in teaching empathy and reaching the Sustainable Development Goals
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.
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:
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
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?
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.
Visioning, research, and development team
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Student Apprentices and interns
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