Today’s students are tomorrow’s world leaders. They will soon be the ones fighting issues like poverty, climate change, resources shortages and failing education systems. We must prepare them to tackle these shared global problems that their generation will inherit. Today’s youth must not only have the knowledge and skills to able to understand and act on issues of global significance but also the motivation to improve the world and the belief that their voice and their action can make a difference.
Educators can teach their students about the world while also empowering them to improve it. They can instill in their students a sense of global citizenship and a desire to work collaboratively with their peers to make their community a better place. Through activities ranging from inquiry to action research projects to international service trips and exchanges to local community services projects, students can experience firsthand both the challenge’s facing today’s world and their ability to make a positive impact.
With support from teacher Noah Zeichner, students at Chief Sealth International High School in Seattle, WA organized a school-wide World Water Week event. This student-led festival includes a service learning project, a public keynote event, a synchronous all-school lesson, assemblies, an evening family event, and a day-long student conference that features 25-30 different workshop sessions. These Seattle students understood the importance of international water issues and felt empowered to educate their peers and to make a difference in their local community. These students are already taking action to improve their future.
This weekend, the first ever Student Voice Summit will take place here in New York City. The conference will bring together Student Voice – an international network of empowered students who strive to involve youth in the debate on education policy. Student Voice was founded on the belief that too often, students are excluded from the policy discussions shaping their future. Students around the world have formed a movement to stop this exclusion and make sure their voices are heard.
We want our students to eventually have the skills to lead – why not encourage and empower them to follow the example of the Students at Chief Sealth International High School and Student Voice and start leading now?
Interesting in learning strategies for empowering your students to take action? Hear directly from Noah and the student-leaders of the Student Voice movement, at the Partnership for Global Learning Conference June 28 – 29, 2013 in NYC.
- World Water Week: Schoolwide Global Learning and Action led by Noah Zeichner
- Student Panel: Redefining the Global Age featuring Isabel Cruz & Zak Malamed
- Student-Led Conferences: Turn the Tables led by Christine Kha, Jessica Evangelista & Komal Achhnani
- Develop Global Citizens in the Facebook Era led by Zak Ringelstein
- Knowledge to Action: Global Ed and Youth Leadership Outside the Classroom led by Amy Westby & Daniel Carlton