Last Friday, February 5 our grade 7 global issues and MS Student Council students were busy tackling the world's problems in a practical solution-oriented way. In what we hope is just the first of many Transforming Our World conferences, close to 130 students from ISKL and MKIS addressing the UN Global Goals for sustainable development. The end result was a series of action plans (referred to as "Commitments to Action") presented at the end of what felt like a very short day (time does fly when you're engaged)!
What was perhaps particularly impressive about this conference was that, from start to finish, it was a student-driven conference. Of course, teachers were there to guide and support, but the conversations, research, deliberations, learning activities and presentations were all entirely the work of our students.
Much of the feedback from both student participants and adult observers pointed to an exceptional amount of focus, hard work, collaboration and solution-oriented conversations. It spoke of meaningful conversations, concern for the world and realistic empowerment.
The day was incredibly well organized and students were able to develop skills in research, using technology, critical thinking, communication and public speaking. The final outcomes - the presentation of Commitments to Action (which can be found here) were particularly impressive, ranging form community plans to address waste to programs to ensure opportunities for girls, education programs for island populations and many more.
Such powerful learning experiences offer a window into the development of "responsible global citizens". As an observer of such opportunities for authentic learning through inquiry and combining experiential, cognitive, emotional and social growth with a purpose one cannot help but feel that unwavering sense of pride in children becoming global citizens literally as they speak.