SEPTEMBER 20, 2018

Q&A: WHy "World of Water"?


Dive into the new Global Scholars curriculum

Global. Urban. Relevant to students ages 10-13 in cities around the world.  Each year, the Global Scholars Education Team challenges itself to find that just-right topic for a new, original curriculum. It’s got to involve real science, opportunities for project-based learning, and chances to develop global competency skills such as appreciation for diversity and critical thinking. But it’s also got to be cool.

It’s likely that students will be able to see connections between the curriculum and their local news and experiences

The 2018-19 winner is World of Water, which invites students to explore the role of water in our lives, cities, and world.  Just how did it clinch the top spot?  We sat down with the education team for a deeper dive.

1.       Why water?

Water is a topic that can be discussed on so many levels from the personal to the global, cultural to geographical. Water has also been in the news lately, in the United States and globally, increasing people’s awareness about climate change, plastic waste in oceans, and inequities in water access. It’s likely that students will be able to see connections between the curriculum and their local news and experiences

2.       What’s new since Global Scholars first looked at water in 2014-15?

The 2018-19 curriculum covers many of the same topics, but the information is updated to reflect new knowledge in the field. We’ve also learned about the types of activities and discussions that are most engaging for students and that foster the development of our global and general learning outcomes. For example, interviews with community members are a wonderful authentic learning opportunity and generate high levels of student interest and exchange in the discussion boards.

3.       Since the curriculum is project-based, can you preview any of the end-of-unit digital projects?

Each Global Scholars unit ends with a multimedia project.

It’s always a fun puzzle to figure out the end-of-unit projects so that students will be able to apply what they’ve learned throughout the unit and also gradually build the skills they’ll need for the end-of-year community action project. Among the adventures this year:

  • a school-based water audit

  • an exploration of a local waterway

  • a community survey of local water issues.

Prezi, VoiceThread, Piktochart, and Adobe Spark are the digital tools we’re recommending this year.

4.       Will there be a board game?

Yes! We’ve been working on it all summer. It’s been fun to play each version in the office and create a game-based learning experience about water security around the world. It takes a lot of fine-tuning to make a game work both as a game and as a learning tool. Watch for this one in Unit 4.

Stay tuned for three more insights into World of Water in next week’s blost post! 

The Global Scholars e-Classroom opens on September 24, 2018. We can’t wait to see old friends and to meet new ones.

Meantime, have a look at the full World of Water curriculum.