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Inspire Citizens

     Inspire Citizens is a teacher-created collective that empowers all students and educators to co-create globally-minded, holistic, and customized project-based learning environments. 
     We aim to collaboratively design high-impact action opportunities, rooted in community, public media, and wellness -- all linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Targets, curricular standards and objectives, and OECD global competence frameworks and indicators.
     See our pathways to globally-minded, project-based learning, as well as innovative teacher trainings, which actively inspire community-driven action, identity, and learning.

#TeachSDGs #GlobalGoals #TeachEmpathy #PBL #Edtech #StudentEmpowerment

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Steve Sostak

Following a decade of touring the globe as a saxophonist and performer, Steve spent the next 14 years teaching literacy, sustainability, and community journalism in Chicago, Lima, Kuala Lumpur and Beijing. Now, as the co-director of Inspire Citizens, he coaches diverse learners through designing media and global impact projects, helping spark educator and student passions to build community and problem solve in a challenging world.

For Inspire Citizens, Steve specializes in embedding global competence frameworks and sustainable thinking into classrooms. He prepares primary and secondary school teachers to incorporate global competence in their curricula and lesson plans, remaining sensitive to standards and criteria, language objectives, and tools for effective and efficient planning, feedback, and assessments.

steve@inspirecitizens.org


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Aaron Moniz

Aaron is co-founder of Inspire Citizens and Citizens Public Media. He has been the Grade 7 team leader and the EAL and Learning Support facilitator in ISB's innovative, interdisciplinary, and globally-minded 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.

inspirecitizens@gmail.com


Annie He

As Chinese culture and Mandarin Language Integration Specialist for Inspire Citizens, Annie facilitates and develops the Chinese historical, cultural, and literacy experiences for communities, teachers, and students from PreK-3 to Grade 12. Annie’s vision centers on creating interdisciplinary opportunities and building cultural competence for critical thinking and problem solving.

As a popular blogger, Annie’s deepest passion lies in communicating clearly to parents about the “why and how” behind teaching philosophies and the power of education for good. She continues to reach out to Chinese parents to share innovative learning that addresses the importance of well-rounded literacy and global thinking.


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Kavita Tanna

Guided by the famous phrase accredited to Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change you want to see in the world,” Kavita is an Inspire Citizens activist on education equality in developing regions and schools. Following years of teaching in England and China, she encourages educators to inspire students to create impact projects that improve global communities. 

As a witness to injustice, Kavita's mission is to connect with like-minded individuals who wish to empower children through inspiring, globally minded and holistic education.

In workshops, Kavita helps design important roles educators play in shaping the attitudes of young people, offering practical ideas of how to implement ideas for creating globally-minded citizens via effective teaching. 


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Student Interns

The goal of the Inspire Citizens' student internship program is to provide leadership opportunities to passionate learners and workshop facilitators in the areas of sustainable thinking, global competence, and community-driven journalism. The following students have demonstrated an exceptional level of commitment to the global development of international student journalism programs and in becoming young leaders in the field of global citizenship. 

Click here to meet our student interns.


Inspire Citizens'
Pathways to Global Competency

Citizens Makers

We support schools in evaluating and leveling-up Makers and engineering programs to design missions, link to sustainability indicators, and support design thinking that includes SDGs, community service, and empathy. 

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

Inspire Citizens Public Media

Inspired by organizations like National Public Radio in the United States, our civic media frameworks, platforms, and journalism conferences provide authentic community voices for all students, empowering them through literacy skills and real-world, local and global investigations.

Sound engineering, audio and video editing, web design, and media team collaboration exist as twenty-first century learning goals. Expert connections and mentorships with global and local journalists and producers 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 as well as the inaugural, student-led Community Media for Change conference.

  Activists-in-Residency   Inspire Citizens partners with artists, musicians, poets and writers, podcast hosts, NGOs and other change makers to develop project-based curriculum that can connect all learning communities in a school community behind 21st-century learning, empathy, service, and sustainability.  We currently work with  Luka Lesson ,  Salva Dut of Water for South Sudan , and the acclaimed podcast   Out of the Blocks .    We often link these activist-in-residency opportunities with student-led, global issues conferences such as the  Kuala Lumpur GINsanity Conference  and the Community Media for Change Conference.

Activists-in-Residency

Inspire Citizens partners with artists, musicians, poets and writers, podcast hosts, NGOs and other change makers to develop project-based curriculum that can connect all learning communities in a school community behind 21st-century learning, empathy, service, and sustainability.

