A student will know that it has been successful at providing a well balanced curriculum when, at the end of 12 years of purposeful education, a student will walk away from their institution as a globally minded, service oriented individual whose classes were rigorous and provided a real world focus. This student will feel prepared educationally and inspired personally to make a positive difference in the world in which we live. Responsible Citizenship is an umbrella that covers all of these focuses and helps to prepare the student for the world after graduation. It is a schools job, in teaching the “whole” child, to expose students to meaningful pertaining to the disciplines of global education, service learning, economic literacy, leadership practice, experiential educational experiences, and content presented in such a way that students are challenged to think and comprehend rather than memorize.
This is a huge undertaking for a school and puts a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of the faculty members within the school. There has to be an obvious buy in within the Administration so that they are willing to hire a caliber of faculty that are engaged, motivated, and have an internal desire to help our students feel prepared and inspired when they are done with their education. In order to maintain a level of motivated faculty, the school will need to be focused on supporting our faculty in their needs and in their challenges. The school will also need to make it a priority to find and support applicable professional development opportunities for faculty that will support them in their curriculum development and give them an opportunity to step away from the classroom so that they too can be inspired to give their very best to our students on a daily basis.
In my opinion, the smartest student in the school will not be successful in life without this exposure to these components of Responsible Citizenship that will help to develop them into deeper thinkers and empathetic beings that will hopefully, take these experiences with them into their careers and help them to critically make essential decisions that will aid in the betterment of the community and not just the self.