We want all of our students to graduate the program with an established personal set of values (Learner Profile), in turn laying a foundation in which international mindedness will develop and flourish. The transdisciplinary themes allow for an exploration of concepts through multiple perspectives and value of student interests and backgrounds. Additionally, through rich learning experiences and personal inquires, students are able to embody attributes of the learner profile (open-mindedness, caring, reflective, knowledgeable)
At the beginning of the year, students in 5th grade inquired about beliefs and values in their Who We Are unit. Students were asked to interview their family members. Digging deeper into their past gave our fifth graders an opportunity to analyze the “why” behind their families’ beliefs and values, in turn, analyzing their own. Students were able to share stories from their family histories, uncovering different traditions and aspects about their culture and background. This investigation was celebrated with students sharing their findings with their classes, dressing up in traditional cultural clothing, and sharing foods with one another.
At the moment, our fourth and kindergartners are both currently in their Where We Are in Place & Time units of inquiry. As students in kindergarten explore the concept of play and how that links people, places, and culture over time, our fourth graders extend student thinking about the concept of migration and how migration changes communities, people, and places. These units lend themselves naturally for students to share their own personal family histories, traditions, and cultures, enriching classroom conversations and deepening student understanding of these concepts.
With such a diverse community and the support of intentional technology integration, our students are able to take a “trip around the world” without even leaving their classrooms! If you haven’t already, be sure to take a look around our campus to check out student displays and follow us on Twitter to see how our classrooms use a global context to support our internationally minded learners!