Ten eighth grade students participated in “Our Shared Pandemic Experience,” a virtual dialogue with over 150 students from around the globe. Global Education Benchmark Group coordinated the program during International Education Week (November 16-20, 2020), which is a joint effort of the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education celebrating the benefits of international exchange. Participating students hailed from India, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and their discussions covered a range of questions including:
- How has the global pandemic impacted you and your school? What about your larger community or city?
- What are some of the economic, environmental, and ethical issues related to this topic?
- What can we learn about citizenship and leadership through these experiences and conversations?
- What is the role you think science plays in your community, culture, or nation? How might this impact any efforts around COVID-19 vaccination?
Through sharing perspectives and learning from peers from around the world, students honed their communication skills, critical thinking abilities, and global awareness, as well as the ability to participate in productive, respectful dialogue across differences.
Global Studies Coordinator Dan Murray, who was also a program facilitator, shared, “Helping students develop a shared sense of purpose is critical to our school’s mission. Programs like this foster communication skills and allow our students to grow as global citizens. I was very impressed by the poise and engagement of all the participating students.”