Developing a Globally Minded Community

Developing a Globally Minded Community
Michael Hughes

A summary of our first PYP Coffee Morning of the year on how to develop a Global Minded community. 

This morning we hosted our first PYP Coffee Morning of the year. 

The focus of the session was to have parents engage in discussions about:

  • How we currently plan for personal, local, national and global perspectives in the curriculum
  • Global citizenship and cultural diversity
  • How students can take meaningful action at school and at home 

We started the session by sharing ideas of how schools can develop and nurture globally minded students.  We talked about how we weave global issues into our PYP programme of inquiry.  It's not enough to teach global mindedness as a stand-alone discipline.  Instead, we integrate issues into the six transdisciplinary themes each grade level inquires into over the course of a school year.  These transdisciplinary themes are what Ernest Boyer described as "core commonalities" of shared human experiences and allow students to "make connections across the disciplines...and ultimately relate what they learn to life." (Boyer, 1995).  Each grade level inquires into the following transdisciplinary themes each year:

  • Who we are
  • Where we are in place and time
  • How we express ourselves
  • How the world works
  • How we organise ourselves 
  • Sharing the planet

We shared with parents how we currently incorporate personal, local, national and global issues and invited suggestions for ideas to help us further develop these perspectives.  You can see in the slideshow, below, how each grade level currently develops these perspectives within the units. 

We then went on to discuss how the concept of global citizenship could be nurtured through awareness, empathy, and action.  When encouraging students to take action, it is important that we go beyond non-participation or tokenistic action and ensure that they are involved in decisions.  You can see from Roger Hart's Ladder of Participation (1979), below, involving students in making decisions can lead to greater levels of participation. 

Finally, we asked for parental input to help us make more connections with the local and national community and were delighted with the suggestions and ideas offered, which included suggestions for field trips to support units, resources to access and volunteers to be guest speakers.  If you couldn't make the session, you can still help by clicking on the links, below.  You could also contact Mr Hughes ( or Mrs. Sandra ( with any suggestions. 

  • Link to the Grade 1 Padlet on celebrations from around the world.  Please click on the link to offer your knowledge on a celebration from your own or other cultures.  What is the celebration called?  How do you celebrate? Why do you celebrate?
  • Take our guest speaker survey.  Browse the themes and subjects and volunteer to be contacted to share your knowledge and experience with our students.  You don't have to be an expert! You could come to offer your thoughts on an issue, show an artefact, share a video, etc.  

We would like to thank all the parents who took the time to offer their valuable input and attend today's session. Below are the slides from the session. 

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