Global Citizenship: Are Democratic Values Universal Values? • What knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors are required of a good citizen? • How as teachers should we deal with controversy? • Strategies for preparing for citizenship • What are the consequences of neglecting to prepare our students for their roles as local and global citizens?
3:00 What knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors are required of a good citizen? THINK · PAIR · SHARE
What is the product of our courses’ scope and sequence? • Are we producing graduates who have been prepared for acceptance to prestigious universities with a strong foundation in academic skills and knowledge? • Are we producing graduates who have a strong foundation in the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors required of a good citizen? • Are these products necessarily the same thing?
Global Citizenship According to the IB Learner Profile: The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a more peaceful world.
IB learners strive to be: Inquirers Open-minded Caring Knowledgeable Thinkers Risk-takers Communicators Balanced Principled Reflective
According to the IBO web page IB programs are offered in 125 countries These schools exist within differing political environments: • A spectrum of monarchies, sultanates, and emirates • A spectrum of dictatorships • A spectrum of communist states • A spectrum of democratic countries • A spectrum of kleptocracies
According to the IBO web page IB programs are offered in 125 countries IB schools exist in countries where: • All of the citizens are required to vote • Large parts of the population are denied the right to vote • There is no vote • All elections are merely theatrical performances • Most citizens choose to not bother to vote
According to the IBO web page IB programs are offered in 125 countries IB schools exist in countries where: The rights to gay marriage and adoption are protected by law Stoning is used as a form of the death penalty for a variety of moral and violent crimes Women serve as the highest elected officials Homosexual sex is punished with death The death penalty is banned by law for all crimes Women are not allowed to vote or drive automobiles
As international educators what is our role? • Are we hired to model our values that are associated with successful and stable governments and businesses? • Are we responsible for familiarizing ourselves with the local system and preparing our students to operate within that system? • Should we attempt to provide a sampling of a variety of perspectives and attitudes, with the risk that our students will end up not feeling invested in any country’s political process and identity? THINK · PAIR · SHARE
Our job as educators is not to prepare our students for citizenship with a list of memorized answers to difficult ethical and political questions.
Our job as educators is to: • Prepare our students with the academic skills, especially literacy skills, necessary to understand and prioritize the issues at hand, and to be able to participate in the political process. • To create an environment where our students explore and answer difficult ethical and political questions within a sheltered setting. This setting should promote mutual respect and value conclusions that are based on logic, quality data, and empirical evidence whenever possible.
As educators, and especially IB educators, we must remember that our instruction should be inquiry-based.
As educators it is wrong for us to propagandize on behalf of any belief system. Instead, we must ask our students questions, encourage them to dialogue, and trust that through a process of logical inquiry and reflection students will come to morally defendable conclusions - whether we agree with them or not.
“Indoctrination is anti-educational...” (Macedo p. 14)
3:00 What role do controversial issues play in your classroom? THINK · PAIR · SHARE
3:00 What are the costs and benefits of integrating controversial issues into your units? THINK · PAIR · SHARE
In what classroom is more real learning taking place…. In a classroom where students dutifully complete class assignments and projects to earn good grades OR In a classroom where students are passionate about the resolution of a classroom discussion or debate, where students are wrestling to discover “the truth”
Thoughts from John Dewey on controversy, relevance and education: Conflict is the gadfly of thought. It stirs us to observation and memory. It instigates to invention. It shocks us out of sheep-like passivity, and sets us at noting and contriving.
Thoughts from John Dewey on controversy, relevance and education: The method of democracy is to bring conflicts out into the open where their special claims can be seen and appraised, where they can be discussed and judged.
Thoughts from John Dewey on controversy, relevance and education: Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.
Thoughts from Lev Vygotsky on controversy, social discourse, and learning: …a problem must arise that cannot be solved otherwise than through the formation of new concepts.
Thoughts from Lev Vygotsky on controversy, social discourse, and learning: An essential feature of learning is that it awakens a variety of internal developmental processes that are able to operate only when the child is in the action of interacting with people in his environment and cooperation with his peers.
Preparing our students for citizenship is not an add on, it is not something that gets in the way of “coverage” Tackling controversial issues across the curriculum through strategies like simulations and debates does not distract us from our curricular objectives, but instead pulls us back to our true goals and the mission of the PYP, MYP, and DP programs
Addressing controversies through cooperative group work, debate, and simulations: • Increases students sense of relevance – promoting greater participation and greater retention • Requires students to use higher order thinking skills • Allows students to receive mentorship in the process of finding, organizing, evaluating, and using information
Addressing controversies through cooperative group work, debate, and simulations: • Channels children’s, and especially adolescent’s, desire to be social toward something productive • Channels adolescent’s burgeoning sense of independence toward something productive • Channels adolescent’s natural distrust of authority away from helpless apathy, and toward a healthy and productive circumspection
But what about the school’s parents? When covering controversial topics: • Keep in close contact with school administrators about your topics and unit objectives • Always give both sides of the debate equal time • Maintain your neutrality, avoid topics where you have an agenda • Always play devil’s advocate to promote deeper thinking on both sides of the debate • Do your best to promote respect for both views in any controversy • Randomly assign students to debate teams, but allow students choice when writing personal essays
Our students won’t be able to avoid controversy in life. By giving them a safe environment and structure to explore controversy within, we prepare them to resolve these controversies productively so they don’t become dangerous conflicts.
