Education for Global Citizenship
Brunswick School is a member of Global Online Academy, a not-for-profit consortium of leading independent schools from around the world dedicated to developing 21st century skills while preserving the academic excellence that is a hallmark of each member school.
By teaching our students 21st-century learning skills, we can prepare them to be global citizens who can communicate with people who have backgrounds different from their own; who can collaborate with peers in other states or even on different continents; who can advocate for their own learning; who can publish their work and ideas in a format that will preserve their work in perpetuity; and who can be creative, flexible, proactive learners.
Success in college and beyond requires each of these skills, but teaching them in a traditional classroom setting is often challenging or not feasible. Online, these skills are taught directly and used regularly.
Global Online Academy offers us a unique opportunity to expose our students to a global academic community, while also offering our faculty an opportunity to reach a wider audience and work with a more diverse student body. The technology platform and enthusiasm of the organization liberates students and teachers alike from the confines of geography, outlook, and habits of mind.
Richard Beattie, Academic Dean
Global Online Academy connects students from all over the world and allows them to offer their local perspectives on global issues. Classmates in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco work on projects with peers in Madaba-Manja, Jordan, and Portland, Oregon. Students in Hawaii and Chicago discuss global health issues with students in New York, Seattle, Boston, and Jakarta, Indonesia. These connections and interactions are becoming the norm in today’s society; it is essential that we prepare students to participate in this dialogue.
One of the great pieces of work in the area of online education is being done by a group of independent schools and it’s called the Global Online Academy… you gain this unbelievable ability to bring diversity into those classroom discussions… It’s efforts like that that are really going to point the way.
Bill Gates, NAIS Annual Conference, 2012
The mission of the Global Online Academy is to reimagine learning to empower students and educators to thrive in a globally networked society. GOA deepens learning through courses that equip students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to be successful in high school, college, career, and life. GOA coaches teachers to think differently about how they design student learning experiences and works with educational leaders to ensure they have the strategies and tools to lead innovation and change.
Global Online Academy is a not-for-profit consortium of 85+ independent schools from around the world dedicated to developing 21st century skills while preserving the academic excellence that is a hallmark of our member schools. We seek to maintain the expectations of rigor, inquiry, and collaboration that distinguish our member schools while expanding the pedagogical possibilities affected by the online environment. The rigor and quality of the online curriculum ignites and fuels students’ passions, encourages students to take academic risks in a supportive environment, enhances students’ ability to take responsibility for their own learning, and helps them to develop new skills. The quality of faculty, students, and courses mirrors that of our member schools. Diversity is made possible by a global distribution of students who approach their classmates with empathy, interest, and respect.
GOA faculty seek to preserve in 21st century online pedagogies a central and highly valued core component of their experience in traditional independent school classrooms: the transformative connections they can make with students. They embrace and seek to demonstrate the creative collaboration, networked learning communities, online skills development, and global connections made possible through the online environment. Teachers engage students regularly with one-on-one attention and respond effectively to the needs of the individual student learner.
The schools that are members of the Global Online Academy are well known nationwide and globally for the strengths of their curricula and the excellence of their teaching. Collaborating in an online educational enterprise allows member schools to multiply and enhance these strengths, as they connect to a common hub without losing their identities as individual schools.
Our program brings together experienced teachers and highly capable students in an interactive, rigorous learning environment. Our courses encourage the awakening of new interests and a passion for learning. Our classrooms bring together a variety of voices representing the geographic, cultural, and ethnic diversity possible in a global online environment. Class size is limited to 20 students.
All GOA courses are developed and taught by teachers who work at one of our member schools.
Teachers create their own materials for classes and connect students to curated material gathered from a variety of sources. Just like in brick and mortar classrooms at our member schools, in GOA classrooms emphasis is on engagement, interaction, and collaboration among students and with the teacher. GOA classes are teacher-paced, meaning students are assigned work throughout the week rather than given assignments to complete over a large block of time. All classes contain both synchronous and asynchronous components, giving students the opportunity to connect in real time but also providing them with the flexibility to work when and how they would like.
Through their curricula, teachers aim to meet three main goals: to create and maintain meaningful relationships with, and among, students; to create opportunities for students to share their local and personal perspective on global issues; and for the work to be meaningful and rigorous.
School Calendar and Classroom Time
Each semester is 14 weeks in length. Classes are equivalent to a 45 minute class that meets 4 times per week. Students are expected to commit an average of 5-7 hours each week to these courses. GOA courses are taken in place of a regular academic or elective course; they cannot be taken on top of a full load of classes.
The proliferation of technological tools makes much easier the goal of having students take responsibility for their own learning, though the direction of a skilled teacher remains paramount in guiding students through the learning process by offering feedback, asking intriguing questions, challenging a student’s assumptions, and facilitating discussion among classmates. Teachers give every student one-on-one attention and are prepared to respond effectively to the needs of the individual student learner.