For reasons we are all acutely aware of, this school year is one that is full of firsts. Thankfully, there are quite a few firsts that are cause for celebration.
This year will see our first ever Diploma Programme graduation, and our DP2 students are gearing up for the home stretch.
Meanwhile, our DP1 students are also blazing their own path, and are continually opening new doors inside of Yago School before they surely open doors in the real world. One of the doors that they have opened, by their own request, is the creation of an International Baccalaureate course called Global Politics – the first time this course has been offered at Yago School.
But, what exactly is Global Politics, and why should incoming DP students consider signing up for it?
It is, of course, extremely important for young people to understand today’s globalized and interconnected world. The Global Politics course, in the true spirit of the IB, educates students to be internationally-minded critical thinkers. They are not just studying names and places on a page; they are studying, in many cases, events that are unfolding in real time and that have wide-ranging implications on their lives and communities.
Throughout this 2-year course, students come to understand political issues on all levels through numerous case studies, news reports, documentary films, and primary and secondary sources of all types. With these materials, we explore the course’s four central themes: power, human rights, development, and peace and conflict. Just this year so far we’ve explored topics such as soft vs. hard power, state sovereignty, fragile and failed states, workers’ rights, armed resistance movements, the role of NGOs in the Mediterranean migration crisis, and the fallout of the recent American presidential election, just to highlight a few.
With debates, class conversations and presentations, students participate actively in their learning and engage in different perspectives and obtain a more complete and meaningful understanding of the topics at hand.
This approach to learning is epitomized by the Engagement Activity, which is the Global Politics capstone project for the course. This is a unique opportunity for students to participate first-hand in a real-world political activity – volunteering with an NGO, working hand-in-hand with a town council on a local political issue, spending time with an activism group, or interviewing experts in a field of the student’s interest, among other possibilities – and then write a formal report about it. In this way, students are truly learning through real-world experience.
In short, the IB Global Politics course educates students to be global citizens not just of tomorrow, but of today!