We currently work with Luka Lesson, Salva Dut of Water for South Sudan, and the acclaimed podcast Out of the Blocks

We often link these activist-in-residency opportunities with student-led, global issues conferences such as the Kuala Lumpur GINsanity Conference and the Community Media for Change Conference.

Sustainability Education Curriculum

Through experience in innovative, flexible, integrated project-based learning, Inspire Citizens can share a rich bank of sustainability and global issues curriculum, texts, activity-based lessons, simulations, and media resources. We help teachers and educator teams identify the right global competence and sustainability resources for their unique classrooms and schools.

Link here to access one of our many resource banks dedicated to citizenship and sustainability literacy resources 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 competence. The program centers on uniting a collective of teachers, support staff, administration, and community members dedicated to keeping community members balanced, healthy, supported, service-oriented, and curious. 

See what we have accomplished in the WellCo program at ISB

OECD/PISA Global Competence Opportunities

Working with the OECD/PISA frameworks, questionnaire, and indicators, Inspire Citizens envisions greater alignment between this framework, the UN Sustainability Goals, and unique school standards.

As feature presenters at the AFS Global Conference in Budapest, we aim to support three goals:

1: Defining global competence as an essential 21st-century skill

2: Empowering primary and secondary school teachers to incorporate global competence

3: Aligning all stakeholders in the global competence movement

  Citizens Action Planning   Our Action Planning experience can facilitate a deep thinking process of isolating core issues and sustainability targets where impact projects and attainable change can happen.  Depending on unique needs of each school, we can implement our Care/Aware/Able/Act model, or work within the MYP global contexts and inquiry cycle, employ Atkisson's Pyrimid Lite, link design and Service Cycle Models, and implement Root Cause Analysis to identify problems and support student action.      

Citizens Action Planning

Our Action Planning experience can facilitate a deep thinking process of isolating core issues and sustainability targets where impact projects and attainable change can happen.

Depending on unique needs of each school, we can implement our Care/Aware/Able/Act model, or work within the MYP global contexts and inquiry cycle, employ Atkisson's Pyrimid Lite, link design and Service Cycle Models, and implement Root Cause Analysis to identify problems and support student action.

 

 

Sustainable Systems Thinking and Frameworks

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

 

  Designing Learning Environments   With co-teaching mastery, leadership experience in the innovative Futures Academy, and years of designing core classrooms around Project-Based Learning, differentiated spaces, multimedia, and Makers integration, Inspire Citizens supports schools in blueprinting classrooms and integrated spaces. 

Designing Learning Environments

With co-teaching mastery, leadership experience in the innovative Futures Academy, and years of designing core classrooms around Project-Based Learning, differentiated spaces, multimedia, and Makers integration, Inspire Citizens supports schools in blueprinting classrooms and integrated spaces. 

  Citizens Experiential Learning   The power of learning off-campus is an engaging way for students to bond with nature, develop empathy with diverse communities, and create meaningful impact projects.   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 linked directly to classrooms or in extracurricular opportunities.      

Citizens Experiential Learning

The power of learning off-campus is an engaging way for students to bond with nature, develop empathy with diverse communities, and create meaningful impact projects. 

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 linked directly to classrooms or in extracurricular opportunities.

 

 

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, EAL supported framed content and language objectives, second language literacy rubrics, and Universal Design for Learning (UDL). 

See the creative work we have already designed and implemented for EAL and LS students.

 

 

  Student Community Leadership and Service Leadership Programs   Inspire Citizens works directly with student leaders in student councils, community service groups, eco-friendly squads, MUN clubs, community media and publication teams, and CAS projects to help students align work to SDGs, competency and empathy indicators, and attainable , meaningful impact.  We also support a student internship program to provide leadership opportunities to passionate learners and workshop facilitators in the areas of sustainable thinking, global competence, and community-driven journalism. 

Student Community Leadership
and Service Leadership Programs

Inspire Citizens works directly with student leaders in student councils, community service groups, eco-friendly squads, MUN clubs, community media and publication teams, and CAS projects to help students align work to SDGs, competency and empathy indicators, and attainable , meaningful impact.

We also support a student internship program to provide leadership opportunities to passionate learners and workshop facilitators in the areas of sustainable thinking, global competence, and community-driven journalism. 


Professional Learning and Impact action Work in Progress
 

 

Global Partners

 

Inspirations and Influences