Advancing global citizenship and intercultural learning in your school
Chris Green CIS School Support & Evaluation Officer


By Chris Green, School Support & Evaluation Officer, CIS



What does global citizenship mean to your students and school community? How do you define, articulate, and implement global citizenship development and intercultural learning?

Our community’s responses to these questions are broad and diverse. Many schools that we support along their school improvement journeys continue to grapple with how to envision this work. And our conversations usually lead to one challenging question: how do we assess the impact and know whether students have indeed developed the traits of a global citizen?

'As suggested by Wiggins and Mc Tighe (2005) (Understanding by Design), schools assess what they value and value what they assess. Therefore, it stands to reason that if my school values international-mindedness, then we must also assess the concepts, skills, knowledge and attitudes that define it. Further explorations around how to evaluate these capabilities and attitudes will need to ascertain if these skills are reflected in both the students' capacities as global citizens and their behaviours—having practical examples of authentic assessment of open-mindedness, perspective thinking and intercultural understanding in all of our IB programmes.'—Ketaki Kapoor, Oberoi International School, India



Where is your school on your pathway to developing global citizens and intercultural learners?

Some CIS member schools are working on how to articulate what global citizenship and intercultural learning mean in their specific context.

'I would like students (and teachers) to be more curious as to why people from different backgrounds, ethnic groups, socio-economic groups do things differently, think differently, have different priorities, rather than simply thinking their ideas are strange or incorrect.'Daniel Maxwell, Singapore International School Bangkok, Thailand

Other schools already have a definition or shared understanding of both, but implementation has been inconsistent. Maybe global citizenship education and intercultural learning have been delivered by several teachers through specific subjects or during co-curricular activities where only some students participate, or as part of whole-school events like international and cultural celebrations.

'As far as intercultural learning is concerned, I fear that some schools have a perception that it is the job of a few, and not the responsibility of all. I tend to think, along with language learning, that all teachers have a shared responsibility for intercultural learning and global citizenship.'—Chris Garden, International School Singapore

Perhaps the school is beginning to consider how to include diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racist practices through a lens of global citizenship. 

'We have recently authored a new Global Citizenship policy, with a big focus on diversity, equity and anti-racism explicitly (in the past we've been a bit vague).'—Cindy Adair, Bangkok Patana School, Thailand


How do you know your work is having impact?

Many schools have a clear vision and statement of what global citizenship and intercultural learning look like in their context; some have established methods of assessment.

'Many international schools have in common the unique position of developing global competencies [with] formal assessments […] to prepare students to be global citizens, as global citizenship is a set of skills that are taught and measured.'Hazvineyi Bridget Mutasa, International School Dhaka, Bangladesh

But, for most, the ‘how do you know’ question proves challenging.

How does a school undertake the required transformations to support diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism as part of global citizenship education and intercultural learning?

How does a school determine the impact of its global citizenship education on the learning outcomes of all students?


A new professional learning opportunity is available

As part of our commitment to global citizenship at CIS, we are ready to support members with two new workshops to advance global citizenship and intercultural learning in your school.

Workshops to support you!

Update 22 September 2021: These two new workshops have now taken place. We'll keep our events page updated with new dates.

21 September 2021: Advancing global citizenship and intercultural learning 
in your school—
Defining and Implementing

This workshop is for CIS member schools that are yet to develop and define what global citizenship and intercultural learning look like in their specific context; how it guides a school’s direction and decision-making in relation to curricular and co-curricular programmes, pedagogy, professional development, and the well-being of the whole school community.

22 September 2021: Advancing global citizenship and intercultural learning 
in your school—
Assessing the Impact

This workshop is for CIS member schools that already have a definition of global citizenship and intercultural learning. They are ready to assess implementation and its impact on student learning and well-being and to consider questions related to inclusion through diversity, equity and anti-racism.


Nico Evers, our Director of Higher Education Services explains: ‘These workshops will address the needs we have heard from members to redefine global citizenship as a social responsibility. As the world evolves around us and our definitions stretch and change shape depending on our experiences and contexts, it’s helpful to reconnect on a shared perspective. It is the perfect time to redefine what global citizenship means and amplify the ways that we can support our members as they navigate its interconnected aspects. Global citizenship has always been at the core of our work, and we’ve been careful to weave it through everything we do. Feedback from our schools is key to shaping our thinking.’

Lorna Prado Scott, CIS Board member and former Board Chair, describes how we are: ‘identifying tangible ways to lead international education communities in defining and improving your ability to develop global citizenship, an essential element of education, now more than ever. We are preserving foundational work in the development of intercultural competence while addressing difference more specifically.’

Related content:

Professional development opportunities for our members:

  • New Global Citizenship Workshops Advancing global citizenship and intercultural learning
    in your school
    : Defining and implementing and Assessing the impact. The September 2021 dates have now passed, we'll keep our events page updated when new dates are available.
  • Schools can use the Student Culture and Learning Survey, to understand how cultural diversity can influence teaching and learning
  • Tackling Racism Workshop Series—foundational learning about implicit biases, intercultural competencies, and structures and systems in international schools