Global Classrooms in the 306
Through their Arts Education class, Grade 5/6 students at Davidson School have been learning about both global and local issues, as well as how to represent ideas through a variety of forms in order to educate others and initiate positive change, such as posters, dramatic presentations, videos, and songs. Through SCIC’s Millennium Development Goals Comic Series, students have been exposed to a number of global issues, particularly the major injustice of world poverty today, and how children are especially at risk. The students have learned how global issues overlap, presenting multiple challenges for millions of disadvantaged people. Read more.
Although this can be overwhelming, the students have also learned how making a positive change in one area (such as better access to clean water) can have positive effects in other areas (such as enabling girls to attend school instead of spending all day hauling water). After learning that unclean water is a major health problem, the students initiated a penny drive through Free the Children’s Pennies for Change campaign, raising over $200 for better access to clean water for communities where Free the Children works.
Drawing on local-global connections, the students are also concerned with local food issues. They have begun a long-term project to develop a schoolyard vegetable garden, which will promote a major cultural shift towards greater sustainability and self-sufficiency. Now, they are learning about the possibilities of growing healthy local food year-round. In addition to having positive local benefits, the students continue to learn skills for developing an idea and turning it into reality, serving as a model for others who don’t have access to fresh healthy food. Hide content.
Teacher: Paul Stinson
Rosthern Junior College
Through Rosthern Junior College’s (RJC) Alternative Learning and Service Opportunities (ALSO) Program, students and staff go beyond the four walls of the classroom in order to promote advocacy and raise awareness around issues of poverty and social justice. For one week of the academic year, RJC students participate with one of a variety of charities, NGOs and aid groups working both locally and internationally, with international trips extending to 10 days. During the Christmas Holidays, students also raise funds for MCC Guatemala, which are delivered by the ALSO Guatemala participants on behalf of the school. Read more.
While the ALSO week is confined to one week of classes, the ALSO program, in a sense, runs all year and is part of a greater social justice curriculum in which the school is rooted. ALSO is an educational experience that encourages students to explore the sources of their privilege, and to wrestle with social justice questions from which they are usually insulated. They visit areas of cities and communities to which they rarely go and engage in service activities in which they often do not do. Through these transformative educational experiences, and as a result of journaling and informed discussions before and after their travels, students grow in their capacity to be more informed, loving, and committed to working for social justice. As the students connect with people from different cultures and socio-economic backgrounds, they promote and foster global citizenship and awareness, and inspire critical thinking in themselves and others.
Locations where RJC students have traveled to include Guatemala (with Heifer International or Mennonite Central Committee Guatemala), Alabama (with Habitat for Humanity Alabama), Calgary (with CASAS Program (MCC Alberta), Inn from the Cold, The Mustard Seed, Salvation Army, The Dream Centre), Edmonton (with Native Healing Lodge, or Habitat for Humanity Edmonton), and Saskatoon (with the Saskatoon Food Bank, Saskatoon Community Schools, The Lighthouse, and Habitat for Humanity Saskatoon). Hide content.
Teacher: Ryan Wood