Global Citizenship in the Early Years
At this time of year at TIS for the second year in a row, we have been blessed with a school wide Activist-in-Residence Program. This month, TIS welcomes Songqiao Yao along with Inspire Citizens to plan, motivate and celebrate the children’s learning and activism on the topic “How can local actions reduce deforestation in the Amazon, preserve biodiversity and impact climate change?” In our Kindergarten context we have decided to focus on “People, Plants and Animals - Healthy, Happy and Safe” to foster Global Citizenship in our students. What does “Global Citizenship” mean then? After working abroad with children aged 2 - 6 years of age for the past nearly 20 years, this is my understanding:
Global citizenship is an understanding of how the world works and making connections between the world and local contexts, where skills and attitudes are developed that positively impact the world and make a difference and consider all viewpoints.
Why is it important in the early years?
Builds empathy, diversity, problem solving skills, responsibility and tackle inequality and sense of justice.
Identity forming; confidence and sense of identity
Positive contributions to world, sustainability, citizen education, environmental education and awareness of poverty.
Critical thinking skills/inquiry
Problem solving, expression of ideas, thoughts and opinions
TIS Kindergarten follows a Reggio inspired philosophy and in (PK/JK) the Alberta E.C.E. Flight Curriculum Framework. We pride ourselves in upholding a strong image of a child (see graphic) and these are at the core of all things we believe about the children in our care. Global Citizenship is embedded throughout both curriculum frameworks and naturally references many learning goals, dispositions and competencies in our curriculum such as;
Caring, Respect, Responsibility
Dispositions: Caring, Persisting, Seeking, Participating, Playing and Playful
Communication and Literacies
Diversity and Social Responsibility
Last year, many classes in the Kindergarten joined the Activist in Residence (AIR) program and had interesting class projects, mini inquiries and some had very successful fundraisers to contribute to the TIS water well that is now up and running in South Sudan.
This year we are so happy to announce that all Kindergarten classes are developing inquiries to support our AIR cause and joint projects are being planned and started between PK, JK and SK classes. Please do stay tuned for more exciting updates on SeeSaw and from all classes. In December, we will hold a Kindergarten Fundraiser to support the work being done in protecting the Amazon rainforest by Songqiao Yao’s charity organization. We are so excited to see these rich and meaningful projects take place in our local context that have an impact on the greater world.
Ways to encourage Global Citizenship in your child
Exposure to stories from all over the world
Volunteer work for the entire family
Conflict resolution skill building
Caring for living things; pets, nature, gardening
Attend and learn about various cultural celebrations
By recognizing that children are capable beings, we see amazing ideas flowing from them and empower them to make a difference in their world. This a quote from a PK student last year “We can help even if we are small.” after reflecting on the “Clean Water for Everyone” classroom project. She is right, we can all help make the world a better and sustainable place to live for all inhabitants!