In order to inspire our students for their future endeavors, we need to create opportunities for our students through individual and group experiences outside the classroom. Inspiration involves capturing the curiosity and imagination of students. If preparation depends heavily on skill development, inspiration depends on providing access to exciting individual experiences and to content connections inside and outside of school. Students need exciting experiences that speak to their interests – in school among teachers and peers but also beyond the curriculum and beyond the classroom. Students need to have experiences that demonstrate that their classroom content can connect to their own lives. Inspiration can come from many sources and though I am a huge proponent of global international travel and service for all students, I also understand that it is not necessary for each student to travel the world to find their inspiration.
This world as we know it is becoming smaller through advances in technology and travel; therefore, it is imperative that we adequately prepare our students to become major players in it. The demands on this generation will be immense and it is clear that our students are going to be called upon in the near future to solve immense challenges in all kinds of areas such as national security, politics, environmental protection, health, and alternative energy sources. We are also helping to produce the capable and flexible workforce needed to compete in a global marketplace. The comprehensive education of our students will ensure our society continue to make fundamental discoveries and to advance understanding of the world around us. This education will generate the scientists, technologists, engineers, mathematicians, business personnel, authors, historians, etc…who will create the new ideas, new products and entirely new industries of the 21st century. Going to school is not just about learning the basics anymore; it serves a greater purpose in preparing these children who will one day soon be contributing to our ever changing and challenging society. What better place to prepare them for these challenges than within the walls of our schools, where they are asked to try and to fail, to take risks, and take their learning to higher levels than ever expected before.
That being said, in order to be a successful candidate in today’s world, our students must be proficient in a Global Education & proficient in their service learning. The beginning of an exposure to Global Education needs to start in Kindergarten. We live in a world that grows smaller every day, as advances in technology have shortened the distance between “us and them”. It’s important for our students to develop the perception that there is unity within diversity and give them a sense of belonging to a larger world community. A comprehensive Global Education/Service program, JK – 12, should be interwoven among the disciplines so that it is not perceived as a secondary education. An interest in global education in the Lower School can be sparked through the use of technology to research other cultures, playing traditional games from other cultures, attending cultural events in the community, listening to music and learning new languages. As the student grows and develops, so should the involvement in global education and service through the middle and upper schools so that a graduating senior feels confident competing for jobs in a global economy; as well as enabling them to understand world issues while empowering them with knowledge, skills, and values that will make them positive world citizens ready to face global problems. There are a number of schools around our country that are already doing a phenomenal job of this with programs that allows our students to interact with their peers around the world to solve pertinent global issues of concern in multiple countries around the globe.