To understand Global Perspectives, which is part of the Secondary School curriculum and is introduced as a stepping stone to TOK, we spoke to Carlos Rico, Global Perspectives and Theory of Knowledge Coordinator at the FIS.
Why do we teach Global Perspectives at the FIS?
The main goal of Global Perspectives (GP) is to develop critical thinking skills. This means that we want our students to be able to analyze issues or situations considering different perspectives, facts, and the data at hand. Through this process, we hope that students can become reflective, open-minded, curious, and thoughtful. Furthermore, the course also creates opportunities for students to become better communicators and inquirers, work with others, and develop a sense of personal and social responsibility.
How do we teach the content of GP?
At the beginning of each unit, students are informed about the final product that they are expected to present by the end of the unit. These products are, normally, projects that students develop independently and/or with others. Therefore, there is a clear goal from the beginning, yet the final outcome is not entirely prescriptive -the imagination, interest, and criticality of students shape their projects.
The classes revolve around discussions, analysis, and research. We try to create such an environment in which all students feel comfortable participating because there are no wrong answers. The teachers lead the lessons in such a way that they motivate students to express their ideas and opinions respectfully by having activities such as Socratic seminars or small group discussions.
Some examples of GP projects in Grade 9
GP is taught from Grades 6 to 10, and students develop projects in all the units of the course. However, to exemplify what we do in GP, we have selected a project that Grade 9 students develop for the second unit of the course: “Technology in sports”. In this unit, we wanted students to analyze the impact of technology in sports. Thus, we requested students to make a video in which they show the product of their research. The following are just some examples of what our students produced:
- Timo Urank: The evolution of Mountain Bikes, 5’.
- Enya Michalik: The impact of science in Cubing, 4’22’’.
- Mia Hodge and Fiene Ruyten: The development of skiing, 5’36’.