The Isdell Center of Global Education (ICGL) introduces the theme of Education for the 2021-2022 school year. ICGL was developed eight years ago in hopes of creating global leaders through programs outside the classroom. Adding ICGL global issues to the standard curriculum not only prepares students for college, but teaches them critical thinking skills, collaboration, and engaging with the community.
The ICGL Advisory Board, composed of Pace parents, decides the annual theme. The global issues are decided years before we actually begin to study them. “The idea of us looking at education is to see how these issues move beyond environmental concerns, not to say that those don’t impact people, but to really shine a light on the human side of things,” said Associate Director of ICGL and US History teacher Ted Ward. “If I were to say what I would like for all students to at least understand about the theme is that education is a system, but learning is a process that happens outside of it.” The focal point is that learning doesn’t just have to be through a schooling system, but rather students can take it upon themselves to have the desire to learn throughout their life.
There are many projects and programs that help students engage in the study of Education. The ICGL Council is one way to become involved. “That is a group of 11 upper school students who are really sophomores to seniors who serve on this council, and their job is to bring the theme to life through content, through programmings, and through outreach,” said Mr. Ward. These students help engage and notify their fellow peers about the current ICGL events. The ICGL scholars are also very vital to the program. “I really look forward to diving in deeply with experts about specific things regarding education and then sharing that with the community,” said senior Ryan Varma. This summer, the ICGL scholars read “Excellent Sheep” and “Savage Inequalities.” “‘Savage Inequalities’ was a great expose on the discrepancies between public schools in cities across the country … though set around the desegregation movement, the parallels to today are shocking,” said senior Leah Fevaro.
You can also look forward to the addition of “Second Floor Screenings.” The first Wednesday of every month, starting Sept. 1, the second floor of the Woodruff Library will be hosting screenings of short films containing different educational topics. “We want every student to take away what speaks to them, which is why we look at so many different pieces of education,” said Mr. Ward.
Community engagement is an aspect of the ICGL program that could not be fully executed last year due to the pandemic. “We will actually give students here at Pace opportunities to plug into local community partners that are either educational institutions or support learning,” said Mr. Ward. This year’s theme of education will not only widen students’ perspectives on the topic, but will also connect the Pace community with the outside world.