It is clear that today’s students need a global-conscious education. Students need to prepare and understand the worldwide distribution of information, ideas, products, and human beings, thanks to the digital revolution that has created an equalised marketplace.
With that in mind, those who grow up in today’s world need preparation to deal with the problems this reality brings: increased human conflict, poverty, climate change, nuclear energy control, etc. We have to develop and empower them to become global citizens to face these challenges properly.
What is a Global Citizen?
Being a global citizen doesn’t require a passport. Instead, it’s defined by a person’s belief. Mainly in;
- the greatness of diversity of cultures and perspectives
- that human lives should not be facing life-threatening situations because of where they were born
- that our neighbours are across the globe, connected interdependently – not just the ones down the road
- the importance of nature, sustainably harnessed for future generations to come
- we can make the world a better place for everyone, equally
In this brave new world, our schools have to teach self-awareness, critical thinking skills and inspire confidence in our students to enable them when tackling unfamiliar challenges. Creativity and innovation should be taught and emphasised as skills.
Empowering our children means giving them sets of appropriate tools to help them advocate a cause they believe in, or develop their passions to help others. Developing global citizens involves creating a sense of interdependency between peers, so they know how to collaborate peacefully and solve problems together, despite differences in cultures and backgrounds.
What does it take to be a global citizen?
Despite all these skills instiled and taught into them, they will still need to think outwardly and apply what they have learned, as required, for them to be successful stewards of humanitarian peace. The youth of today have travelled more than previous generations. They have a better understanding and more exposure to the wider world through technology and increasing media usage.
A true global citizen is one that will learn from all the varied experiences and analyse their learned knowledge to be able to adapt to their environment. They are encouraged to take risks and experiment, this is alien to many children, who are rewarded when they “do the right thing”, therefore never exploring alternatives, or learn the lessons of failures (and successes).
An international school is a great place to start when preparing for a global future. With diverse student populations speaking many languages, it provides a real-world example of 21st-century living – and the life-changing opportunity that is.
Our students gain empathy, develop critical thinking skills, and appreciate the fact that everyone can make a difference by encouraging them to explore their values and share their opinions while respecting others’. We are optimistic that the global citizens of today will ensure a brighter tomorrow.
Originally posted on The Schools Trust blog.