Growing Global Leaders

Growing Global Leaders
Bill Barrett, Academy President

In my September blog, I outlined our commitment to global learning and introduced our partnership with the World Leadership School.  This month, I thought it would be helpful to provide you with a more detailed explanation of how we define global competencies and provide a perspective of what this work may look like in our classrooms.  

At our recent High School Open House, a seminar outlining our Global Learning initiative was offered entitled, “Pathways to Global Citizenship – Global Learning.” The description of the presentation was as follows: “Our students need the cultural competencies to navigate and succeed in a diverse world.  Critical and comparative thinking, self-awareness, appreciation of different points of view, ability to collaborate, to listen, and to speak and think in an inclusive manner are all essential skills for being a global citizen.”

This description aligns well with our framework for building global competency skills.  In addition, at a workshop I attended entitled, “Educating for global competence,” the following framework of skills was also discussed:

1. Investigate the world – students investigate the world beyond their immediate environment.

2. Recognize perspectives – students recognize their own and others’ perspectives.

3. Communicate ideas – students communicate their ideas effectively with diverse audiences.

4. Take action – students translate their ideas into appropriate actions to improve conditions.

We are committed to the continued development of our students’ global competency skills.  Our Lower School students learn about and support SMA's sister school in Pakistan. Our eighth-grade students become immersed in the experiences and culture of students living on the Cochiti Pueblo in New Mexico.  High School students examine their own worldview, and the worldview of others, by studying world religions, world history, and world literature in their World Visions class. These are all examples of our commitment to provide students with real-world experiences, build relationships that lead to greater understanding, and collaboratively solve complex global problems as we seek to be positive agents of change.