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GEMS Hosts Panel to Discuss Global Citizenship

GEMS World Academy Chicago recently brought together a panel of accomplished thought-leaders to discuss one of the school’s cornerstone values: global citizenship.

Mary Elizabeth Wilson, chief learning officer for GEMS Education Americas, moderated the panel, which featured Kim Wargo, head of school elect at GEMS World Academy Chicago; Jaimie Cloud, founder of the Cloud Institute for Sustainability in Education; Jasodhara Bhattacharya, policy analyst for the Brookings Institution; and Laura Engel, assistant professor at George Washington University.
The panelists defined global citizenship as a mindset, a mode of thinking that recognizes the existence and value of diverse perspectives and experiences. They added that global citizens are conscious of how their behaviors and choices can affect other people.
“We are all absolutely and utterly interdependent,” Jaimie Cloud said.
The panelists also talked about why it is important for global citizenship to be a part of today’s education programs. The attributes that make someone a global citizen, which include creativity, problem-solving skills and the ability to work with different kinds of people, are precisely those that will allow today’s students to hold leadership roles in the future, panelists said.
Beyond that, global citizenship education helps students approach problems with compassion and empathy.
“I don’t see global citizenship as an add-on (to education),” Laura Engel said. “For me, global education is good education.”
At GEMS, global citizenship drives our overall academic program. From the start, our students are encouraged to be culturally aware and community-minded. For a look at how global citizenship is put into practice in our school, read this recent post from our blog.
The panel discussion, organized in collaboration with the Education Partners, the consulting arm of GEMS Education, was the second in what is planned as a regular series of special presentations for the GEMS community. On May 24, Sarah Surrain from Harvard University’s Brain.Experience.Education (BEE) Lab visited GEMS to talk about the importance of bilingual language development in children.

 Laura Engel, Jaimie Cloud and Jasodhara Bhattacharya visit a Middle School
classroom at GEMS before the panel discussion.

GEMS Head of School Elect Kim Wargo 

 Jaimie Cloud, founder of the Cloud Institute for Sustainability in Education,
and Jasodhara Bhattacharya, policy analyst at the Brookings Institution

Laura Engel, assistant professor at George Washington University

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