Global Schools First

Inspiring Learners and Transforming Schools Through Global Citizenship Education

ACEI's Approach to Global Citizenship Education
A globalized world requires education that empowers learners to value national, social, racial, cultural, and religious differences while embracing our common humanity. To prepare children to be dedicated stewards of an increasingly interconnected world, global citizenship education must be placed at the center of learning.

Global citizenship education is a journey—one that begins when children are very young. As we grow and develop relationships outside the family, we learn about who we are—our identity—and how we are similar to and different from others. Learning to respect human differences is as much an encounter with one’s self as it is with someone different than oneself.

Primary schools play a critical role in supporting children’s development of identity and self-awareness. Teachers, administrators, and education support professionals share the responsibility for:

• Nurturing children’s growing sense of self by encouraging the development of their unique identities
• Building an appreciation of differences by supporting children’s awareness of the unique identities of others
• Facilitating the growth of healthy relationships between peers
• Helping children to develop interpersonal skills such as kindness, compassion, and empathy.

As children's perspectives expand, to include their classrooms, schools, community, and the world, they take the first steps toward global-mindedness. It is this capacity that is essential for advancing global unity and shaping a more sustainable future for all human beings.

Global Schools First
Global Schools First is a recognition program for primary schools (K-6) worldwide that are committed to integrating global citizenship education into all aspects of their school.

The program relies on teams of passionate teachers and school leaders to dedicate time to reflect on and review the current state of global citizenship education within their school. School teams collaboratively respond to questions from the Global Schools First Self-Assessment and then submit their completed responses to ACEI.

Following an intensive review by a team of education experts, schools demonstrating excellence in global citizenship education are recognized by ACEI. School communities will benefit from the learning and growth that takes place on the journey to recognition by Global Schools First.
A Whole-School Approach to GCED
Through a whole-school approach, Global Schools First provides a framework for schools to review and reflect on the integration of global citizenship education into the following five areas:

• school leadership
• relationships
• curriculum, teaching, and learning
• co-curricular and extracurricular activities
• school culture and environment.

Evidence shows that embedding global citizenship across all aspects of school life greatly benefits learners and the entire school community. When considered alongside existing school priorities and supported by senior leadership, programs that adopt a whole-school approach can be a cohesive force for school improvement.
The Six Dimensions of Global Citizenship Education
Global citizenship refers to a sense of belonging to a common humanity and shared responsibility for a sustainable and peaceful world. Global citizenship education harnesses the transformative potential of education to empower learners with the competencies necessary to appreciate our local-global interconnectedness, become critically engaged in complex human challenges, including social and environmental justice issues, and take action to advance global unity and sustainable futures for all. Linked to global citizenship are six interrelated dimensions: discovery, defining core values, diplomacy, decision making, development, and design thinking.