According to UNESCO, the goal of Global Citizenship Education is to "enable learners of all ages to become aware of global problems, thereby actively promoting and building a more peaceful, inclusive, safe and sustainable society".
At NACIS Shanghai, we encourage students to take on the responsibilities of global citizenship in different ways and solve the problems the world is facing through a variety of school activities.
Last semester, NACIS primary launched a graphic video competition with the theme of "Children’s View on Ecology", which aims to encourage our students to realize the importance of protecting the environment through creative ideas. The song “Protect Mother Earth" created by Michelle and Nicole from Grade 1 has been widely praised. With a strong faith, they speak for environmental protection through music.
A Story about Home
Speaking of creating the song, Michelle and Nicole recalled a moment in their primary MDL (Thematic Learning) class.
"The teacher showed us a picture of a polar bear mother and baby on a tiny piece of ice that was about to melt, and they were going to have no home!"
Starting from the Chinese white dolphins, the teacher led students to discuss about the extinct wild animals in the world, including rhinos with horns cut off, wild elephants with tusks being taken off, whales with their bellies full of discarded plastic bags...These pictures and video materials give students a shock: “Is this the world we live in”?
During the seven-week thematic learning, the teacher led students to search for English materials about environmental protection from different media. After understanding the relevant information, the students made self-exploration to expand their knowledge in different ways, such as books, comics, movies, and museums. Every student is immersed in the fun of independent learning.
Students in the Multi-Disciplinary Learning (MDL) class are encouraged to learn knowledge in English and turn their knowledge into different forms of artworks for display. During the one-semester learning, teachers adopt a more connected and creative teaching model and provide more opportunities for collaborative and thematic learning. With "holistic education" as the goal, we are not only committed to imparting knowledge, but also to cultivating future citizens with rich inner world and positive action.
At the end of the course, students transform what they have learned into different forms of works including animal information files, mind map, wild animal painting and individual performance. Each unique work shows their sincere wish for environmental protection. As the World Polar Bear Conservation Day is coming after a few days, such education is more powerful than any other way.
Interdiscipline and Multidimension
At NACIS Shanghai, we have developed a mature teaching model in MDL course after years of practice. The integration of various subjects including Mathematics, Geography, STEAM, Visual Arts and Performing Arts ensure that students not only lay a solid knowledge foundation, but also develop their personality.
During the Grade 3 MDL learning program last year, students learned about the impact of continental plate migration on dinosaurs from the geography book; they learned to measure the length of dinosaurs in math class; they learned to make the eyes of tyrannosaurus out of plaster in art class; they learned how to arrange exhibitions in Shanghai Museum of Natural History.
In the final exhibition, students led us into the "Jurassic World" including the real model of the dinosaur world, the archaeological expeditions with dinosaur fossils, a whole dinosaur-eyed wall and a dinosaur rap.
In the interdisciplinary program, students can learn from different perspectives, rather than being confined to a single thinking pattern. Mr. Matt, a Grade 1 MDL teacher said: "We don't expect students to do the same thing, but to show their own characteristics. I hope my students to be able to come up with their own ideas in any form. Learning knowledge and skills is important, but it is even more important to extend what they have learned into their own thinking.”
Thus, they created the song from their heart.
Michelle and Nicole said they composed the lyrics and recorded the song for 10 hours. Although it was tiring, it was a great way to inspire more people to protect the earth.
During the first MDL lesson with the theme of polar bear, Mr. Matt wrote a note on the blackboard:
"After the class, I hope students can think about the question: What can I do for the world?"
The purpose of education is not only to teach knowledge, but also to cultivate future citizens with rich inner world and positive action. This is also the mission of holistic education at NACIS. Michelle said she had a painting of paper cranes, which was made from paper towels used at home. In this way, it not only protects the environment, but also creates a beautiful scenery.
In ancient China, there is an old saying that "every man is responsible for the rise and fall of the world". We believe that more NACIS students will be inspired by the admonition and make concerted efforts to create a better world.