As they navigate life in a world that’s more connected than ever before, students at Providence Day School are getting more than just a cursory glance at other cultures. Director of Global Education Dr. Loren Fauchier says the school aims to develop “global citizens,” starting as early as Transitional Kindergarten.
Fauchier says the school is in the process of implementing a curriculum for grades TK through 12 that will integrate global education into virtually all the coursework. The goal is for every PDS student to be touched, influenced and on track to become a global citizen.
And he says students realizing their role on a global scale is more important now than ever before.
“We live in a globalized world,” Fauchier said. “Many experts say our children will have eight to nine jobs in their life. They’ll have to be equipped to shift jobs and platforms, and they’ll potentially be working with people from different parts of the world,” Fauchier said (That’s also why PDS has an emphasis on innovation in the classroom. Read more about that here).
A global education that starts early in a student’s life could have far-reaching impacts on his or her future career. For example, Fauchier said it’s more likely for the current generation of students to see their companies bought out or working closely with a company in another country. When that happens, that student’s deep-rooted empathy and understanding of other cultures could be the difference between being uncomfortable with the change and being ready to take on a new challenge.
PDS’s global education program has three components: global knowledge, global skills and good character dispositions. That means teachers at PDS use global education for more than just world history — it can be used to develop character traits that students will carry with them for a lifetime.
“It’s about understanding that you are who you are here, but there are people elsewhere with similar traits, behaviors, ambitions and dreams, and they come from and live in other parts of the world,” Fauchier said. “That’s a very important thing for any child to know. If you can learn how to empathize with others, you’ll be much better able to understand what their needs and wants are, … and you’ll understand they’re not really that different.”
For example, at the TK level, students spend a month learning about Germany, China and Kenya. Fauchier says students get all the basics: food, flags, monuments, etc., all in the context of learning that we’re all people of the same world. Second graders study the Amazon, learning about its importance for the world’s ecology.
Providence Day School is also the first independent school in the country to create a Global Studies Diploma for students in grades 9 through 12. Fauchier describes it as curricular and co-curricular platform for developing global citizenship. Students in the program travel abroad, hear and write about global speakers, and even do local projects with themes such as poverty and immigration.
“Social responsibility is a major part of the mission at our school,” Fauchier said. “If you’re a global citizen, you should be helping those at the local, national and international levels.”
PDS students have taught English to children in Cape Town South Africa, helped build buildings in a rural village in Belize and participated in exchange programs with cities in Israel, Denmark and more.
Fauchier also said Providence Day School was accepted to be a member of Round Square International, the largest and most well-known network of international schools. It’s opened many doors for PDS students to experience life in Argentina, India, Nigeria and Tibet.
“Students say (traveling abroad) is a transformative experience — how different the food, but how similar the people,” Fauchier said.
In today’s world, an education isn’t complete without a robust global component. It helps create students who are more empathetic, inquisitive and better in tune with the world around them, and it sets them up to be successful in their careers later in life. PDS’s emphasis on global education will give its students a leg up when it’s time to leave the schoolyard behind and head into the real world.
Learn more about PDS’s global education program here.
Providence Day School
5800 Sardis Road, Charlotte NC 28270
Email: [email protected]
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