Mrs. Meenakshi Ramesh is presently employed as Director, Curriculum & R & D, and Program Leader of CICTL & CIDTL – Cambridge International Certificate & Diploma for Teaching and Learning and Director of VSKILL- Centre for Professional Development of Vels Group of Schools, Chennai, India. As a qualified Counsellor with over 35 years of academic experience, Mrs. Meenakshi has dealt with social and psychological dimensions at special counselling session for parents, teachers and students. Being a member of Amateur Drama Troupe at New Delhi, she has keen interests towards dramatics, music, and elocution.
Global schools are emerging to be academic nurseries for those to develop futuristic International Citizens.
Who is a Global Citizen?
With boundaries limitless and waning, Global Citizen is not an imaginary national construct. Associated characters have to become well established, inculcated and nourished from childhood. The global citizen in the making should be able to take in stride victory and defeat in the same measure.
THE UNESCO charter on Global Citizenship education says while the world may be increasingly interconnected, the human rights violation, inequality and poverty still threaten peace and sustainability.
- It emphasized global citizenship education (GCED) in the response to the above;
- Active promoters of more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, secure and sustainable societies;
- A child from global school is to be trained to survive all weather creatures;
Why is Global Citizenship Needed?
Education must be not only a transmission of culture but also a provider of alternative views of the world, strengthening of skills to explore them (Jerome S. Bruner). Curriculum for Excellence with improved student participation, Successful Learners, Confident individuals, Responsible Citizens, Effective Contributors and the syllabuses drawn should have an international outlook but retain a local relevance. It has to be developed for international student body and avoid cultural bias.
Need For a Global School:
Apart from the fundamental 3Rs (reading, writing and arithmetic) learning, there is a need for a global school that teaches ecology, etiquette, production, distribution, consumption, technology, communication and arts- all of which are uniformly which are evolving to be universally standardized.
A school has to train in: –
- Decision making skills
- Risk taking ventures
- Ecology and protection of nature
- Socio-politically instilled discriminatory hatred must be democratically explained
- Inclusive system of living should be taught to them
- Global school must be sensitized to have a sustainable model of teaching and an acceptable
- It should be supported by governments and universalities
How Should the Curriculum for Excellence Be Redefined in a Global School
The syllabuses drawn should have an international outlook but retain a local relevance
The syllabus is developed for international student body and avoid cultural bias. Also to develop learner knowledge, skills and understanding in: –
- a) Subject Content
- b) Applying Knowledge and Understanding to new as well as unfamiliar situation
- c) Intellectual Enquiry
- d) Flexibility and Responsiveness to change
- e) Talking and Communicating in English
- f) Influencing Outcomes
- g) Cultural Awareness
Let us look at some of the basic areas where there can be potential improvement
I. Improving Curricula
And the four trends identified are:
- Competency – based logic
- Socio- constructivist perspective
- Increased focus on learners
- More emphasis on authentic learning situations
There is always a greater possibility for a significant disconnection between the above prescribed curricula and classroom reality (Ref: The Council of Ministers of Education, in Canada)
II. How to prioritize and create learning opportunities for authentic learning
This pandemic has made us all reflect on one question and that is “How to decide on the necessity, importance and usefulness if choosing a certain curriculum content?”. Major factor to be considered under authentic learning even before choosing the content of a curriculum, it becomes imperative to preserve students’ readiness level to learn even in a remote manner.
To develop, maintain and celebrate the bonding of students with teachers and schools during this mode of online learning pattern becomes very challenging and takes the utmost priority even more than transfer of Knowledge. It becomes the responsibility of all the stake holders to understand the importance of preserving students’ motivation, engagement and interest while staying connected to school, especially when the schools are closed for more than one year.
Then comes choosing on varied, flexible and authentic learning activities, which is comfortable even in an online environment. Teachers need to become “Agile Thinkers”, to use available minimum tools and apps and make herself / himself an efficient online teacher. Teachers can refer to the UN’s 2030 Agenda-Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) to create authentic and contextualized learning situations (SDGS). UNESCO chair in Curriculum Development, suggest many ways as means to achieve this.
By placing students at the centre of their learning, there is a need to draw on various internal and external resources, that would result in contextualizing the students’ return to school and the connect can be drawn faster when they return to school after a long gap.
III. Maximizing the use of learning outside the classroom
It has been and is being witnessed by all of us that this Covid-19 crisis, has shown us great pathways to stay virtually connected and still take care of one’s well-being and continue learning through distance education. Even while preparing to get back to Hybrid learning, Blended learning, Flipped learning etc.??!!, it is going to pose a big challenge to follow the Standard. Operational Procedures like reduced class size, spacing out desk spaces between students preferring to take outdoor class etc. Outside the classroom initiatives, outdoor learning and in classroom learning experience has to be complementary and supplementary.
IV. Self – paced and independent learning
The facilities with many learning platforms, apps and tools, interspersed with a clear implementation of the SAMR model, (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition) has provided plenty of opportunities for self-paced, individualized learning — this is a great boon to address Differentiation too. With the available tools, skills and attitude the learning can be as fun filled as possible without compromising on the final outcomes and standards to be achieved.
- To organize their work better
- Take more initiative
- Think more critically
- Become more involved and
Teachers can try out learner- centered teaching model; with ways and means to suit the individual learner needs, their ability to seek information and analyze and solve problems in practical and innovative ways.
V. This leads to equipping teachers with digital skills
How to enhance the Digital Literacy skills among teachers? – There are many online courses Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on distance and online education. This is made available by many universities and even in India, teaching platforms like SWAYAM, Diksha provide such opportunities to adapt and enhance digital literary skills.
If the above points are kept in mind the global citizens with their improved participation in all activities designed become successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.