Inspire Citizens is proud to continue working intimately with Water for South Sudan, donating 10% of all profits to help drill wells and transform lives.

Inspire Citizens is proud to continue working intimately with Water for South Sudan, donating 10% of all profits to help drill wells and transform lives.


Our partners
in teaching empathy and reaching the Sustainable Development Goals
in education:


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Inspire Citizens: Creating  Pathways to Global and Cultural Competency

Inspire Citizens is a teacher-created collective that empowers students and educators to develop mindsets and curriculum centered on global and cultural competency in project-based learning environments. We aim to co-create sustainable, meaningful, and informed action rooted in community, global citizenship, public service media, sustainability goals, and wellness -- all linked to standards and indicators.

With years of combined experience linking civic projects and initiatives to Sustainable Development Goals, the OECD PISA Global Competency Framework, MYP Global Contexts, and Compass Education Sustainability indicators, we empower students, teachers, classrooms, teams, divisions, and schools to facilitate authentic and sustainable action while shaping young change makers.

See our nine pathways to global competency: Active and informed citizenship opportunities, that can inspire and spark positive and powerful change in your micro or macro community's learning, mindset, identity, and culture.

Contact us to discuss how we can craft meaningful, sustainable, and manageable learning opportunities and impact projects in your unique classroom or school.  We work on a sliding scale, all over the globe - from Kosovo to Seoul, from Beijing to Guatemala City.  Reach out. 


Citizens Makers

In our Makers models, students constantly consider the sustainability and community wellness components of building and making while learning about DIY hands-on work:  Running student-led workshops for community service, integrating reusable and up-cycled materials, building purposefully for others, crafting with senior citizens, and so on.

See here how we have empowered students to design and present community projects based on sustainability goals.

Citizens Public Media

Inspired by organizations like National Public Radio in the United States, our frameworks provides authentic community voices for all students and teachers, empowering them through literacy skills and real-world, local and global investigations. Our media model highlights the worth of investigative journalism and podcasting to build seekers, critical thinkers, and problem solvers. We aim to facilitate students who embrace roles as truth seekers and engaged journalists who work to best serve our community and be a civic force. Student journalists question, inform, and unite, celebrating community, service, and high-quality, publishable storytelling and reporting. 

Sound engineering, audio and video editing, web design, and collaboration exist as twenty-first century learning goals.  Expert connections and mentorships with global and local media are sought whenever possible.

See what we have accomplished through the eyes of our student apprentices at the International School of Beijing with Futures Public Radio

Change Maker Residency Curriculum We work with artists, musicians, poets and writers, podcast hosts, NGOs and other change makers to develop project-based curriculum that can connect communities to the visiting change maker on a deep learning level, enriching a school residency at all levels, ranging from one classroom to whole school. We are currently working with Salute Writers Republic, Water for South Sudan, Out of the Blocks, The 90 Second Newbery Festival on ways to build disciplinary curriculum embedded with creativity, empathy, Global Competency, and Sustainable Development Goals through the power of poetry, water, and intercultural investigation.  Let us help bring change makers to your community and make the residencies impactful, long-lasting, and linked to disciplinary and global competency standards. 

Change Maker Residency Curriculum

We work with artists, musicians, poets and writers, podcast hosts, NGOs and other change makers to develop project-based curriculum that can connect communities to the visiting change maker on a deep learning level, enriching a school residency at all levels, ranging from one classroom to whole school.

We are currently working with Salute Writers RepublicWater for South SudanOut of the Blocks, The 90 Second Newbery Festival on ways to build disciplinary curriculum embedded with creativity, empathy, Global Competency, and Sustainable Development Goals through the power of poetry, water, and intercultural investigation. 

Let us help bring change makers to your community and make the residencies impactful, long-lasting, and linked to disciplinary and global competency standards. 

Sustainability Education Curriculum Bank

Through a rich bank of sustainability and global issues literacy curricular, text, activity-based, and media resources, we help teachers and administrative teams identify the right global competency and sustainability education resources for their unique classrooms and schools.

Vetted and recommended curricular resources will support teachers wellbeing and better facilitate students' application of disciplinary literacy skills and tools in projects and publications, leading to a richer experience with global issues and citizenship. 

Link here to access one of our many resource banks dedicated to citizenship and sustainability literacy resources also linked to disciplinary standards. 

 


 

Citizens Wellness

Linked to Sustainability Goal 3 and centered on building greater wellness for all community members, we work to design Employee and Student Wellness and Mentoring Programs grounded in a holistic philosophy, interconnecting seven strands of wellbeing with global competency. The program centers on a collective of teachers, support staff, administration, and community members dedicated to keeping community members balanced, healthy, supported, service-oriented, and curious. 

For professional development visioning, we offer Revisioning PD: The Mind-Body Connection in Learning and Wellness.

In Beijing and Shunyi, China, we offer personal and group wellness coaching and mentoring -- activities, workouts, and group discussions with a focus on balance, happiness, reduced stress, health and fitness, intellectual curiosity, and other components of the seven strands of wellbeing to help students and adults navigate, succeed, and find happiness in a complex world.  

