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World Citizenry

World Citizenry

If a primary purpose of education is to empower all students to become global citizens, we must then elevate our own aspirations of what it means to educate children well. This calls for time and space in the curriculum to support new ways of teaching and learning.  At IFS, we believe that we have responsibility to view education as a way to help shape a sustainable future and a better world. 

Today's world needs individuals who are versatile and interdisciplinary thinkers able to work towards finding solutions to the pernicious and entangled threats further emerging in the categories of environmental, technological, societal, economic and geo-political. 

Our curriculum, interdisciplinary and dynamic, helps our students to become informed citizens. Our Quaker values helps this learning to become profound and powerful as students look deeply into the categories through the lens of integrity, equality, stewardship and peaceful resolutions. 

We define as globally competent student as one who can investigate the world, weigh perspectives, communicate effectively with diverse audiences (even if their views are oppositional) and make a plan for actions. 

In our own pursuit of world knowledge and citizenry, we adopt the World Course designed by the International Education Policy Program at Harvard University. 

One of the pedagogical principles on which this design was grounded was to rely extensively on project-based learning and on active learning methodologies such as Design Thinking, that place students at the center of their own learning. Students are given ample opportunity to demonstrate learning and understanding through "artifacts" such as movies, posters or books that can be shared in the community. 

This curriculum also provides multiple opportunities to directly engage students and teachers with parents and community members who can directly contribute knowledge and experiences to support global education and thereby help students to identify authentic connections between local and global. 

Each competency is developed as developmentally appropriate for each grade level. We begin in Early Childhood, with the the roots of critical thinking and understanding the people, and places in the wide world around us. 

The World Course curriculum identifies the following competencies: 

1. Intercultural competency

This includes the ability to interact successfully with people from different cultural identities and origins. It encompasses interpersonal skills as well as intrapersonal skills and ways to govern oneself in the face of cultural differences. 

A Interpersonal Skills

* Work productively in and effectively lead intercultural teams, including teams distributed in various geographies through the use of telecommunication technologies. 

* Demonstrate empathy toward other people from different cultural origins. 

* Demonstrate courtesy and norms of interaction appropriate to various cultural settings. 

* Resolve culturally based disagreements through negotiation, mediation, and conflict resolution. 

B Intrapersonal Skills

* Curiosity about global affairs and world cultures. 

* The ability to recognize and weigh diverse cultural perspectives.

* An understanding of one's own identity, of other's identities, of how other cultures shape their own and other's identities, and of where one is in time and space. 

* The ability to recognize and examine assumptions when engaging with cultural differences. 

*The recognition of cultural (religious,civilizational, religious or ethnic prejudice and the ability to minimize its effects in intergroup dynamics. 

* An understanding and appreciation of cultural variation in basic norms of interaction, the ability to be courtesy, and the ability to find and learn about norms appropriate in specific settings and types of interactions. 

2. Ethical orientation

A. Appreciation of ethical frameworks in diverse religious systems

B Commitment to basic equality of all people

C Recognition of common values and common humanity across civilization streams.

D Appreciation of the potential of every person regardless of socioeconomic circumstances or cultural origin.

E Appreciation of the role of global compacts such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in guiding global governance. 

F. Commitment to supporting universal human rights, to reduce global poverty, to promoting peace, and to promoting sustainable forms of human -environmental interaction. 

G. Ability to interact with people from diverse cultural backgrounds while demonstrating humility, respect, reciprocity and integrity. 

H An understanding of the role of trust in sustaining human interaction as well as global institutions and recognition of forms of breakdowns in trust and institutional corruption and its causes. 

3. Knowledge and skills

A global education should provide students with the knowledge and sills necessary to understand the various vectors of globalization. These include culture, religion, history and geography, politics and government, economics, science, technology and innovation, public health, and demography. 

A. Culture, religion, and history and geography

* World history and geography, with attention to the role of globalization in cultural change. 

* The study of religions as powerful institutions organizing human activity

* Historical knowledge, which includes various perspectives and an understanding of the role of ordinary citizens in history. 

* World geography, including the different areas of the world, the seven continents, habitats and how humans have changed the geography of the planet. 

* World religions, history, and points of contact between civilizations over time. 

* Major philosophical traditions and points of connections.

* Performing and visual arts (theater, dance, music, visual arts, etc.) as a ways to find a common humanity. 

* Different arts and ability to see connections

* Ability to view art as expression, to sue art for expression, and to understand globalization and art. 

B. Politics and government

* Comparative government

* How government works in different societies

* Major international institutions and their role in shaping global affairs. 

* Contemporary global challenges in human-environment interaction

* Sources of these challenges, options to address them, and the role of the global institutions in addressing these challenges. 

C Economics, business and entrepreneurship

* Theories of economic development and how they explain the various stages in economic development of nations, poverty and inequality. 

* Institutions that regulate global trade and work to promote international developmet. 

* Contemporary literature on the effectiveness and limitations of those institutions. 

* The impact of global trade

* The consequences of global poverty and the agency of the poor

* The demography and factors influencing demographic trends and their implications for global change. 

D Science, technology and innovation

E Public Health, population and demography. 

4. Work and mind habits

A Demonstrate innovation and creativity in contributing to formulating solutions to global challenges and to seizing global opportunities, seek and identify best global practices, and transfer them across geographic, disciplinary, and professional contexts. 

B. Identify cultural perspectives  through which to think about problems.

C. Understand the process of cultural change and that there is individual variation within cultural groups. 

D Carry out research projects independently

E Present result of independent research in writing, orally, and using media. 

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