Education Faculty unveils 'global citizen' kit

By: Paul Mayne, Western News
Thursday, November 1, 2007

With the initiative of creating global citizens, the Faculty of Education has created a kit to provide Grade 6 teachers with a cutting-edge curriculum resource to empower educators and students to make a difference in the world.

Called ACT! Active Citizens Today: Global Citizen for Local Schools Teaching Kit, the package provides teachers with more than 40 lessons and assessment strategies on the theme of global citizenship. Through the lessons, students learn about interconnections between Canada and the rest of the world, global issues and practical strategies to improve the quality of life, locally and globally, says Western assistant professor Marianne Larsen.

“There are so many things hap¬pening worldwide and more and more people are talking about, which is filtering down to the classroom,” says Larsen, who worked with the Thames Valley District School Board and Free the Children, a non-governmental organization, to create the kit which initially will be distributed in the London and Middlesex area.

Larsen launched the kit last week, the culmination of a year-and-a–half project, at a profes¬sional development workshop for more than 200 elementary teachers at Althouse College. The project was funded through a Canadian International Development Agency Global Classroom Initiative grant and the support of all three partner organizations.

“We need our schools to be part of the global society,” says Larsen. “Our schools are the micro¬cosms of the wider world and each student brings their unique experience into the classroom, which affects how they learn.”

Larsen adds the teaching kit is based on research showing that the optimum time to introduce global issues to students is in the middle school years. Teachers play a significant role in informing students how to understand their actions, as well as their rights and responsibili¬ties within a global world.

“In this day and age of globalization with deepening concern for issues that cross the local-global divide, this curriculum resource is both timely and rel¬evant to the needs and concerns of today’s youth,” she says. “This will help the students on their journey to discover the out¬side world and also about them¬selves and their roles as global citizens.”

ACT! Active Citizens Today