Global Leadership Class
An innovative approach to High School Social Studies
Global Leadership is an innovative approach to high school social studies that focuses on social and environmental justice through service learning and hands-on leadership skill building. It is meant to be an environment in which students are responsible for their own learning and accountable to their fellow classmates, in the way that we are all accountable to our fellow global citizens. Throughout the course, students are introduced to global issues and then challenged to take action on those issues by making changes in their own lives and taking action in their communities, homes, and schools.
Through leadership skill-building, students learn about their own role in society and their responsibility to problem solve and take action on issues that affect our global society and planet.
Global Visionaries partnered with Facing The Future www.facingthefuture.org,YES! Magazine http://www.yesmagazine.org/, Teachers Without Borders http://www.teacherswithoutborders.org/,
and Global Classmates to develop this course.
Course Credit for Students
Students in the Global Leadership (GL) course earn credit for World History. In order to receive credit, students must demonstrate that they understand complex issues and able to analyze, solve, question and most importantly, take personal, concrete action on the issues. Components of the course include: updated readings, thematic journal entry and longer writing assignments, research and frequent presentations both in class and in the Adopt-a-School program described below.
Integrated Leadership Focus of Course
The GL course teaches students about global issues in a context of social justice and environmental stewardship philosophy and practices. During the program students learn about environmental justice and racism, sustainability, global citizenship and globalization, the United States' role in the world in relation to
developing countries and as it relates to social and environmental justice issues including (over-)consumption, ecological footprint, and the role of media in all of these issues.
Students learn hands-on social action skills including how to:
- public speak
- influence public officials and constituencies
- design and carry out local action projects.
They demonstrate their learning through projects carried out in the community. The work is self-directed, which helps students develop important organizational, leadership and communication skills and allows them to develop self-esteem and assurance in their ability to effect change.
A significant component of the course is the Adopt-A-School (AAS) Project. Students work as mentors to Fifth Graders (Maple Elementary School for Cleveland High School, Roxhill Elementary for Chief Sealth High School and Bow Lake Elementary for Global Connections High School) and involve them in justice-based projects project. Students plan the curriculum they teach, learn to write lesson plans, practice public speaking skills, needing to reach a unique audience, and act as role models. High school and elementary school students carry out action plans together.
International Dialogue Project
Through a partnership with Bridges/Global Classmates, students dialogue with high school students in Ciudad Vieja (near Antigua, Guatemala) (via internet, written letter and video). Both groups benefit greatly as they develop international friendships by discussing cultural, social justice and environmental issues in the course.
Global Visionaries Leadership Program Component (optional for GL students)
Selected students from the Global Leadership class will join the Global Visionaries Leadership Program and travel to Guatemala at the end of the course and participate in a cultural immersion and service oriented journey. They will meet face to face with the students with whom they have collaborated to carry out the project design.
The Global Leadership (GL) class is designed to create the structure and context within which learners (students) become active participants in addressing global issues as they intersect with the learners on a personal level. The GL class prepares students for college by requiring them to synthesize the course content to the extent that they are prepared to present, write, and take action on course content.
The course provides youth with understanding of their role in the world and an understanding of global citizenship. One Global Leadership class participant said,
I didn't have sports and clubs like some other students. All I had was shopping and fashion. After the things I've learned in this class, I want to stop being a consumer. My goal is to buy less and watch the effects of my ecological footprint socially and environmentally.