Why at Agora Sant Cugat International School we are committed to global thinking applied to local education
At Agora Sant Cugat International School we want to educate citizens of the world, who are prepared for an international future and for this it is necessary to have a global thinking, but to adapt and enhance it in the field of local education.
What is global thinking?
“Global thinking can be understood as a way of thinking that integrates all knowledge and, therefore, ends the limits of specialization and can also be understood as thinking that is built beyond one’s own cultural and/or geographical borders,” explains the Diploma Program (DP) Coordinator of the International Baccalaureate at Agora Sant Cugat International School, Montse Martí.
At our school we offer a blended, pluralistic and open education that allows students to develop unique and vital skills for international career development. Our students acquire cultural awareness, fluency in a foreign language, independent thinking, rigorous analysis, teamwork and social commitment, enabling them to communicate effectively with people from different cultures and countries, with a sense of respect and tolerance.
When it comes to education, having a global mindset helps to form students committed to the world and to the great challenges of our time, but also seeks to enhance the best of each one, this being reinforced with personalized attention: “In any case, it is a type of thinking that overcomes limitations. In the case of understanding it as an integrative thinking of knowledge, it will help students who may have some kind of difficulty in some subject or some area of knowledge. If a global knowledge result is expected, each student will be able to build his or her learning based on those aspects he or she masters best and rely on them to improve his or her understanding of those aspects that are more complicated for him or her. In the case of understanding it as going beyond one’s own culture, it will undoubtedly lead to a more open and critical mentality, not only with what is foreign, but also with what is one’s own”.
This vision of education reinforces the sense of identity and awareness of one’s own culture and that of others, fostering the development and respect for human values, because in our schools, we educate by broadening horizons and achieving an open mind by discovering other cultures as well.
Global thinking translated into local education actions
Speaking of global thinking is not to speak of something abstract, since this educational model is embodied or materialized in very concrete local educational actions, such as “interdisciplinary project work to integrate different knowledge with a common learning objective. Also activities to promote internationality in schools: for example, by including specific content from other cultures in the curricula. Through the exchange of students and teachers, curiosity about other cultures can also be awakened and this opportunity is used to get to know their countries through students and teachers from abroad, thereby combating prejudices and stereotypes and acquiring more rigorous knowledge,” Martí says.
In our school we apply a methodology in which students actively participate in the classes, carefully analyze what surrounds them, dialogue with respect and tolerance with their classmates, work in an experimental, multidisciplinary and cooperative way with a sense of responsibility and value the culture of effort. To achieve all this, as we said, project work, direct instruction, the flipped classroom method (which consists of encouraging students to study and prepare lessons outside the classroom, through all the materials we make available to them in the different subjects, and to spend more time in the classroom doing homework, interacting and participating), experimentation and critical thinking are also essential. All of this is guided by the teachers, who also do a coaching job to bring out the best in each student.
Global citizens prepared for the future of work
The educational project we offer is multilingual, with linguistic immersion beyond English, which allows students to master the official languages of their place of residence along with English, French, German or Chinese. The linguistic project has an equal number of sessions in each of the vehicular languages: Spanish, Catalan and English. This global thinking applied to day-to-day life in the classroom offers students numerous benefits and advantages for their future employment: “The most obvious would be the increase in job opportunities, the opportunity to get jobs in more places. On the other hand, it can also influence the way we work. If global citizens imply more open-mindedness, this will influence more creativity and a less limited view of reality and, therefore, more oriented to innovation and collaboration between different people,” argues the IB Diploma Program (DP) Coordinator.
“If you want to succeed in 21st century business, you need to become a critical thinker,” this idea espoused by executive, writer and leadership educator John Baldoni, sums up the importance of educating in critical thinking, with global thinking and helping students to reason, think independently and drive their own learning. We want our students to achieve personal success and reach their goals in an international context.