See what we have accomplished in the WellCo program at ISB

Citizens Action Planning Utilizing action cycles and models in student or teacher designed, civic projects builds meaning, mindfulness, critical thinking, and flexibility. Our Action Planning experience can facilitate a deep thinking process of isolating core issues where attainable change can happen. Depending on the needs of students, teachers, and schools, we can interconnect our Care/Aware/Able/Act model, or the MYP inquiry cycle, Atkisson's Pyrimid Lite, Service Cycle Models, and Root Cause Trees to identifying problems and supporting focused and authentic action. Visit here to see how we've used the Care Aware Able Act cycle to develop empathy, inquiry skills, action planning and authentic publication, and reflection in our student experience and skills' toolkit.  

Citizens Action Planning

Utilizing action cycles and models in student or teacher designed, civic projects builds meaning, mindfulness, critical thinking, and flexibility.

Our Action Planning experience can facilitate a deep thinking process of isolating core issues where attainable change can happen.

Depending on the needs of students, teachers, and schools, we can interconnect our Care/Aware/Able/Act model, or the MYP inquiry cycle, Atkisson's Pyrimid Lite, Service Cycle Models, and Root Cause Trees to identifying problems and supporting focused and authentic action.

Visit here to see how we've used the Care Aware Able Act cycle to develop empathy, inquiry skills, action planning and authentic publication, and reflection in our student experience and skills' toolkit.

 

Citizens Systems Thinking

Understanding dynamic systems is a crucial component for students in finding leverage points for deep thinking, inquiry, research, and action. Whether examining causal loop diagrams for the climate crisis or in looking at a more sustainable circular economic model, students can engage with issues and solutions with academic vocabulary, greater focus, deeper understanding, and confidence in communication of their learning.

Let us help you discover systems models and frameworks that will extend the richness of the projects, work, action, and thinking in your class or on your campus.

 

 

Citizens Experiential Learning The power of learning off-campus is a time proven way for students to bond with nature and diverse communities.  Connecting one's service or project to the local community is evident in authenticity, meaning, responsibility, mentorships, feedback loops, and high engagement. Hosting student-led workshops, global-issues/citizens journalism conferences, and innovation expositions can be other ways to experience and showcase empowered learning. Finally, following years of experiential learning work with students and teacher teams, we are available to ideate, recommend, and help connect schools to meaningful, action-driven experiential learning.  See how over 15 student-led, activity-based workshops made a massive impact on awareness and empathy at the Kuala Lumpur GIN Conference.

Citizens Experiential Learning

The power of learning off-campus is a time proven way for students to bond with nature and diverse communities.  Connecting one's service or project to the local community is evident in authenticity, meaning, responsibility, mentorships, feedback loops, and high engagement.

Hosting student-led workshops, global-issues/citizens journalism conferences, and innovation expositions can be other ways to experience and showcase empowered learning.

Finally, following years of experiential learning work with students and teacher teams, we are available to ideate, recommend, and help connect schools to meaningful, action-driven experiential learning. 

See how over 15 student-led, activity-based workshops made a massive impact on awareness and empathy at the Kuala Lumpur GIN Conference.

Citizens EAL and LS Empowerment and Inclusion

Inspire Citizens is proudly working towards a professional collaboration with Dr. Jose Medina. Our Gr7 and 8 EAL/Learning Support classroom engages students within an interconnected framework of Sustainable Development Goals, MYP Global Contexts, SIOP framed content and language objectives, and second language literacy rubrics. Our collaborative goal is rooted in empowering diverse student populations via global citizenship, multilingualism, multiculturalism, authentic literacy, and real-world projects and publications. 

See the creative work we are doing for our EAL and LS students right now.


In addition to offering the nine pathways to global and cultural competency, Inspire Citizens supports all schools and teachers with strategies and frameworks for more effective and efficient teaching in a student-centered environment.



Local Chinese teachers share their thoughts on their experience working with Inspire Citizens in classroom practice:

During the first semester of the 2017-18 school year, we were lucky to have the opportunity to co-teach with and coach Elfie, Sherry, and Fanny on the intricacies of civic-driven project-based learning, embedded formative assessment, EAL language objectives, student public media, and our practice of facilitating global-competence-driven inquiry. This interview captures their teacher reflections of the learning experience in a dual language conversation with student journalists who also worked closely with the visiting teachers.


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The Why
and How
of Global Competency

Project Zero Harvard presents the
OECD PISA Global Competence Framework


Why do we need global competence?
- to live harmoniously in multicultural communities
- to thrive in a changing labour market
- to use media platforms effectively and responsibly
- to support the Sustainable Development Goals

How schools can promote global competence:
- providing opportunities to learn about global developments
- teaching students how they can develop a fact-based and critical worldview of today
- equipping students with the means to analyze a broad range of cultural practices and meanings
- engaging students in experiences that facilitate intercultural relations
- promoting the value of diversity


Inspire citizens
teacher trainers,
Visioning team,
consultants

 

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Steve Sostak

Steve is the co-founder of Inspire Citizens and Citizens Public Media, while continuing to work as the EAL teacher for Grade 8 at the International School of Beijing. At ISB and as a consultant, he coaches colleagues and empowers diverse students through sustainable, community action, investigative journalism, and wellness activities that help shift mindsets in communities. He facilitates student-driven learning, while helping students discover passions and callings for problem solving in a challenging world. After a decade of teaching for global citizenship and competency, he now specializes in embedding global issues and sustainable thinking into both macro and micro communities, remaining sensitive to standards and tools for effective and efficient planning, feedback, and assessments.

