by Margarita Valdes, Individuals & Societies Teacher / GCD Coordinator
In an interconnected world with increasing global challenges, education plays a crucial role in shaping individuals who are able to navigate situations with empathy, cultural understanding and a commitment to positive change. The Global Citizen Diploma (GCD), founded by YIS in the 2011-12 academic year, aids in equipping our students with the skills and perspectives necessary to become well-rounded global citizens.
GCD levels of recognition
At its core, the GCD is designed to enhance student learning beyond the classroom, turning to a holistic approach that incorporates cultural literacy, social awareness and a deep understanding of global issues. By taking an integrated educational approach, we aspire to foster students who are academically proficient, socially conscious and globally engaged.
One of the core values behind the GCD is rooted in strengthening the cultural literacy of our students, allowing them to understand and appreciate different cultures. The GCD allows them to reflect in regards to how they engage with other cultures, languages, customs and traditions. By doing so, our students are able to gain a nuanced understanding of the world, building a sense of unity and interconnectedness beyond physical borders.
Moreover, the GCD recognizes how important it is to help students cultivate a sense of social responsibility. The GCD is able to do this by integrating components of service learning, which helps students be active members of their communities and beyond. This hands-on learning approach has led to the development of different community projects alongside a deeper understanding of the social issues affecting the world, as well as a stronger commitment to making a positive impact.
Finally, the GCD also highlights how valuable it is for students to develop global leadership skills, encouraging them to think beyond their immediate surroundings and consider the broader impact of their actions. Whether through travel and service, personal living experiences or research-based learning in the classroom, the GCD equips students with the tools needed to navigate the complexities of our world with tactfulness and empathy.
A student's global understanding reflection on different poverty traps in Sierra Leone
Overall, the GCD, paired with our students’ experiences inside and outside the classroom, help us ensure that YIS graduates emerge into the world as empowered global citizens poised to make a difference.