How Cultural Exchange Guides Students to Be Better Global Citizens
- February 23, 2018
- Posted by: Yorktown Education Team
- Category: International Student Program
Most educators and parents agree that cultural diversity adds significant value to any educational environment. It reinforces tolerance and empathy and fosters global awareness. Teaching students to be positive global citizens can also influence their academic performance.
The value of cultural exchange in school is more fully realized when an effective international program is part of the school system. Learning diverse language skills is not the only benefit derived. Students gain understanding of the differences and similarities of other cultures and how perceptions can be interpreted to mean very different things. By learning about others, they gain valuable insight about themselves, as well.
When students understand their own feelings, they are more empathetic to others. Most students have felt like an outsider at one time or another. With the school’s goal being to help all students ‘fit in’, it’s important that an atmosphere of open-mindedness and acceptance exists throughout the learning environment.
Building on global perspective, educators help students connect the dots between science, social studies, environmental issues and more. For example, if oceanography is a topic of interest, the class might view how science has made a positive impact in countries that collaborate on the issue; how they are uniting their efforts for good. Or, perhaps a look into how students have developed social programs in their communities that have raised the learning curve or created new opportunities for youth in those areas.
Parents can also contribute immensely to class projects that promote global and cultural understanding. If their work involves a housing project, for instance, to improve living conditions in a country recovering from an earthquake or flood, sharing their project ideas with their child’s class can be very inspiring.
At Yorktown Education, we are committed to helping our students become contributing global citizens. We help them recognize and express their own ideas and perspectives while examining the perspective of others. We believe it is our responsibility as educators to help students develop in ethical and creative ways that will not only lead them to “do what they love”, but to also guide them toward making the world a better place.