Global Cities staff met with educators (and residents) at the NY Aquarium


In last week’s post, we previewed the 2018-19 curriculum, World of Water, and promised a few more behind-the-scenes glimpses. OK, Global Scholars education team, what can you give us for our patience?

1   Which unit of World of Water contains the most surprises for students?

Each unit and lesson can be surprising in different ways for different students. The biggest surprises come in the e-classroom discussion boards when students share their local experiences, cultures, and perspectives. They’re the ones creating surprises for each other and for us! Discovering the commonalities we all share around the globe, and the unique reasons behind our differences, is always a surprising adventure in Global Scholars.

2   Can you give some examples of how you’re tailoring professional development to this curriculum?

Water can be an elusive topic for adults as much as young people. We just don’t spend much time thinking about how water gets to our tap, how it is managed in our cities, or how our city water systems interact with natural waterways nearby. We’ll be guiding educators through this discovery process so they can guide their students through it as well.

3.  What is the connection between the curriculum and global competency skills?

rabbit duck_recognizing perspective.JPG

Do you see a duck? A rabbit? Unit 1 focuses on seeing more than one perspective

This year’s curriculum will support the building of skills and understandings that are important foundations of our student learning outcomes, which include both global learning outcomes (Appreciation for Diversity, Cultural Understanding, Global Knowledge, and Global Engagement) and the general learning outcomes that support them (Digital Literacy, Language Communication, Self-Efficacy, Academic Engagement, and Critical Thinking). Unit 1 begins to build toward these outcomes with important lessons on perspective-taking. Our PDs this year will help educators understand what building those capacities looks like in the classroom and what to expect from students as they think and grow through the process.

4.   Finally, what is it like to work in a team to create a new curriculum?  

Working in a team to create the curriculum is a lot like the process we guide students through for their group projects. First we brainstorm and research by interviewing experts, going on field trips, and doing lots of reading (online, newspapers, books). Then we make a plan—the curriculum outline—and create a first draft. We go through many cycles of testing it out and revising. Each year, we have about a dozen Global Scholars educators from diverse countries and perspectives give feedback on a draft of the student workbook before we make final revisions. We want to make sure the curriculum will work as best as it can in all the different contexts in which it is taught. We also have a content expert, such as a university professor who specializes in the subject matter, review and give us feedback. This year, Global Scholars educators also met with the education team (and several schools of inhabitants) at the New York Aquarium.

The Global Scholars e-classroom opened on September 24. Throughout the year, follow us on Twitter and Facebook

World of Water curriculum