Looking to the future: preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s world
By Kevin Yaley, Head of Francis Parker School
These days, media headlines chronicling everything from the United Nations conference on climate change to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s trip to Myanmar impress upon us the interdependent nature of our truly small world. And it is today’s students – tomorrow’s presidents, CEO’s, activists and inventors – who must learn above all to appreciate this interdependence, and to sustain a worldview filled with deep understanding and respect for the rich variety that exists throughout our world. As teachers, it is our responsibility to prepare today’s youth for the future; and to realize and embrace the challenge of enabling our students to graduate with the knowledge, compassion and global awareness they will need to become successful international citizens and leaders.
Today’s schools must commit to offering creative
and opportunities that will introduce students to the realities of our perpetually changing world. In order to accomplish this task, teachers need access to the tools and resources necessary to bridge the gap between the classroom and the outside world: and by building sustainable relationships with local companies and colleges, as well as capitalizing on the potential of web-based learning opportunities, educators can take make great strides to achieve just that. However, in order to truly experience the greater global community, students must also have the chance to go beyond the classroom – and to make contact with the international community through meaningful, age-appropriate, educational and service-oriented travel.
Beyond the classroom: Global Experiential Learning Opportunities at Francis Parker School
“… a school which, by its environment, its methods, and its opportunities, would develop the child for participation in citizenship – the world’s work.”
Francis W. ParkerWe atFrancis Parker Schoolbelieve strongly in the importance of understanding and appreciating other cultures; and in keeping with this belief, we strive to give our students an education that encompasses conflict resolution, goodwill and cross-cultural relationship building.To this end, Francis Parker School offers both Middle School and Upper School students the opportunity to engage in Global Experiential Learning Opportunities -- educational trips designed to engage youthful curiosity and cultivate a new depth of learning that extends far beyond school walls and familiar borders. Each year, our destinations vary; however, all students have the chance to choose from a selection of language immersion, field study, cultural exchange or service-oriented trips in locales ranging from South America and Southeast Asia to the Middle East and beyond.Experiential learning trips take students far beyond the bounds of traditional tourism; and as experienced educators with a passion for promoting academic excellence, strong character and global citizenship, we believe that such programs are among the most interesting and effective ways in which to prepare our students for the rigors and rewards of the future. To learn more abouteducational travelopportunities and other innovative programs at Francis Parker School, visit us online:www.francisparker.org.