Friday, September 23, 2016

Global-Mindedness Day, September 19th in Seisen Elementary

September 19th was a busy day of activities in Seisen Elementary for Global-Mindedness Day.

Students moved through four rotations in their House Teams and explored: 

  • How we're both connected yet diverse through art with Mr Hughes based on Mem Fox's beautiful book;'Whoever you are,
  • Various types of dance and instruments from around the world with Ms. Kampa, Ms. Mitsui and Ms. Handel Johnson 
  • Ways to highlight the host countries of our Elementary students while creating country reports with Ms. Ingrid, Ms. Lea and Mr. Towse (you'll be able to access these through QR codes on our stairwell soon!) 
  • Scenarios of how a Globally-Minded person might respond to a given situations with the grade 1 and 2 Homeroom Teachers and Teaching Assistants 
  • Games from Around the World with Grade 4 and 5 Homeroom Teachers
  •  The story of Elmer the Elephant told from a Globally-Mined and Non Globally-Minded perspective with the Grade 6 Teachers 
Teams also competed in a House Quiz based on the book - "If the World were A Village" by David J. Smith & Shelagh Armstrong, and the winners were Iwaki!

The finale to our day came with a gathering in the gym facilitated by the music department. Flags representing the 32 countries in our Elementary School were paraded and students sang: Dreams of Harmony, One Earth/One World and the Seisen Elementary song; We are One Family.

It's unusual to read about education today without encountering some reference to getting students ready for a highly competitive, globally connected knowledge economy which requires the acquisition of '21st Century Learning Skills.' This perspective emphasises that children's futures depend more than ever on their ability to communicate and work effectively across cultures, to navigate increasingly sophisticated technology, to adjust to rapid change and to help solve complex problems.

In the elementary, we want children to start thinking about the wider world not only to help prepare them for their futures but also importantly, that they might enjoy interacting with new friends and discovering new interests and perspectives from peers who may come from a different cultural background to their own. We understand that effective approaches to increasingly interconnected issues related to the environment, natural resources, the economy and peaceful co-existence will be centred around skills like collaboration, empathy, and effective communication (Sabet-Tavangar & Mladic-Morales, 2014). These skills are also those most needed for building peaceful and rewarding lives and are explicitly taught at Seisen throughout the Primary Years Program (PYP).

Global-Mindedness Day was our launch pad for exploring many of the concepts linked to the development of this rich and complex ideal this year.

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