Global Citizenship & Community Action: At the Heart of the Curriculum

Speaker: Christopher Charleson
Institution: International School of London Qatar

21st Century learning is much more than a collection of new skills that needs to be integrated into the curriculum, or a raft of new technologies that will drain a school budget. It is an approach that requires a fundamental shift to an internationally-minded and globally-connected learning environment, with a focus on developing the competencies for this new world. In this session, it is argued that Global Citizenship & Community Action (GCCA) can provide the core of an innovative, experiential curriculum for young people, through which students can develop many of the key competencies necessary for the 21st century global society.

Global citizenship and service learning have grown across the international school sector, with the participatory aspect of social responsibility, arising from the observation of social injustice, a growing and significant element. Service learning helps to build a type of 'bridging as well as bonding social capital' (Putnam, 2000). A mindful learner should experience a curriculum that includes opportunities for developing international mindedness and intercultural understanding. This curriculum should have at its core a structured programme of GCCA that allows students to choose and devise their own progressive and coherent pathways and experiences towards active global citizenship.

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