What does it mean to be a global citizen?
You don’t necessarily have to be well-travelled to be a global citizen. A global citizen is a person who is keenly aware of global issues and the role that individuals play in the world. More often than not, these people take an active part in their community to bring about positive change to people and the earth.
In fact, that just about sums up what the IB programme is all about. The educational framework is focused on nurturing young people who are globally aware, with the capability to actively participate in the world. With a rigorous syllabus situated in often highly-diverse classrooms, the IB education is one of the most global-oriented international certifications around.
However, nurturing a child to grow up as a global citizen doesn’t have to be solely the job of an educational institution. Parents alike can set the tone for their children to be sensitive to their global citizenship through strategic parenting. You can start with these efforts outlined below:
The fact cannot be changed that the world consists of people of so many different nationalities, ethnicities, age, types of upbringing, and more. But as parents, the example you set in reaction to people who are different will be how your child learns to respond to similar situations.
Mocking, insulting, or shunning will only breed more discrimination in the next generation. Instead, strive to acknowledge differences with respect, sensitivity, and acceptance.
Pick up another language
There are so many good reasons to pick up an additional language, and building up cultural awareness is one of them! Learning a language opens the doors to its culture, so that you get closer to understanding the values and philosophies that drive their people.
Language learning can be accomplished through external classes or a bilingual programme in an international school. Most critically, support from parents is much needed to encourage young language learners.
Seek out new experiences
It goes without saying that travelling is one of the best ways to actually go out and immerse in a new culture. But even in your own locality, opportunities to experience different cultures is always just around the corner.
The art or history museum near you is usually a good start for interesting exhibitions or workshops. Heritage sites or cultural performances also offer up a valuable glimpse into other cultures.
Learn to empathise
Simply having knowledge of other cultures is not enough – there needs to be an emotional response. Oftentimes, the best response comes from a place of empathy.
Being able to think from others’ perspectives is a critical skill that children can practise. When reading stories with your child, ask them to imagine how they would feel if they were in a character’s position.
If we want to bring up a new generation of globally-minded young people, it is essential to give them the exposure, guidance, and good examples that they need. Starting at home is often the best way to go, while a global-oriented school curriculum can continue to widen the young student’s horizons on global issues.
As mentioned, the IB programme is a well-recognised international curriculum that focuses on nurturing global citizens. IB International schools in Singapore do a good job of being a safe and diverse environment for students to learn and challenge their views of the world. Whether you’re looking for a primary school in Singapore or an international high school here, an IB world school tops the list for a global-minded institution.