Academics
Global Studies

Global Studies - Program Details

Objectives

List of 10 items.

  • A Case for Globalizing the Curriculum

    VES embraces initiatives that extend the confines of the school’s core curriculum. A few such initiatives include sustainability, critical thinking, global education, health and wellness, and service learning. Never before has it been more apparent that our students must recognize their place in a global community and thrive within it. However, mastering the most minimal skills in cultural literacy continue to elude most high school graduates. Educational models have given tremendous value to the traditional liberal arts curriculum so much so that the knowledge of our adolescents has begun to lack the intellectual breadth and ethical depth that may provide for a heightened capacity for civic engagement. Despite the evidence all around us of the interconnectedness of all things, our young citizens are not being taught to ask the questions “What kind of world are we making? What kind of world should we be making? What will my contribution be?” Despite the explosion of service endeavors by our youth, the reality is that these matters remain emphatically extracurricular resulting in civic-mindedness remaining outside the realm of serious adult thinking and purpose.
     
    Furthermore, it is difficult to ignore that students are experiencing an increasingly “globalized” world. We are at a critical junction in education to provide learners the opportunity and competencies to reflect and share their own points of view and roles within a global, interconnected society, as well as understand and discuss complex relationships of common social, ecological, political and economic issues so as to derive new ways of thinking and behaving in such a world. There is a desired result of creating a new and robust connection between the traditional liberal arts education and that of a vibrant citizenship in the world. Current global challenges facing our citizens today (poverty, hunger, environmental concerns, health, ethnic and religious conflict, lack of access to education, etc.) are in need of answers. For this, it is essential that a contemporary curriculum provide sustainable and systemic avenues for which students have the responsibility to participate in finding solutions. These challenges can lead students to experience real world problem solving and set the landscape for VES’s Global Studies endeavors.
     
    Providing real world learning experiences, fostering the necessary human value of empathy, and preparing students to be competitive in a global economy are just a few products of this endeavor that truly embrace the VES motto “Toward Full Stature.”
  • Study Abroad Opportunities

    VES is committed to offering opportunities for students to study abroad through spring and summer enrichment programs. In the last few years, students have traveled to Spain, France, Italy, Germany, England, Ireland, Africa, Argentina and Galapagos, Guatemala. VES values the experience provided through an abroad program.
     
    VES recognizes several benefits that arise from such cultural exchanges including:
     
    Personal Advantages
    • Self-development and awareness leading to enhanced self-confidence and self-esteem. This is often the most noticeable change in students who return from their experience.
    • Development of life-long friendships with people across the world.
    • Maturity and social composure, driven by the need to face challenges outside a familiar support network.
    • Development of independent opinions, ability to make informed decisions and a capacity to set and achieve goals - all of which provide a sense of accomplishment.
    • Promoting an appreciation of home and community through students’ integration into another family
     
    Educational Benefits
    • An awareness of global issues through an experience abroad and/or direct relationships with students from other countries. This awareness drives students into a recognition and comprehension of an assortment of various cultural and community perspectives.
    • Language acquisition is achieved through applied immersion.
    • Awareness and practice of alternative approaches to learning.
    • Analytical and problem solving skills.
    • Broadening students’ general knowledge results in an enhanced interest in global issues.
     
    Long-Term Results
    • Students become more comfortable in "foreign" environments.
    • Prospective universities and employers look favorably upon meaningful experiences gained abroad and knowledge obtained of another language and culture.
    • The ability to communicate and relate to others will develop an awareness of group dynamics and personal sensitivity toward others.
    • Successful program completion represents an excellent measure of personal flexibility, encompassing an ability to reach compromise, focus and to succeed through challenging times.
  • Global Partnerships

    VES ascribes great importance to the educational partnerships with communities abroad. Outside of traveling to another country, a global partnership/connection can provide the next best thing to the enrichment of any lesson. These partnerships provide an opportunity to break down the four walls that envelop our learning spaces. Students and faculty enter these global partnerships with another academic community abroad, and they do this as equal partners in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding.
     
    VES’ new affiliation with the Global Nomads Group will be critical in helping the school establish a worthwhile curriculum to learn alongside a partner country through interactive video-conferencing opportunities. Such an endeavor definitively affixes a multidimensional perspective to important issues facing our world today.
     
    Global Partnerships
    • Exemplify the notion that genuine change is realized through steadfastness, innovation and collaboration.
    • Help make twenty-first century learning skills both applicable and relevant.
    • Empower students to form collaborative solutions to global issues.
    • Give an opportunity for the entire school community to participate in transformative global learning.
    • Cultivate students’ cross-culture competencies.
    • Help further develop bonds between communities in a post-trip or pre-trip scenario.
    • Support school-wide global initiatives.
  • Global Travel Programs

    VES students have the opportunity for cultural immersion, while serving others locally and abroad. Each year, students can take faculty-led trips, staying for varied lengths of time, to learn onsite from communities in the U.S. and around the world. These experiences provide the opportunity for students to step outside their comfort zones and transform their lives. Students acquire depth unmatched by any other travel experience as they begin to assemble a new perspective, becoming aware of their own identity as it relates to the larger world. Students build confidence fostered by surmounting challenging circumstances. They connect with people who are quite different while they discover their shared humanity. VES faculty and students inevitably return with a renewed sense of curiosity, inspiration and motivation.
     
