Global Citizenship in Elite Institutions

Global Citizenship in Elite Institutions

This summer, I will be joining Adam Howard and several of my Colby classmates on a research trip to southern Taiwan. We will be going to the second largest city in Taiwan, to visit and conduct research at a school we\’re calling Takau English School. We will learn about global citizenship, and how it plays a role at TES. My research will focus on the influence of curriculum on students’ self-understandings by focusing specifically on the process through which students identify with American culture. First, I will assess the students’ attitudes towards global citizenship (respecting and valuing other cultures, withholding judgment, etc.). Then I will assess their knowledge and comprehension of global citizenship (cultural self-awareness, socio-linguistic awareness, etc.). I will do this by exploring the ways in which TES provides opportunities for students to gain abilities and important knowledge for living, studying, and working in America. 

As I learn more about the Takau English School throughout my research, I have begun to reflect on my own education. I have had a somewhat interesting path to Colby College, as I have attended both public and private schools. For my first year of schooling, I attended Buckingham Browne and Nichols (BB&N), a private school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Then, my family moved to Newton, Massachusetts, and I attended Newton public schools from first grade through high school, and I graduated from Newton North High School in 2015. Newton has a very impressive public school system; it ranks in the five percent of public school systems in the country. Next, I went to Phillips Academy, a private school in Andover, Massachusetts, for a post-graduate year. Phillips Andover is consistently ranked as one of the most elite high schools in the world. I am grateful  to have been the beneficiary of such an exceptional education.

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Phillips Academy and Takau English School seem to encourage similar learning environments and hold many of the same values. Both schools value academic excellence, and pride themselves on sending their students to top American universities. Phillips Academy highly valued global citizenship, as seen through the extremely diverse student body, which includes students from all over the nation, and all over the world. PA has a saying of \”youth from every quarter,\” and places a clear emphasis on students understanding their place in the world by holding \”All School Meetings\” where guest speakers will come and speak about topics, including global citizenship. Similarly, the Kaohsiung American School also greatly values global citizen ship, as their missions statement reads, \”TES strives to be one of the finest American International Schools in the World. TES challenges students to achieve academic excellence and prepares them to be balanced individuals, independent learners, and global citizens.\” TES students seem to learn what it means to be a global citizen, and I will learn more about this in my interviews with them. The school also generously donates to many international charities and social groups.

Overall, I am looking forward to this trip, as I will gain experience conducting high-level research, while experiencing a new and rich culture with my classmates.

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