At The Ellis School, city, state, and even country lines do not limit the learning opportunities offered to our students. Global education has become an important addition to our curriculum across the Lower, Middle, and Upper School divisions.
Beginning in Lower School, students learn about global identity and the individuality of different people from around the world and in the Middle School students focus on global citizenship and agency.
The theme in the Upper School is global leadership and each grade has an integrated studies class for a three-hour block period every other Wednesday. Students in grade 9 look at world water issues in the Voice and Vision class while grade 10 students have Culture and Context. In grade 11, the Global Leadership by Design class includes topics on leadership and the global landscape. For their final project, grade 11 students become social innovators by creating and presenting a project for a local organization with a global focus.
Ellis has also established the Marcie WATERMAN Love ’56 International Travel Grant for the Global Empowerment of Women and Girls. This grant allows rising seniors to identify an issue and design a proposal for a project focusing on the empowerment of women and girls in another country. Students then have the opportunity to travel abroad and work with a local organization to address their issue. The first two recipients of this grant have travelled to Peru and Nepal.
Finally, in the Upper School there is an International Exchange program with St. Hilda’s School in Australia for grade 10 students and Queen’s College in London for grade 11 students. As part of the program, Ellis students and their families agree to host an international student in the fall before the Ellis student travels to Australia or London in the spring.
The Exchange program has had a great response and there are plans to further develop the global initiatives program at Ellis. In the future, she would like to expand the Upper School International Exchange program to additional places such as South Africa, South East Asia, and other European countries. She would also love to create a similar opportunity for Middle School students.
As the global initiatives curriculum continues to grow, Ellis is dedicated to creating meaningful and intentional study and travel opportunities for students. Dr. Susan Corbesero, Upper School History teacher and Global Initiatives Coordinator, believes that global education is more important than ever because “students can no longer be insular, but need to be interconnected with other countries, cultures, and people in order to become leaders and change agents in the 21st century.”