Steve's interview for the JUMP! Foundation Blog on Global Citizenship:

Q: Why teach for global citizenship?

A: Global Citizenship is a calling. David Brooks recently asked the question, “Where does the world’s deepest problem meet one’s deepest need?” This is the question that helped guide me, as a teacher, towards identifying a void in our educational systems and a void in my personal wellbeing. It centered on three core questions: What is a deep problem outside of me that I can help to solve? Why did I become a teacher? How do I want to be remembered by my students?

In discovering this global competency void in our education systems, my solution and personal calling became a drive to discover and create ways to best embed global competency into all aspects of my class environment.

This became my core mission: A moral imperative to provide my students access to the complex, interconnected nuances of a challenging world. Every day, as a teacher, I must guide my students towards seeking authentic and sustainable solutions. As a teacher, I must mentor students navigating through the noise of surface media with the desire and curiosity to seek integrity and truth. As a teacher, I must open kids’ hearts to care, open their minds to be curious and aware, provide them the skills to be change makers, and allow their confidence to blossom into deep and meaningful action.

The results have filled me with joy: Students succeeding as whole children; students full of curiosity; students that are less narcissistic; students that are happier and more balanced; students passionate about having a voice for change; and students at ease with the search to find their own callings, which when combined with others, can truly make our world a better place, overflowing with empathy and good.

---

Steve Sostak is a fifteen year, veteran international school teacher. He is the co-founder and director of Inspire Citizens, a teacher and student empowerment collective, where he speaks, trains, coaches, collaborates and inspires like-minded educators to attain the Inspire Citizens’ core mission for attaining global competency:  Is it good for kids?  Is it good for the community? Is it good for the world?

email: steve@inspirecitizens.org  
twitter: @inspirecitizen1

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Aaron Moniz

Aaron is co-founder of Inspire Citizens and Citizens Public Media. He is the Grade 7 team leader and the EAL and Learning Support facilitator in ISB's innovative Futures Academy. Aaron envisions education as empowering students to desire active citizenship in our world, equipped with knowledge, skills, and perspectives that will contribute to a sustainable future and counter social inequality and environmental degradation. Through giving teachers and other communities effective tools, bestowing confidence, and creating sustainable, engaging, and practical actions, he strives to help schools and communities be change agents to positively impact our world.


Inspire Citizens
Visioning, research, and development team

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Annie He

Annie is currently the Chinese Integration specialist at International School of Beijing. Annie’s role requires her to facilitate the integration of China studies, Chinese culture and language experiences from PreK3 to Grade 12. Annie has collaborated with Inspire Citizens through her participation in mentoring Global Issues Network Clubs, co-teaching sustainability project-based learning, sponsoring community wellness initiatives, and leading intercultural opportunities for all students and teachers.

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Megan Williams

As the elementary school FPR mentor and a grade 4 teacher, Megan focuses her energies on how to coach colleagues and students on global competency and curricular links. She is a highly passionate educator who cultivates literacy, numeracy, and inquiry skills within a context of cultural awareness and social justice. In her classes, students are not only building the knowledge they need to become more successful throughout their school careers, but also creating a sense of inquiry, competency, and urgency that they can and should use their knowledge to make their world a kinder, more equitable place.

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Matt Schroeder

Matt is a workshop leader, director of High School Inspire Citizens initiatives, and a Citizens Public Media and MUN mentor. At ISB, he teaches IB/HS History and English where he utilizes co-teaching best practice to facilitate high-level, immediate feedback to his diverse student population. He is passionate about integrating current events into the classroom to empower students to be informed citizens as they ponder the past while seeking solutions to current global issues. He too coaches colleagues as they work to develop authentic assessments which embed civics and citizenship standards in multiple disciplinary contexts.

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Hannah Northcott

As a global theater artist and acclaimed drama educator, Hannah pioneered and currently teaches the middle school drama program at the International School of Beijing. She also launched the first Drama Yoga Festival in the world, runs Journey to Wholeness wellness retreats, and participates in the collaborative creation of drama festivals around the world as an ISTA Theater Artist.

Hannah is an archeologist of the soul – uncovering hidden jewels in people and inspiring them to connect deeper with themselves, each other and the world through global and cultural proficiency, drama, theater, yoga, and wellness.

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Serina Wu

Serina is the Mandarin language workshop director for Inspire Citizens, while continuing her work as the secretary to the director of Student Support Services and the Chinese Program Coordinator at ISB. Serina facilitates collaborative citizenship opportunities with local schools and communities in the Beijing area and into greater China. She also works directly with local communities, building powerful and reciprocal relationaships for Inspire Citizens initiatives such as the Out of the Blocks Beijing project.


Inspire Citizens
Student Apprentices and interns

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