Planning is well underway for Single Voices, Global Choices having begun a few months ago. The project, already boasting 107 teachers from 95 schools in 46 countries, plans on centering social emotional learning and connections-based learning by focusing on international events created by the United Nations and other organizations and by analyzing current events.
International days are an excellent way to educate our students on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources, to address global problems and to celebrate and reinforce the achievements of humanity. Given their international nature, they naturally lend themselves to global and collaborative learning and address concerns and current events in a way that encourages learning and action. This makes them a powerful advocacy tool that may help us empower our students and create global citizens who are aware of the wider world, have a sense of their role as world citizens, respect and value diversity, want to tackle social justice, and believe that all children and young people have a right to an education.
The project is slated to launch in September 2020 for middle and high school students and their teachers and continue through to April 2021. The overall design is such that it can be easily adapted to mesh with any curriculum or delivery method – an important consideration given our worldwide experience with COVID19. The worldwide pandemic has underscored how rapidly working conditions and social structures can change and shows the necessity for students to actively shape their role in society. Schools form future leaders for positions in society that require a high degree of social emotional skills and global mindedness. That is why the project has been designed to provide specific collaborative assignments and strategic threads based on three interdisciplinary topics, democracy and citizenship, health and life skills, and sustainable development.
Within these broad topics, the themes of international days will always link to
- the maintenance of international peace and security;
- the promotion of sustainable development and global mindedness;
- the protection of human rights, and the guarantee of international law and humanitarian action.
The Timeline provides an overall view of events that can be explored every single month. While the number of events that can be focused on and celebrated every single month is really mind-blowing and hard to count, a priority is to ensure that the project is flexible for everyone so that it best fits with everyone’s individual learning scenario while also promoting diversity and inclusion. It is up to each teacher and their students to select the events that are of interest to them. This flexibility also allows for participation in the project regardless of whether classes are held in a face to face scenario or a remote learning/distance learning environment.
Every month suggested resources, practical tips, assignments, roleplays, and digital tools you may use in your classroom will be provided so no teacher needs to feel alone or like they have to do a tremendous amount of work in order to participate in the project. The Events Calendar contains a listing of events and the resources already curated to support teachers in delivering a variety of activities. All these materials will be shared via the Microsoft Team created for the project.
The project offers a venue to teach numerous skills and provide various learning opportunities including:
- infusing curriculums with more project-based learning and exposure to real-world examples;
- empowering students by giving them the opportunity to co-create knowledge and learn through mistakes in a safe environment;
- supporting students in becoming familiar with professional environments and behaviours such as clear and timely communication, thinking critically, problem-solving and time management;
- helping students to see how their achievements are based upon more than just the grades they earn in class, but also the experiences they develop during their lessons. define real world problems and find solutions;
Upon completion, students will be able to
- meet international students and become a part of a global community;
- participate in thought-provoking conversations and self–reflection activities that challenge them to investigate global problems;
- gain factual knowledge of human rights and environmental issues;
- learn and expand their digital citizenship skills;
- be challenged to share the information they learn;
- develop their global competency.
Additionally, you may recognize that many of the goals of the project also support ISTE’s Standards for Students.
While providing students with a wide array of learning experiences, the project also has the capacity to be a rich and supportive network and learning environment for teachers. Curating resources for everyone to utilize is just one of the ways this project promises to be a fruitful professional community. Also having support for new methods and educational tools and technology and hands on opportunities to use them is a powerful combination. The project founder Barbara Anna Zielonka and project administrators Lesley Fearn and Lynn Thomas, along with having an Ambassador programme means the community[GU6] already contains a great deal of experience and knowledge to aid others and support this new learning. The Ambassador programme is an opportunity for educators to enhance their resume, make new friends, learn about new cultures and education worldwide, explore new approaches to education, and strengthen intercultural communication, leadership and presentation skills. Interested educators can apply to the Ambassador Programme and, in addition to the above-mentioned benefits, can look forward to hearing about new developments and opportunities first, being invited to special Ambassador development events, and being featured on our website. Microsoft Teams will be the project’s hub and will allow for networking and sharing of knowledge and experiences, as well as a supportive, safe and secure environment for questions and growth.
Find more information about out project here: Single Voices Global Choices
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