into their curricula through holistic learning:
Instead of just teaching them about multiple cultures, international schools allow students to teach about their own cultures. Since international schools are composed of students from a variety of nationalities and cultures, students can learn how different and similar they are from each other.
Schools that implement holistic learning understand the importance of integrating the natural world into their lessons. Students take trips to zoos, farms and other natural spaces, so they can appreciate and learn more about the environment.
Fostering involvement with the community
Students of international schools participate in community events as part of their in-school or extracurricular activities. These activities allow students to interact with the community and learn about their cause.
Placing importance on health and well-being
Schools with holistic learning systems promote an appreciation for health and well-being. Physical education and science studies are interwoven with an emphasis on exercise and a balanced diet.
Focusing on guidance rather than lectures
Teachers help students exercise their critical thinking and decision-making skills. Instead of merely assuming an expert role in a subject, teachers guide students into forming their own conclusions and having them explain their thoughts.
Global citizenship encourages young people to have a say in their local, national and international communities. Even if the world is changing fast, students can realise that they can make a positive impact and help make the world fair, safe and secure for everyone.