We, as a race, now shift more of the Earth’s surface than natural agents of erosion such as wind, waves, currents and moving masses of ice; we have left our indelible mark on the planet. That mark has been termed the ‘Anthropocene’ and it is during this Epoch that human (anthropogenic) impacts have really come to the fore.
Since ‘the Great Acceleration’ of the 1950s (and pre-dating that the Industrial Revolution) the world has become increasingly industrialised, increasingly urbanised, increasingly connected and so increasingly globalised. Though this spatial and temporal change has resulted in undoubted progress (500 million have been lifted out of absolute poverty in China alone) it has certainly resulted I a range of socio-economic, political and environmental issues which need to be tackled; in a time of Global Issues having a ‘Global Outlook’ is surely the order of the day.
As Assistant Head (Global Outlook and IB Coordinator) it is down to me to take the lead in this area hence the introduction of a ‘Global Outlook Learner Profile’ (see overleaf). The Global Outlook Learner Profile is closely aligned with the International Baccalaureate’s (IB’s) overall ‘Learner Profile.’ At the centre of the Global Outlook Profile is the ability to retain an open-mind and around it are four key traits which inform open-mindedness namely being knowledgeable, being principled, being caring and being reflective.
On the eve of ‘Black History Month’ (October), and in the wake of the forest fires which have ravaged Oregon (and not even mentioning COVID), it is imperative that our students gain, and retain, a Global Outlook as well as having the opportunity to demonstrate it in and outside of the classroom.
On the ground our students play a key role in defining how Global Outlook looks within our school community; their student voice enables them to discuss and raise awareness of global issues using the vehicle of student led organisations such as MUN and Amnesty International.
Our student voice is also clearly audible through our debating and scholarship programme where Global Outlook themes make up some of the first sessions of each new term starting this term with the notion that ‘to plant a tree is to plant hope.’ Following on from the ‘Burke debate’ and the scholarship programme the same theme will then be adapted into Head’s Assembly and into Chapel.
During these changing times, as our students continue to manoeuvre their way through the Anthropocene, equipping them with a Global Outlook with a local slant (‘Glocal Outlook’) will ensure that the collective mark that they leave is indeed an indelible one though a positive one with it!
Adrian Roberts, Assistant Head Global and IB Diploma Co-ordinator