3:00 What strategies can we use to promote the development of citizenship skills in our students? THINK · PAIR · SHARE
Strategies for preparing for citizenship: • Use cooperative learning strategies • Develop a student council • Integrate current events into your courses • Teach students how to evaluate sources • Model active citizenship yourself • Classroom Management • Use debates and simulations
Use cooperative learning strategies: • Citizenship does not occur in isolation. To be effective citizens our students need to be able to communicate and cooperate effectively with other people • Cooperative learning isn’t necessarily the same thing as group work
Develop a student council • Do your best to develop a student council that focuses on responsibilities of student governance, not just the organization of social and community and service events • Do your best to coordinate student council elections and debates so that students are striving to elect the most qualified students, not engaging in a popularity contest
Integrate current events into your courses • Current events help students connect class content with the “real world” making course content more relevant • Through using current events we help get students into the habit of reading newspapers and magazines • Help students to reflect on the different ways that bias is represented in the media • Consider making your scope and sequence flexible enough to include current-event based units as appropriate • Have students look at resources from different ends of the political spectrum and from countries having differing perspectives • Have students look at editorial articles and cartoons, not just factual articles • Have students write their own editorial responses, not just write summaries
Teach students how to evaluate sources • Discuss reasons why sources might not be reliable • Take your students to websites and introduce them to unreliable sources • Share news stories that discuss the consequences of people making decisions based upon “bad” information • Asks students to provide evidence for why a source is reliable or not • Discuss the consequences of using bad information
Model active citizenship yourself • Reference current events in your class as a casual reminder to students that you read newspapers and magazines • Make students aware of the efforts you go through to vote and/or absentee vote • Make students aware of any of your volunteer efforts • Celebrate other teachers for their efforts at active citizenship
Classroom Management Consider using a classroom management strategy like Forrest Gathercoal’s “Judicious Discipline”. • Does it make sense to run your classroom as an autocratic environment if you are preparing your students for participation in a democratic society? • Consider basing discipline on a classroom “Bill of Rights” • Most practitioners of Judicious Discipline agree that it takes more time upfront, but saves time in the long run because expectations are clearer, students have a vested interest in the class environment, and students feel a greater sense of mutual respect amongst teachers and students
Use debates and simulations • Encourage students to participate in organizations like Harvard Model Congress and Model United Nations – these extracurriculars integrate civics, history, reading, writing, public speaking, science, and economics • The use of debates and simulations draws in a lot of students who do not typically participate. Boys who are typically less engaged, frequently become highly motivated by the competitive element of debates and simulations. • Debates and simulations promote the consideration of multiple perspectives • Debates and simulations promote cooperation, active participation, and advanced communication skills • Debates and simulations promote critical thinking within the context of issues that are complex and currently challenging today’s world leaders • Debates and simulations are appropriate within all classes, not just the social studies
3:00 How could you integrate debate or simulations into your class(es)? THINK · PAIR · SHARE
What are the consequences of neglecting to prepare our students for their roles as local and global citizens?
According to a 2003 study by Gerald Graff, a University of Illinois professor, “2/3 of students at a prestigious university couldn’t detect the most flagrant contradictions in a text that was purposefully laced with them” • Students were “trained to accept the words of experts at face value”. (Graff, p. 68)
As Neil Postman, a prominent American educator writes, anyone can manipulate a populace that can’t distinguish between facts and inferences, a population from whom we don’t need to conceal contradictions. (Postman pp. 90-91)
In 1972 half of American’s aged 18-29 voted • In 1996 1/3 of American’s ages 19-29 voted • Based on a UCLA study in 1966 58% of college freshman thought it was important to keep up with politics • By the late 1990’s only 26% thought so (Macedo p. 10)
Every country in the world has faced violence due to groups not feeling fully enfranchised • In the last 18 months we have seen major violence in England, France, Australia, India, Thailand, the United States, and China due to people feeling like their voice is not being heard.
People who are not prepared for citizenship don’t know how to participate in the political process. When people feel like their voice is not being heard they have two responses: • Become apathetic and stop participating in “the debate” • Go outside the system and express their opinions through violence
In the 21st century we are facing some of the most difficult problems the world has ever known – HIV/AIDS, antibiotic resistant Tuberculosis, Global Warming, terrorism, overpopulation, and the end of the era of fossil fuel dependency.