    • Global service learning
    • Language and cultural immersion
    • Academic and cultural study
    • Environmental stewardship
    • Athletics: skill building, team building and leadership skills
    • Community Based Learning (CBL) or Going Global in our own community (GLOCAL)
  • Global Studies Curriculum

    Global Studies is not a subject, but rather a vibrant and important component running through the breadth of the VES curriculum. It combines methodology - active and experiential discussion based activities, a collaborative and open outlook on the classroom experience, and core concerns of the world in which we live. Global Education is more a pedagogy than a class in itself. It broadens horizons and encourages exploration of all subjects from a global perspective. It contributes to the whole curriculum and enhances our understanding of the world. Global Education stimulates curiosity, motivates learning and thus contributes to the raising of standards. Global Education explores different cultures and countries and the issues that face them, and develops an understanding of the impact our actions have on them. Global Education reflects the inclusive nature of our society and develops skills and attitudes, which enable people to take responsibility for their own lives and the world in which we live – thus creating active global citizens. The VES Global Studies curriculum looks at the ways in which everyday life and experience affect and are affected by the wider world. It is as much about the relationships within a classroom as it is about relationships between countries.
  • Global Educators - Professional Development

    As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, it's crucial that students are equipped with the skills to both compete in the global knowledge-based economy and collaborate to address today's pressing global issues. To do this, VES prioritizes the need to equip its teachers to become proficient in facilitating effective twenty-first century global learning. Through specific global professional development endeavors including overseas opportunities as well as workshops, seminars and a capacity to use new technology, educators at VES engage their students in a future-focused education.
     
    VES teachers model global citizenship through their stewardship of learning and service work abroad. Current teachers have spent a significant portion of their lives in such countries as Japan, Korea, China, Croatia, Switzerland, Kenya, Nepal, Argentina, Spain and Greece among others. As role models in global learning, they inspire students to help find their purpose and prepare them for the real world and to have compassion for others. As a result, the VES faculty helps to design curricula that facilitate the holistic development of the minds and souls of VES students, so that they grow to become compassionate, autonomous, creative and active justice-seekers in the world.
     
    VES teachers have had the opportunity to take part in several great global professional development opportunities, which include the Global Educator’s Benchmark Group, TABS- NAIS Global Symposium, Harvard Think Tank on Global Education among others.
  • Perspectives Speaker Series

    VES is proud to offer opportunities for the community to host speakers from around the world as well as respected professionals in the local community. This Speaker Series seeks to enrich the VES community’s perspective by inviting top executives, government leaders, professors, influential alumni and other distinguished guests to speak on globally relevant topics. These guests share personal reflections on their international career paths and inspire students to develop as future global leaders in their fields of choice.
  • Membership to Global Organizations and Conferences

    In addition to taking field trips to Washington, D.C., VES is lucky to have membership in such organizations as the World Affairs Council, Model UN, Global Educators Benchmark Group, and Global Youth Leaderships Forum. Such affiliations offer the VES community the opportunity to attend forums that help professionals and students connect with people, places and issues beyond our borders. Likewise, students are given the capacity to ask tough, one-on-one questions of the experts and be a part of a stimulating conversation with professionals from all over the world.
  • Global Ambassadors

    Global Ambassadors is an official student club at VES. Members are active in promoting awareness of global issues to the VES community. Students engage in educational programming and awareness campaigns and projects of local and international volunteerism. In addition, the group attends events, which showcase international speakers, visit embassies in D.C., and lead discussions around campus regarding involving global themes.
  • Global Symposiums

    Annual Global Symposiums are conducted with four main goals: to provide a dynamic forum for discussion of global issues; to collaborate with each other and leaders from outside the VES community; to inspire people to tap into their own leadership potential through ethical action initiatives; and to provide an opportunity for students to learn from people in other parts of the world.
     
    Each year's event brings together the preeminent leaders working to alleviate global issues. Students, faculty and global community leaders spend a week learning, discussing, debating and problem solving the issue at hand.

Global Studies

List of 1 members.

  • Jen Anderson 

    Dean of Faculty/Director of Global Initiatives/Spanish Teacher/Head Coach, Cross Country
    434-385-3639
A College Preparatory, Independent Boarding and Day School for Students in Grades 9-12
400 VES Road, Lynchburg, VA 24503 • 434.385.3600